What Is Detox?

Detoxification is a period of time where the body gets rid of any drugs or alcohol in it. During this time, your body may react physically and mentally with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms—some of which can be deadly. Detoxing requires medical monitoring and supervision. The time it takes to fully recover depends on individual factors, such as how long the drug was abused, the drug intake method, and your genes and family history.

There are inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol detox programs available in Southern California. Here at Gratitude Lodge, we offer inpatient detox programs, meaning you’d stay in our luxurious, welcoming rooms and have access to professionals during your recovery. Our local partners offer outpatient detox, which is available to those who have a less severe addiction and want to continue their work or school during their detox. Though detox sounds uncomfortable, it’s a crucial first step to starting your new life.


Why is Medically Supervised Detox Important?

Getting the drugs or alcohol out of your system is the first step to recovery. Detoxing in a safe, professionally-staffed environment is important because your brain may have become dependent on drugs or alcohol, which can affect its chemical makeup. In severe dependency cases, suddenly ending alcohol intake could lead to fatal seizures, and suddenly stopping the intake of benzos (benzodiazepine) could lead to delirium, a lost sense of self, and psychosis.

At Gratitude Lodge, our credentialed staff is trained and medically equipped to provide these on-site drug and alcohol detox services. Our staff is also empathetic and can guide you through the emotional side of recovery. Detoxification can be the most difficult part of early recovery, which is why we offer personalized care, group therapy support and an encouraging environment. Here, you are given the tools to succeed and benefit from a lasting recovery.

Our Detox Programs in Southern California

Gratitude Lodge provides substance-specific detox programs for a range of alcohol and drug addictions in the Newport Beach and Long Beach areas. We pride ourselves on providing premier, medically supervised drug and alcohol detox programs. Our clinical team understands the importance of catering to the unique needs of each and every client which is why we take an individualized approach during the detoxification phase of addiction recovery.

  • Alcohol Detox
  • Heroin Detox
  • Meth Detox
  • Benzo Detox
  • Opioid Detox
  • Xanax Detox

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Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Getting the alcohol out of your system is the first step to recovery. But, in order to do that, you have to go through detox. During detox, withdrawal symptoms will develop and can include:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Shakiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatal seizures
  • Delirium tremens

The time it takes to detox from alcohol depends on many factors. However, in most cases, the worst physical withdrawal symptoms subside within a week. After physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms are gone, most cases are accompanied by mental withdrawal symptoms, which could last for weeks or months. In more severe cases of addiction, there may be fatal side effects if not treated properly.

Medication is used to minimize the discomfort experienced with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some medications are also designed to subdue the desire to drink alcohol, and some of those medications purposely cause nausea to prevent urges. These medications can include:

  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate
  • Naltrexone
  • Benzodiazepines

Benzo Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Removing benzos from your system is imperative in your efforts to get sober and into recovery. Detoxing, however, does produce distressing side effects. Common withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalization
  • Seizures

Benzo detox can have withdrawal symptoms that last days, weeks, and sometimes, years. The time it takes to detox depends on how long the drug was used. Sometimes, a slow-taper detox is necessary for those addicted to benzos to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. A doctor will reduce prescription dosage or substitute with another similar drug to help you ease off of your benzo addiction.

Drugs for benzo detox withdrawal symptoms commonly include anticonvulsive medication and antidepressants. You may be prescribed other benzos with lower dosages so that way you can slowly come off of the drug without experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms or mental disorders, such as psychosis. Commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Diazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Antihypertensive medications
  • Sedating antidepressants

Heroin Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from heroin can produce several withdrawal symptoms that impact your mental and physical wellbeing. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersensitivity

Heroin withdrawal symptoms start 6 to 12 hours after the last dose and resemble withdrawal symptoms of other opioids. You may feel like you have the flu, and you may experience anxiety, sweating, and dilated pupils. You can also experience hypersensitivity, memory loss, and panic attacks that can last between 18 months to two years.

Medications to treat heroin withdrawal symptoms may include slow-release opiates to ease addicts off of heroin. Other prescription drugs relieve cravings and symptoms of vomiting and nausea. Other medications are designed to block brain receptors that react to heroin to reduce cravings. Medications include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

Meth Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from a meth addiction can be particularly painful, both psychologically and physically. Typical withdrawal symptoms often include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Psychosis
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dehydration

Meth has the most intense withdrawal symptoms during the first 24 hours. Over the next week, it gets less intense. Meth withdrawal symptoms last longer depending on how long the drug was used and whether it was used intravenously or smoked. Age also affects the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, meth withdrawal symptoms last 5 weeks.

In some cases, meth may need to be treated with antipsychotic drugs for those who are experiencing psychosis during their detox. Other treatments for meth include cognitive behavioral therapy, individual counseling, and a 12-step support program. Medications to treat withdrawal symptoms related to meth often include:

  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Olanzapine
  • Haloperidol
  • Quetiapine

Opioid Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from Xanax, one of the most widely abused benzodiazepines in the country, can be extremely upsetting. Many withdrawal symptoms that develop include:

  • Fluctuating blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cramps and stomach aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating

Before you experience withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be in a state of paranoia of having withdrawals, about 3 or 4 hours after your last dose. Most physical detox symptoms happen within 3 days, but you’ll have to attend continued treatment to deal with mental symptoms. Drug dreams, insomnia, and depression from detox can last up to 2 years.

Medications can include oral tablets or patches worn on the skin to manage high blood pressure and suppress cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is used for alcohol addiction but also works with opioid addiction treatment.

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Clonodine

Xanax Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Panic and paranoia
  • Seizures

Xanax is a benzo that comes with evident physical and mental withdrawal symptoms 6-8 hours after the last dose. You or your loved one may experience anxiety, which is typically what Xanax treats. Along with heart palpitations and headaches, you may experience paranoia and insomnia, but likely only up to 5 days. Other psychological symptoms need to be treated for weeks or months after your detox.

To avoid complications with withdrawal symptoms, a physician will gradually lower the amount of Xanax taken. Valium (diazepam) can also be used gradually because it lasts longer in the bloodstream. This way, a small amount can last in the bloodstream without causing cravings that could result in an overdose. Medications used to help Xanax withdrawal include:

  • Diazepam
  • Antidepressants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Medical taper of Xanax

What to Expect During Detox in Southern California


The time it takes to detox and the methods used depend on the length of drug abuse, methods of intake, and genetics. During evaluation, you can expect mental and physical screenings, providing family history, blood tests, and medication.


Because you may experience withdrawal symptoms, medical and mental therapies are provided. You may also receive addiction treatment drugs ranging from antidepressants to pills that suppress the desire for alcohol or drugs.

Preparing for treatment

The medical team will help decide if your treatment is best suited for inpatient facilities or outpatient facilities. Inpatient facilities, such as Gratitude Lodge, offer structured environments free from distraction and temptation. Outpatient care offers therapy while you live at home and continue your career or family life.


During detoxification, you may experience withdrawal symptoms as the brain attempts to make up for the feel-good chemicals generated from drug or alcohol dependency. Newly prescribed medication for your withdrawal symptoms may also cause side effects. Here are some side effects you may experience during detox—which is why it’s important to detox under professional care instead of going cold turkey or using at-home detox kits.

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Drug cravings
  • Paranoia
  • Depersonalization
  • Irritability

How Long is the Detox Process?

The detoxification process depends on the severity of your addiction and how long you’ve been using drugs or alcohol. It can typically take anywhere from days or months to get past withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms for alcohol can last up to a few weeks. Withdrawal from opiates can last up to 10 days, and prescription drug withdrawal can last months or years without treatment.

You may have heard of rapid detox or ultra-rapid detox, which requires anesthesia while medication replaces drugs in the body. Though this method is a fast way to remove drugs and avoid withdrawal symptoms, it can be a shock to the system and come with a lot of risks and a higher price tag. This method is usually considered for addictions to opiates and painkillers.

What Happens After Detox?

While detox is the first physical step to recovery, there are mental steps involved in recovery after detox. Structured activities, group therapy, and individual counseling are built into your day when you stay at an inpatient residential addiction treatment facility such as Gratitude Lodge. After that, you’ll be able to transition to outpatient care, where you can stay in your own home, attend work or school, and attend therapy in the daytime or evening.

You’ll feel your withdrawal symptoms become manageable after completing our detox program. Then, you can transition into inpatient addiction treatment. There you will partake in group activities, learn from a set schedule, develop responsibility, and become self-sufficient again. Taking all of the steps from detoxification to outpatient rehabilitation is what helps establish the foundation for lasting recovery and decreases the chance of relapse.

Is Drug and Alcohol Detox Covered by Insurance?

We accept most PPO insurances at Gratitude Lodge, whether you’re staying with us for as little as 7 days or more than 90 days. We accept BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Aetna, and many more. As with any insurance, the cost depends on your insurance policy deductible and your policy co-pay. Inpatient and outpatient facility costs may vary.

Some insurance policies may limit your care providers or may want you to contribute to the cost. Most treatment facilities can help determine if your insurance is eligible. We’re happy to see if your insurance covers treatment for you or your loved ones. Get in touch with our team and verify your insurance today.

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