One of the first questions people starting recovery ask is “ How long does it take to detox from alcohol ?” The answer to this question depends on the severity of the addiction, the individual’s unique physical chemistry and how much they regularly drank. While some people recover from detox in just a few days, other individuals need about a week or two to get over most of the symptoms.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol at Home?
It is never a good idea to undergo detox alone. Alcohol detox is especially dangerous because of potential withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens, seizures and heart rate irregularities. While it is technically possible to detox at home in about a week, it is unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
What Are the Symptoms of Withdrawal?
Everyone is different, but many people experience similar withdrawal symptoms. Each person may experience some, none or all of the following symptoms:
- Changed mental function
- Feeling disorientated
- Intense fear
- Mood changes
- Manic behavior
- Problems focusing or concentrating
Detox Timeline: How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?
While every person is different, there is a general withdrawal timeline that people go through. About eight hours after the first drink, the individual begins the first stage of withdrawal. From 24 to 72 hours, symptoms tend to reach their peak and worsen. For most people, the symptoms will tend to decline after the first week.
Most people want to know, “How long does it take to detox from alcohol?”, but the more important question involves the symptoms that will be experienced. Depending on the severity of the addiction, individuals may just experience mild symptoms like a headache. In severe cases, they may suffer from seizures, delirium tremens or hallucinations.
During the acute withdrawal phase, people may experience tremors, seizures and a hyperactive autonomic nervous system. The risk of seizures and tremors will typically rise during the first 24 hours of detox before tapering off after 48 hours. Delirium tremens will normally peak at about 72 hours.
While symptoms may vary, many patients experience increased heart rate, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting. They may suffer from increased blood pressure. In addition, their body may be unable to regulate its temperature properly.
After the acute withdrawal phase, patients enter the early abstinence stage. During this stage, they may have problems sleeping. Mentally, individuals may experience a decreased mood and elevated anxiety. Mental anxiety or insomnia may continue for three to six weeks after quitting drinking.
From this point, individuals enter the protracted abstinence phase. During this stage, they may experience dissatisfaction for no apparent reason or anxiety. Negative events and stress may trigger a desire to drink again. It is important during this stage to continue getting support to prevent a relapse.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol at a Treatment Center?
It takes the same amount of time to detox from alcohol at a treatment center as it does at home. The main difference is the comfort and safety of detox. Professional alcohol detox and rehab centers monitor the entire detox process. Medical professionals are always on hand to make sure that withdrawal symptoms are managed safely.
During treatment, physical symptoms are monitored. If they are severe, medical staff members will help to alleviate the symptoms. Other treatments may be used to alleviate symptoms like dehydration, nausea, insomnia or seizures.
It is important to always detox at a professional facility. Quitting “cold turkey” is dangerous and can be fatal. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system and the brain. When alcohol use is stopped, it can cause the body to react in dangerous ways. Because of this, it is important to only be treated at a professional detox center.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol for Each Individual?
There are a number of factors that determine how long it takes each individual to detox from alcohol. On average, the entire process takes about 7 to 10 days at a treatment center. After detox, patients will often enter a 30 to 90 day rehab program. Each person’s experience can vary based on:
- The amount of alcohol they consumed regularly
- The length of the addiction
- The individual’s weight and age
- The type of drug(s) that they were addicted to
- The individual’s unique physical and mental chemistry
- The presence of other behavioral, physical or mental conditions
For personalized care, patients should seek out programs that offer individualized treatment. These individualized programs offer support for co-occurring conditions and the patient’s unique situation. In addition, an individualized program at alcohol treatment centers may also offer a holistic approach to treating the root causes of the addiction.
Getting Help With Detox
While there may be no specific answer to, “How long does it take to detox from alcohol?”, there are general guidelines that patients can expect. Detox facilities can help remove the individual’s physical dependence on drugs. Afterward, clients are prepared to start their long-term sobriety through rehabilitation programs and support groups.
Holistic detox centers can help individuals understand the processes that they are experiencing. They focus on early recovery by supporting withdrawal and identifying relapse triggers. If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, you are not alone. Patients can prepare for their addiction treatment through a quality detox in Florida. Serenity House Detox is that program. We want to help you find a new way to respond to life without alcohol, starting with detox. Dial 866-294-5306.