One of the major questions we here when someone calls into Innovo Detox is, “How long will it take me to detox?” This is often asked because the potential patient already has in their mind the length of time they are willing to give to detox. People often call as say something like, “I’m only willing to come for 4 or 5 days” or “I need to detox but I’ll only do three days.” The amount of time it takes to medically detox from drugs and alcohol is different for everyone, because everyone has a different number of substances they are using and a different history of using substances.


Just like anything else in the treatment of addiction, detox, withdrawal management, and medical stabilization should be an individualized process. While there are some basic principles that can guide a detox and the medical providers working there in terms of detox and medication protocols, it is vital that each patient be looked at as an individual, with different medical needs, concerns, and approaches. For example, a patient needing detox from opioids that has medical and health issues, might have a different detox than a patient with no health concerns that is detoxing from alcohol. Additionally, a patient who is using several different substances may have a different detox than a person coming to detox only using one substance. An added focus will be on a patient that may have a co-occurring mental health diagnosis, as their detox may look different than an individual that does not have any diagnosable mental health concerns.


Therefore, asking how long it will take to detox is somewhat of a loaded question. The answer is, it’s hard to tell and needs to be evaluated and reevaluated throughout the detox process by the medical team of doctors and nurses overseeing the detox. Also, seeking detox but putting time parameters on that detox is not an effective or successful way to approach getting off drugs and alcohol. An individual in need of detox for drugs and alcohol needs to work with their detox facility and the medical providers throughout the process, to make sure that they are detoxed both safely and effectively.


Overall, the shortest time a medical detox for drugs and alcohol may take is about 4-to-5 days, depending on the individual, and the longest may be between 10-to-14 days. However, those are just generic time periods, not taking into account the addiction history, medical history, current medical or health issues, and co-occurring concerns a patient may have when they enter detox. Again, regular reevaluation needs to take place throughout the detox and medical stabilization process, to ensure that the patient is detoxing appropriately and without complications. An added factor to account for is the time it takes between when a patient is physically detoxed and free of substances, and when they are stabilized mentally and emotionally. While someone may be off substances at day 4, if they have not taken additional days to stabilize mentally and emotionally, there is a very good chance they will return to active addiction soon after discharge.


Addiction is a chronic, progressive illness, so for best outcomes, an individual needs long-term treatment care and recovery support. Many people, patients and families alike, believe that they will be “okay” if they can just stop actively using drugs and/or drinking. However, most individuals can tell this isn’t the case if they honestly and accurately examine their past history with substances.  Detox is a vital first step in the process of treatment and recovery, but it is just that- a first step.


Here at Innovo Detox, we believe it is our place to be that vital first step in treatment and recovery for the patients and families in our care. We also believe it is imperative that once detoxed and stabilized, we help the patient prepare for and engage in important aftercare initiatives that include ongoing treatment, therapy, supportive living environment, and recovery support. Therefore, we believe patients that come to Innovo Detox must be safely, effectively, and comfortably detoxed from drugs and alcohol, but also be mentally and emotionally stabilized. This allows them to be coherent and centered, and able to choose appropriately how to support themselves in their next steps of treatment and recovery. We believe that 7 days is an appropriate clinical timeline for detox as a minimum, often with patients needing a longer timeline that can extend to 10 days or even 14, depending on their using history, types of substances being used, and health and medical needs. This time allows them to detox fully from all substances, become mentally and emotionally stable, and then take their important next steps in treatment support and a sustainable journey of addiction recovery.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at