Going through detox for the first time can be disorienting and uncomfortable, especially if you do not know what to expect. Treatment will vary significantly depending on the severity of your symptoms and the type of substance you abuse. Detoxing after being diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) is safer with a professional care team that can monitor your mental and physical health. Newport Beach Recovery Center prioritizes client safety and comfort to ensure a positive detox experience. 

What to Expect During the First 24 Hours? 

Detox is short for detoxification. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Detoxification, the process by which the body clears itself of drugs, is designed to manage the acute and potentially dangerous physiological effects of stopping drug use.” The detox period generally lasts from a few days to a week, depending on multiple factors, and often starts within hours of abstinence. Our team provides essential detox care to individuals with SUD. In the first 24 hours, you can expect to meet our team, get an introduction to the program, and start your treatment. 

The initial side effects of detox are often body aches and anxiety followed by rapidly worsening symptoms that often peak within three to five days. Each substance has unique withdrawal symptoms and a different timeline for the detox process. We will guide you through what to expect from each stage based on your individual circumstances. Medication and therapy support will be available to help you cope with mood changes and other potentially destabilizing side effects as your body purges the last of the toxins from your system. 

What Are Some Detox Symptoms of Common Substances? 

The symptoms of detox and withdrawal will differ significantly depending on many factors, including: 

  • Dose and type of substance 
  • Frequency of intake
  • Length of time abused
  • Overall physical health 

Using medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for certain substances can significantly decrease risks associated with detox and withdrawal. We offer MAT when it benefits the client. Below are brief descriptions of what to expect from detox and withdrawal based on the type of substance abused. 


Unfortunately, alcohol is the most common substance misused among all age groups. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “More than 14 million adults ages 18 and older have alcohol use disorder (AUD).” 

Detox and withdrawal from alcohol without MAT can include: 

  • Flu-like symptoms like sweating, tremors, fatigue, muscle aches, and stomach discomfort
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability 
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Headache or migraine 
  • Unusual mood changes 
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fast or shallow breathing 
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations 


Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 10 people will develop a marijuana addiction and detox involves multiple symptoms, including: 

  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Cravings and intrusive thoughts 
  • Stomach discomfort or nausea 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Restlessness

Some people only have a handful of mild symptoms, while others experience more severe detox and withdrawal. 

Prescription and Illicit Pain Relievers 

The opioid epidemic has made people realize how serious pain relievers can be. Prescription and illicit opioids are incredibly addictive. The most common side effects during detox include: 

  • Mood swings
  • Heightened levels of anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability 
  • Flu-like symptoms like tremors, sweating, nausea and vomiting, chills, muscle aches, and diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme cravings 


Individuals who have a high level of benzodiazepines in their system before starting detox may have severe symptoms that can include: 

  • Hallucinations 
  • Psychosis 
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal ideation 

However, the most common mental and physical reactions include: 

  • Extreme cravings
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Muscle aches, stiffness, and tension 
  • Anxiety 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or focusing 
  • Perception issues 
  • An unusual amount of sweating 
  • Tremors in extremities 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Headache or migraine 

Other Substances 

Symptoms can vary significantly. If you want to know what to expect during detox for other substances, you can contact our care team to learn more. We treat SUDs involving the following: 

  • Crystal meth
  • Amphetamines
  • Party drugs
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Ketamine
  • Synthetic or designer drugs

Why Is It Dangerous to Go ‘Cold Turkey’? 

Quitting “cold turkey” involves abstaining from substances without mental health or medical support. Although popular media shows people successfully quitting tobacco products and other substances “cold turkey,” it rarely works because this form of abstinence does not address the circumstances that caused you to abuse substances in the first place. In addition, unsupervised sudden detox can lead to serious illness, injury, overdose, or death.  

Withdrawal management is essential to ensure that you remain safe and healthy while your body rids itself of the substance. During detox, the chemicals in your brain and body will fluctuate, causing perception, emotional, and physical changes that can affect mood and behavior. The detox treatment offered at Newport Beach Recovery Center can stabilize your condition until your body acclimates to being without the substance. 

If you are new to treatment, you might feel uncertain about what to expect from detox and withdrawal. The first 24 hours can feel disorienting if you do not have any prior experience attending rehabilitation. The care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center will briefly introduce the treatment program, our facility, the staff, and what to expect from each stage of the treatment. You may have difficulty focusing during the initial stages of detox. We provide immediate support, including medication-assisted treatment (if necessary) and psychotherapy to manage symptoms. Your first 24 hours of detox will also involve various assessments, the development of your treatment plan, and strict monitoring to ensure your health and safety. To learn more about our services and the programs we have to offer, contact our office today by calling us at (888) 850-0363. We can help you recover from SUD.