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What to Expect During the Alcohol Detox Process

Did you know that 14.5 million Americans over the age of 12 struggle with Alcohol Use Disorder? If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol use, you may be worried about the effects of alcohol detox and how long it takes.

Worry no more – you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the alcohol detox process, how to get through it, and how to help make it easier.

If you’re ready to learn how to brave the detox from alcohol, then keep reading.

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?

The amount of time it takes to detox from alcohol varies. If you only had an alcohol problem for a few months, then the process shouldn’t be long and will only be uncomfortable. However, if you’ve struggled with alcohol use for years, then it will be a longer, more painful process.

In addition to your drinking history, there are two other factors that can affect how long it takes you to detox from alcohol. These factors are how old you are and how much you weigh. 

Minor symptoms of alcohol detox begin showing up between two to six hours after your last drink. In a light drinker, these symptoms will typically peak in one to three days.

If you are a heavy drinker, however, it usually takes about a week for the detoxification to run its course. In some cases, you may experience persistent withdrawal symptoms that can last for a month or even longer. Fortunately, persistent withdrawal symptoms are fairly rare.

It’s important to remember that this process is different for everyone. Eventually, though, the withdrawal symptoms will abate. Once you have finished withdrawing from alcohol, then your body will be allowed to process and heal from any damage done.

Alcohol Detox Process

Alcohol detox is the first step in recovering from alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. Alcohol detox is the process of your body flushing all alcohol out of its system. As stated previously, the time that takes varies from person to person depending on several factors.

The first six to twelve hours of symptoms tend to be mild. After twenty-four hours, the symptoms will become increasingly severe. Days two and three tend to be the worst.

From days three to seven, the various withdrawal symptoms will come and go. This is the most dangerous timeframe, when people are at the most risk for delirium tremens.

After one week, symptoms will begin to taper off. Any symptoms that are leftover tend to be mild and can be treated with medication.

The overall process of alcohol detoxing isn’t pleasant, but medication can be given if needed at any time.

After alcohol detox, your body can begin to repair the damage to it that was caused by drinking. The body’s ability to heal itself is incredible. You will notice a remarkable difference in your body the longer you go without drinking.

This is mainly in your vascular system. If cirrhosis hasn’t set in, however, your liver can even begin to heal. 

Signs of Withdrawal

When it comes to alcohol detox and withdrawal, there are many different symptoms people can experience. They can range from mild to severe. When detoxing from alcohol, it is important to get medical attention in case anything serious happens.

About six hours after your first drink, you will begin to experience mild symptoms. These include anxiety, shaky hands, insomnia, sweating, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. 

If you are a heavy drinker, you might experience more serious symptoms beginning 24 to 48 hours after your last drink. In addition to the symptoms already listed worsening, you can also experience hallucinations or seizures. 

Delirium tremens, or DTs, start 48 to 72 hours after your last drink. Only five percent of people experience these, but symptoms include fevers, extreme agitation and confusion, and vivid hallucinations. 

Delirium tremens are among the more life-threatening symptoms that can occur, but the other symptoms listed are also worthy of medical attention. 

It’s important to make sure that you or your loved one doesn’t go through the detox process alone. You should have access to all the help you need, whether it is in the form of medical attention or emotional support.

How to Help With Alcohol Detox

If you or a loved one are looking at cutting alcohol out of your life, one of the easiest ways to help with the detox is to get checked into alcohol rehab in Ventura County. 

At Altitude Recovery, we offer an alcohol detox program that can provide a safe and supervised setting for those wishing to cut alcohol out of their lives. You can begin your journey to recovery in a tranquil and comfortable environment.

When you first arrive, you will undergo a thorough assessment. Our experts will create a personalized detox plan that factors in your medical history, mental health, substances you are detoxing from, and overall health.

Being honest during your assessment will keep you safe and well cared for during your time at our center.

Reach Out to Us

Now that you know more about alcohol detox, you can determine if you or your loved one needs more support during the process. If this is the case, then you should consider contacting us. 

We can assist with the alcohol detox process, help with treatment, and form aftercare planning. If you have questions or concerns, we can assist with those as well. 

To reach out to us, all you need to do is fill out the form! We’ll get back to you promptly.