Making the decision to enter detox and go through alcohol withdrawal can be scary, intimidating and even stressful. This decision is the right one for your future and the future of everyone you love. Alcoholism has far-reaching negative effects that can be repaired. The beginning of that repair and renewal of your life begins with a quality alcohol detox program facing the alcohol withdrawal timeline.
Facing Your Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
If you are nervous in anticipation of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, you should first think about how much better your life will be after entering a detox center. The short period of time you invest in the detox process is infinitely more worthwhile than investing that time in drinking. After all, drinking has likely taken a severe toll on your personal and professional life. The exhaustion you feel in coming to this recovery decision will soon be forgotten when you feel healthy and vibrant again.
Get to know what to expect in detox. By doing so, you can be more prepared for the days ahead. After all, knowledge is power. The power of understanding what you will go through can lead to finding suitable alcohol treatment centers, one that will help you enter recovery comfortably.
Not everyone experiences alcohol withdrawal the same way. You may experience a less severe form of withdrawal than people you know. Or you could go through a harder time. How your body experiences this process is based on many factors.
Factors relating to how you experience alcohol withdrawal include:
- Current health
- Presence of other conditions, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD
- Family history
- Stress level
- Length of time you’ve been drinking
- Amount you typically drink
- How often you drink
- Whether you used other substances, in addition to alcohol
Believe it or not, attitude also plays a strong role in how you feel during detox. A positive state of mind can help you get through the alcohol withdrawal timeline more easily. How do you get to a positive state of mind? Simply think about your sober future and what you want to do with your life after reaching recovery.
What to Remember As You Detox
When someone drinks alcohol, a brain chemical called dopamine becomes elevated. Dopamine is responsible for “reward” feelings, such as pleasure. Dopamine boosts your mood, makes you feel more confident and reduces inhibitions. This is why, when you first started drinking, you felt powerful, upbeat and outgoing.
As time has progressed, your brain has relied more and more on alcohol for feelings of pleasure. Your body became dependent on drinking and you stopped feeling good without alcohol. This is how and why you fell into the cycle of drinking that you are in. It is also why your world may seem a bit colorless at this time.
When you go through alcohol withdrawal, you will feel worse at first. Your body must adapt to not having your favorite drinks. You will likely feel sick. The key to getting through this timeline is in knowing that you are rebuilding your health and sobriety and that things do get better through detox, one step at a time.
The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
There are three primary phases of the alcohol withdrawal timeline. These are defined by the symptoms you may experience. It is important to remember that you will not likely go through all of these symptoms. What you will feel will be unique to your addiction, body, and state of mind.
The three phases of alcohol detox are:
- Phase One, Mild Withdrawal: Anxiety, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, poor appetite, fatigue, insomnia, depression, foggy thoughts, swinging moods, heart palpitations and tremors.
- Phase Two, Moderate Withdrawal: Higher blood pressure, respiration and temperature, irregular heartbeat, confusion, irritability, sweating and increased mood disturbance.
- Phase Three, Severe Withdrawal: Hallucinations, seizures, extreme confusion, agitation and fever.
The most severe type of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens (DTs). Only about three to five percent of people in the alcohol detox and rehab experience this level of withdrawal. This type of withdrawal can be fatal if left untreated. This is also why it is so important to be surrounded by addiction treatment specialists during detox.
A rough alcohol withdrawal timeline can give you an idea of what you will likely experience. Remember that you are unique and your experience will be unique, as you consider what detox will involve.
About eight hours after your last drink:
You will enter the alcohol withdrawal timeline. You should be in your professional detox facility at this point. The staff of your facility will be ready to help you remain comfortable, nourished, hydrated and aware of your condition from here forward.
Between 24 and 72 hours after your last drink:
Your symptoms will reach their highest level during this timeframe. You will likely experience some of Phase Two and Phase Three symptoms listed above. These symptoms may start rapidly. Your addiction specialists can help you get through the symptoms with methods specific to the facility. Methods may include the use of medications to help you feel better.
Five to seven days after your last drink:
You will start feeling much better. The symptoms will taper and decrease. You can really start envisioning your brighter future at this point. You will likely start feeling less stress and more positive feelings, including being proud of yourself for detoxing.
After the first week following your last drink:
You may still have some minimal side effects of withdrawal. However, these are much easier to get through. Most people feel more psychological effects at this point and fewer physical symptoms like nausea and sweating. You may start getting ready for the next phase of your recovery.
A professional detox facility will monitor your condition from the beginning to the end of detox. They will help you gain stability and may treat symptoms like nausea, dehydration, insomnia, and seizures with medications approved by the FDA for those purposes. Going through detox is a team effort. Along with your facility’s professional staff, you will never be alone during the withdrawal timeline.
Serenity House Detox Helps You Comfortably Achieve Sobriety
The beginning of your journey back into sobriety starts at Serenity House Detox. With two locations in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida, Serenity House Detox provides patients like you with a small, cozy environment in which to begin your life again.
If you or someone you love are ready to stop cycling through alcohol addiction and want to regain control of your life, a Ft. Lauderdale residential detox center could be the answer. Call 866-294-5306. You do not have to go through withdrawal alone. Serenity House Detox is ready to help.