What To Expect During the Detox Process

Our 24/7 medical team provide safe, effective and caring detox from drugs and alcohol.

Detox by Specific Substance

Alcohol  | HeroinCocaine

Detox is a critical step in the recovery journey but for many people struggling with drug addiction, it poses a significant hurdle as past efforts to stop using drugs may have been hindered by the distressing physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. Understanding this struggle is vital in supporting those on their journey towards recovery.

All of our treatment services are compliant with Guidelines set by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and we are regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and inspected by Intertek ISO 9001.

Admission and Detox Process at Castle Craig

Arrival and Initial Assessment

Welcoming you to Castle Craig: Upon arrival at our detoxification centre, you will be greeted by one of our Admissions Managers who is part of the team that carried out your assessment and brought you into treatment. The Admissions Manager will introduce you to the nurses to begin your clinical assessment, which shapes your detoxification plan.

Medical Evaluation

  • Immediate Care and Medication: If the nurse has any concerns, you will be promptly referred to our Specialty Doctor who can administer medication to stabilise you before your evaluation.
  • Diagnostic Procedures: Early in the admissions process, a urine sample is collected for analysis. The doctor will then conduct a comprehensive review, which includes assessing your substance misuse and medical history and examining any relevant documents from your GP.
  • Physical Examination and Further Investigations: A physical examination is performed by the doctor, who may also recommend additional investigations, such as blood tests, to gain a complete understanding of your health status.
  • Once the doctor has completed the assessment you will be prescribed the appropriate medication if necessary.

Our Detox Specialists

Dr Peter McCann
Dr Peter McCann
Medical Director
Dr Brendan Sweeney
Dr Brendan Sweeney
Speciality Doctor
Dawn Dixon
Dawn Dixon
Head Nurse
Duncan Dewar
Duncan Dewar
Deputy Head Nurse

Orientation and Settling In


After your medical evaluation, the nurse will show you to your room. To ensure a safe and substance-free environment, the unpacking process is supervised. This allows us to ensure you haven’t inadvertently brought any substances into the unit.

We understand that the thought of detox can be stressful, however, medically supervised detox ensures the highest safety and patient comfort possible. Our team of fully trained medical staff work hard to ensure your safety and comfort at all times during this process.

Our Detox Programme

At Castle Craig, we provide a medically assisted drug detox, which means all patients are supervised by our clinical team in a controlled and comfortable setting. For patients who have developed a strong physical dependence on a substance, a medically assisted detox is essential.

Detoxing from substances including alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and delirium tremens. Medical supervision helps prevent and promptly address these complications and manage symptoms making the process safer and more comfortable. This process will differ for each patient, for example, someone detoxing from opioids will receive specific medications to ease physical withdrawal symptoms whereas someone detoxing from cocaine may not require medication at all.

The Importance of Safety and Efficacy

Safety is paramount during the drug detox process. The body can react unpredictably when deprived of a substance it’s become dependent on. Some withdrawal symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening. That’s why detoxing in a supervised setting like the Kurkird unit is always recommended, This way medical staff can monitor and intervene if necessary.

Efficacy during drug detox is pivotal in establishing a solid foundation for long-term recovery. A well-managed, supportive, and effective detox process not only ensures the patient’s safety and comfort but also significantly reduces the risk of relapse by addressing both the physical and psychological dimensions of addiction. The integration of medical care and psychological support during detox ensures that patients are holistically supported, laying the groundwork for in-depth healing and lasting sobriety.

How Long Does Detox Last?

The duration of your detox will vary depending on several factors, such as the substance used, the severity of the addiction and length of use, your physical health, and the presence of any co-occurring mental health disorders.

  1. Opiate/Opioid Detox: Withdrawal from opiates (like heroin) or opioids (like prescription painkillers) can last from a few days to over a week. Acute symptoms often peak within 72 hours.
  2. Benzodiazepine Detox: This can be a lengthy process and may last several weeks depending on the severity of your addiction. Due to the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, a gradual tapering off is often recommended.
  3. Stimulant Detox (Cocaine, Methamphetamine): The detox process for stimulants can last from a few days to a week, with the most intense symptoms typically occurring within the first few days.
  4. Marijuana Detox: Cannabis withdrawal symptoms are generally milder and can last for around one week or more, with some psychological symptoms persisting for longer.
  5. Polysubstance Detox: If you are addicted to multiple substances, the detox process can be more complicated and potentially longer.

It’s important to note that while the physical symptoms of detox may subside within a relatively short period, psychological and emotional symptoms can persist for longer. However, our team of consultant psychiatrists and therapists will work with you to help you cope with these symptoms and give you the tools you need to deal with the psychological factors that contribute to addiction.

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Our Clinical Team

Our team of dedicated detox specialists have extensive training in drug detoxification and are committed to guiding you through each step of this process. They understand the challenges that can occur during drug detox and are prepared with various techniques aimed at making your experience as comfortable as possible. Our team’s compassionate approach ensures you never feel alone or overwhelmed during this crucial period.

All of our treatment services are compliant with NICE Guidelines and we are regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and inspected by Intertek ISO 9001. Our therapists and medical professionals are highly qualified and experienced in substance misuse therapy and a wide range of therapies and many are registered with BACP or COSCA or have other qualifications in psychotherapy and mental health. Many have recovered from addiction themselves. Medical treatment at Castle Craig is overseen by our Medical Director, Dr Peter McCann, MBBS, MSc, MRCPsych.

What Happens After Detox?

Upon completing your drug detox at Castle Craig, you will then move into the main Castle to begin the therapeutic phase of treatment, which focuses extensively on psychological therapy. The detox process serves as the foundation for comprehensive healing. During this next stage, you will take part in various forms of evidence-based therapeutic interventions tailored to address the underlying psychological, emotional, and behavioural aspects of addiction. Our expert therapists will work closely with you to equip you with healthy coping strategies to help you maintain your recovery once you complete treatment.

Every patient is supported in their unique journey, ensuring that their path to recovery is sustainable.

Discover Recovery at Castle Craig

With over three decades of experience, Castle Craig has helped countless patients regain control of their lives. During detox, our patient’s comfort and safety are our utmost priority with personalised plans designed to cater to each person’s needs and circumstances.

Important Drug Detox FAQ’s

  • Can I Detox From Drugs at Home, and Is It Safe?

    Detoxing from home is not recommended because withdrawal from certain substances, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids, can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening medical complications. These require immediate professional intervention and attempting a home detox means you won’t have immediate access to the medical support you need to manage severe withdrawal symptoms effectively.

  • Will I Be Safe During My Detox Plan?

    Absolutely, your safety is our utmost priority at Castle Craig. We are committed to ensuring that every patient experiences a safe, secure, and supportive environment during the detoxification process. All our detox plans are designed and administered by a team of experts in addiction medicine. Our specialists possess extensive experience and knowledge, ensuring that your detox is as safe and comfortable as possible.

  • How Will I Feel During and After Detox?

    The experience of detox can vary from person to person as it is influenced by several factors such as the type and severity of the substance abuse, your physical and mental health, and your physiological responses to withdrawal

    During Detox you may experience some physical discomfort due to withdrawal symptoms like nausea, headaches, tremors, or sweating. Feelings of fatigue and low energy are also common, although energy levels can fluctuate. It’s not uncommon to experience mood swings, anxiety, or depression. After detox, as the body clears the substance, many patients experience an improvement in physical health and energy levels. Physical withdrawal symptoms typically begin to subside, though the timeline can vary.

    It’s important to note that psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, can persist for some time after the physical detox process.

  • What are Some of the Common Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?

    Drug withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the type of drug used, the duration and severity of use, and individual physiological factors. However, there are common symptoms that many PEOPLE experience during this phase, including both physical and psychological manifestations.

    Physical Symptoms include fatigue, sweating, nausea or vomiting tremors, headaches and muscle pain. Some of the most common psychological symptoms include intense cravings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, irritability and appetite changes.

  • Do You Provide Detox-Only Programmes?

    No, we do not offer detox-only programmes. We understand that people seeking recovery often inquire about detox-only programmes, hoping for a quick and efficient way to cleanse their bodies of substances of abuse. However, at Castle Craig, we know that a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment is needed, and while detoxification is a crucial first step in the recovery process, it is essential to understand that it addresses only the physical dependency on substances. Detox alone isn’t enough as it doesn’t address the mental health issues that contribute to your addiction and it doesn’t show you a new way to live your life, making relapse extremely likely.



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With a wealth of knowledge and services to help you regain control of your life, request a call-back from one of our professionals today. The choice you make today could change your life forever.

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