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Tennessee Detox Centers

What Is Drug Detox in Tennessee?

Drug detox, or medical detoxification, is the process of removing drugs from a person's body and managing the resulting symptoms. 

Generally, this procedure occurs in a clinical setting, under the supervision of doctors and other professionals who administer drugs to manage the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Besides using medications, rehab specialists also provide clients with the psychological support they need to go through drug detox. 

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is responsible for licensing and regulating drug and alcohol detox facilities.

Why Complete Detox?

Dependence happens with repeated use of drugs. At this stage, the body cannot function properly without those substances. Worse still, attempting to stop taking them without professional help results in a spectrum of unpleasant symptoms. In severe cases, such a DIY attempt may result in a medical emergency.

A medically-supervised detox, however, provides the support a person needs to recover safely. More importantly, it also reduces the chances of relapsing later. 

Meanwhile, how fast a person becomes dependent on a drug depends on several factors like their health, the nature of the drug, and how they use it. These factors also influence how long it takes to drug detox. 

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Drugs in Tennessee?

Detox in Tennessee takes an average of x days, per the 2019 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). 

However, this time does not apply to everyone because people face addiction differently. So, Tennessee drug detox centers design programs lasting from three days to two weeks. The time for a detox program should be long enough to help clients reach a state where they are no longer dependent on drugs to function. 

How long a person will spend in drug detox will depend on various factors like:

The Type of Drug

The body clears off substances at different rates based on the drug's half-life. Here are the withdrawal timelines for common drugs that cause addiction: 

  • Opioids: These include Codeine, Oxycodone, Heroin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Methadone, and Opium. Opioids are highly addictive, but withdrawal does not cause life-threatening symptoms. Opioids could be short-acting or long-acting. Detox from short-acting opioids like morphine and heroin last about four to ten days. On the other hand, detox from long-acting opioids like methadone or extended-release formulation could take 10 to 20 days.
  • Stimulants: Examples include Adderall, Cocaine, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, and Ritalin. These drugs have their detox timelines but typically last for about five days.
  • Benzodiazepines: These are mostly prescription drugs for anxiety, epilepsy, and insomnia. Examples are Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan. Detox from benzos takes a long period, with acute withdrawal symptoms lasting up to two weeks. 
  • Barbiturates: These drugs were used as tranquilizers until benzodiazepines became popular. On average, detoxing from these drugs takes seven to 14 days.
  • Hallucinogens: These are drugs that alter the perception of reality. The common members are LSD, Phencyclidine (PCP), Ketamine, Peyote, and Psilocybin. Detox takes about three to seven days.
  • Cannabis: Commonly known as weed or Marijuana. Marijuana detox and withdrawal symptoms last about three weeks. 


The amount of substance used, frequency, and duration of use also determines the severity of dependence and how long drug detox will take. The more the amount and frequency of intake, the more time spent in detox.

Polydrug Use

Using more than one substance makes drug detox complex. Generally, persons who are addicted to more than one substance spend longer in detox. 


The body systems of younger individuals will be able to metabolize substances faster than older individuals. Also, older individuals are more likely to have comorbidities that require them to spend a longer time in detox.

Co-occurring disorders

A person with other mental or medical illnesses can have their symptoms worsen during withdrawal and require special care, causing them to spend a longer time detoxing. 

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol in Tennessee?

The length of time taken to detox from alcohol varies. It depends on the frequency and duration of heavy drinking, genetics, age, gender, and presence of co-occurring disorders.

Generally, withdrawal symptoms appear about six to 12 hours after the last drink, peak on the third day, and taper off in one week. However, in severe cases, patients can have prolonged or severe symptoms like delirium tremens, and alcohol detox may last up to two weeks or more. 

Alcohol detox happens in three stages: 

Stage One: Mild Withdrawal Symptoms (6 – 12 hours)

Symptoms are uncomfortable but mild. They include headache, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, hypertension, tremors, sweating, increased heart rate, and body temperature. Most patients begin to recover after this stage, but a few will move on to the next stage.

Stage Two: Hallucinosis and Withdrawal Seizures (12 – 48 hours)

The main symptoms in this stage are visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, mental confusion, and seizures.

Stage Three: Delirium Tremens (48 – 72 hours)

Only a small percentage of people experience this stage. But the intense withdrawal symptom can result in a medical emergency in people who do. Reported symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, shaky hands, and heart failure. 

The Detoxification Process at a Tennessee Drug Detox Center

Medical detoxification at Tennessee detox centers consists of three steps; evaluation, stabilization, and transitioning to rehab. Rehab specialists treat clients with compassion and dignity throughout the detox process. Family members, friends, and loved ones may often visit to show support and care. 


Evaluation or comprehensive assessment is a preliminary step that entails obtaining detailed mental health and medical histories of the client. Rehab specialists also collect information about the client's drug use habits, family, and social life. 

Furthermore, specialists do blood tests to identify and determine the level of alcohol and drugs in the client's body. This information, put together, helps the rehab team create an individualized detox plan for the client. 


This is the actual stage where drug detox begins. The rehab team gives the client a picture of what to expect in rehab. They also provide medication and psychological support as the client's body recovers from addiction and reaches a drug-free state. Many drug detox centers also use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) during the stabilization phase. 

Transitioning to Further Treatment 

Detox helps the body recover from addiction on the physical front but does little to help the client sustain lasting sobriety. This is where further treatment becomes important. 

So, in this stage, the rehab team encourages and helps the client choose a rehab program that will help them deal with the social, mental, economic, and behavioral impact of addiction. 

There are several treatment options, and all the necessary factors are considered in choosing the best fit. These options include inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient program, residential treatment, sober living homes, and mutual support groups.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Detox

Most drugs have similar withdrawal symptoms. The intensity or severity of symptoms depends on the duration of dependence.  

Opioids Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal is not usually life-threatening but is discomforting. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea, insomnia, muscle ache, lacrimation, sweating, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Stimulants Withdrawal Symptoms

Common stimulant withdrawal symptoms are depression, hallucination, impaired memory, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, suicidal ideation, and psychosis.

Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include psychosis, anxiety, panic attacks, palpitations, muscle stiffness, tremors, seizures, insomnia, and suicidal ideation.

Hallucinogens Withdrawal Symptoms

These include impaired memory, paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, aggressiveness, visual distortions, impaired memory, and suicidal ideation.

Cannabis or Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms include nausea, irritability, headache, moodiness, insomnia, decreased appetite, abdominal cramps, restlessness, tremors, sweating, depression, and cravings for Marijuana.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms are nausea and vomiting, shakiness, sweating, loss of appetite, agitation, restlessness, irritability, anxiety or nervousness, fast heart rate, tremor, confusion, headache, insomnia, high blood pressure, and seizure.

Can You Detox at Home in Tennessee?

Though not the best option, it is possible to detox at home. Drug and alcohol detox can take place in various settings. But to ensure safety and minimize the effects of withdrawal symptoms, addiction treatment specialists recommend detoxing under the care of trained professionals. 

Home Detox is Risky

Also, studies have shown that there is an associated risk of relapse with detoxing at home or quitting cold turkey because: 

  • People who detox at home risk overdose as their bodies lose tolerance for the drugs. 
  • Detoxing is not about willpower. Staying in the same environment that enabled drug use is ineffective since there is no supervision to prevent relapse when cravings become intense. 
  • Drug and alcohol detox symptoms can result in medical emergencies. And without prompt medical attention, an emergency can cause the quality of life a person lives to reduce.
  • Multiple failed attempts to detox at home can cause a person to give up completely on sobriety. 

Consider Ambulatory Detox Instead 

Ambulatory detox is a type of outpatient detox considered to be a safe and cost-effective alternative for individuals with mild to moderate addiction. This is better than just detoxing at home (quitting cold turkey).

Detox services are delivered in a treatment facility, an office, or in the patient's home, based on the treatment plan.

Not everyone is eligible for ambulatory detox. A person must meet certain criteria to qualify for ambulatory detox in Tennessee. For instance, the client should have no previous history of unsuccessful detox or co-occurring mental or medical disorders. Furthermore, a person considering ambulatory detox must have a support person for accountability as well as ready means of transportation in cases of a crisis. 

What Is Rapid Detox?

Rapid detox is an inpatient procedure in which a patient is sedated or put under general anesthesia while using medications that clear the body of drugs. The patient wakes up hours later without any drug in their system. 

The idea is to reduce withdrawal symptoms to the barest minimum since the individual is sedated and unaware and also hasten the transition from dependence to a drug-free state.

Rapid detox is a newer method compared to medical detox. Although it is quicker, most addiction treatment specialists do not recommend rapid detox because the risks far outweigh the benefits. There have been cases where rapid detox patients develop heart, breathing, and organ problems. 

Another reason to avoid rapid detox is the cost. Rapid detox requires sedation and more intensive care, making it more expensive. Also, insurance companies do not cover rapid detox, leaving clients to bear most of the cost. 

Steps After Tennessee Detox 

Although medically-supervised detox is a critical and compulsory step in recovery from addiction, it only cures the body of physical dependence. Craving and other symptoms of psychological dependence will take months to ease off.

Therefore, attempts at recovery must not end with medical detox, but rather detox will serve as the starting point of long-term recovery. Rehab manages the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of addiction. 

During rehab, the patient also learns alternative life coping skills and makes new friends that serve as support. Hence, it is in the client's best interest to continue with rehab or other treatment options. The various treatment options include:

Medication-Assisted Treatment

This is the use of medication and other therapeutic techniques to treat addiction. MAT is highly recommended for clients with opioid addiction. 

Inpatient Rehab 

This is usually intensive and takes place in a clinical setting. It entails admission into a health care facility, and the patient has to remain there for about thirty days and stays under the care of trained professionals. After inpatient rehab, patients could either proceed to a sober living house or go directly into outpatient treatment.

Outpatient Rehab

Clients come to the treatment centers to access rehab services and return to their homes afterward. It is cheaper, flexible, and less restrictive. Treatment depends on the client's schedule. And clients can enjoy the support of their family members and community while also receiving formal treatment.

Sober Living Homes 

Sober living homes are community-based alcohol and drug-free residences designed to ease the transition of newly sober individuals from formal rehab programs to society. Returning directly to the community after detox can be overwhelming, but sober living homes gradually prepare residents to reintegrate into society. It usually lasts up to 12 months. This long-term management makes recovery easier and ensures sustained sobriety.

Support Groups

There are mutual support groups and 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Being a member of these groups is necessary for motivation, accountability and ultimately, sustained sobriety.

Substance Abuse Treatment Detox Near Me in Tennessee

Do you or your loved one wish to seek detox centers in Tennessee? There are a few things to enquire about when seeking drug and alcohol detox centers. This includes how much medical care and supervision they provide, how long detox will take, recommendations or referrals for rehabilitation, payment options, and insurance coverage.

For cases of drug and alcohol intoxication, you can access detox services from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services through Medically Monitored Withdrawal Management Services (MMWM). The eligibility criteria are on their webpage, or you can call the Department at (615) 741-8518.

Help is also available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Call their helpline at (800) 662-4357 or use the treatment locator. The call is confidential and private. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to guide you through finding a suitable detox center.