If you or someone you love has decided that now is the time to do something about alcohol dependency, you are taking a great step. One of the things that scares people the most about going through the rehabilitation process is detox. You may have wondered, how long does alcohol detox last?
There is no straightforward answer. Each person and their experience with alcohol is unique, so their withdrawal and detox experience will also be unique. Some factors are going to influence how long detox takes. These include how long you have been drinking, how much you drink, and whether or not you have done the detox process before.
Most people will stop having symptoms of detox for five days after they have had their last drink. Some general guidelines could shed light on what you might expect going through the detox process.
Your situation or that of your loved one will vary, but you might face some general symptoms going through detox.
• At Six Hours – At this point, you start to feel minor withdrawal symptoms. If you have been a heavy drinker for a long time, you might start to experience more serious symptoms just six hours after you stop drinking.
• From 12 to 24 hours – At this point, people are going through alcohol withdrawal. They might begin to experience hallucinations and see things that are not there. This can be unnerving for the individual going through the experience and for their loved ones. However, most doctors don’t see this as a serious complication.
• From 24 to 48 hours – Minor symptoms may persist at this time. You or your loved one could have tremors, an upset stomach, and other types of discomfort. If you are only going through minor withdrawal, your symptoms could peak here and then start to decrease.
• From 48 to 72 hours – Individuals with severe alcohol withdrawal may experience what doctors refer to as delirium tremens. This is an alcohol withdrawal delirium. A person might experience an elevated heart rate, seizures, or increased body temperature.
• At 72 hours, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are typically at their worse. Most people experience a decrease in symptoms as the body begins to adapt to not having the substance.
Alcohol is a depressant. It causes a person to feel relaxed and euphoric. The body fights to maintain equilibrium. It starts to produce neurotransmitter receptors that serve to excite the central nervous system.
When you stop drinking and go through the detox process, you are taking alcohol away from the neurotransmitter receptors you originally had and those that were created in response to your increased alcohol intake. Your nervous system kicks into high gear, leading to symptoms like:
• Rapid heart rate
Don’t let the fear of detox stop you or someone you love from getting sober. Going through withdrawal from the substance is going to bring anxiety, sickness, and discomfort. The good news is that detox symptoms can be managed and controlled. Knowing this can alleviate the fear and help you come off victorious.
When you visit a rehab center, you will be evaluated to establish a baseline for care. Once this is done, you will be given the right type of treatment for your needs and monitored by caring professionals who will help you go through the detox process with the minimum amount of discomfort. The goal is to help you get better while maintaining your dignity.
Detox can last for up to a week. During this time, your body can rest, adjust, and regain strength. If you stick to it, you can be sure that gradually your detox symptoms will diminish. Soon, you will start to feel strong enough to take the next steps on your journey to rehab and recovery.
Attempting go through the detox process alone can be dangerous. If you have been addicted to alcohol for years and are accustom of drinking heavily, you may experience serious symptoms that could be potentially life-threatening. If you or someone you love is experiencing withdrawal symptoms or attempting to self-detox, it is time to get help.
The best way to address alcohol abuse and the detox process is to work with professionals and seek professional treatment. Sobriety from alcohol can be a challenging journey. But it is a journey that you can complete successfully if you are supported by the right resources, education, and people who are committed to your success.
Ready to get started? Call us today at 424-499-2603. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.