How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol?

By Midwest Detox Staff

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If you’ve been drinking for a long time, the idea of going through alcohol detox is probably pretty scary. Knowing that you will be going through something deeply uncomfortable and potentially fatal can be unsettling. And not knowing how long it will last is just one more worry. In this blog, we look at exactly how long it takes to detox from alcohol and the stages involved, so you have one less thing to concern you.

In This Article
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    What is a Medical Detox From Alcohol?

    Alcohol detox, or medical detoxification, is the process of withdrawing safely and gradually from alcohol use. It involves close monitoring by healthcare professionals who can ensure that you remain comfortable during the withdrawal period and are provided with any medications and nutritional supplements you may need. The goal of detoxing from alcohol is to enable individuals to become physically, mentally and emotionally stable so they can continue on with treatment for their AUD.

    What Happens When You Detox From Alcohol?

    When your body begins to rid itself of the toxins associated with alcohol use, dramatic changes take place. Detoxing from alcohol can be a difficult process and it is important to have the support of medical professionals who understand what you are going through.

    When you detox from alcohol there are many positive health effects on the body, such as improved liver function, clearer thinking and improved energy levels. Also, once your body has rid itself of the toxins associated with alcohol, mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety may lessen.

    Alcohol Detox Timeline

    The length and severity of an individual’s detox will depend on how long they have been drinking, the amount of alcohol consumed, any pre-existing medical conditions and other factors. Generally speaking, the alcohol detox timeline typically consists of three stages.

    Stage 1

    The first of the stages usually lasts between 6 and 12 hours after your last drink. During this time, you may start to experience alcohol detox symptoms such as tremors, fatigue, headache and nausea. It is during this time that medical professionals will assess your individual needs and begin providing supportive care.

    Stage 2

    This stage usually begins 24-48 hours after your last drink and lasts for up to 7 days. During this time, more severe alcohol detox symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and difficulty sleeping may be experienced. Medical professionals at a detox center will monitor you closely to ensure you are as comfortable as possible and provide any medications or supplements that might be needed.

    Stage 3

    This stage typically begins 7-10 days after your last drink and can last up to a few weeks. During this time, you may still experience some alcohol detox symptoms, though they should begin to decrease in intensity. At this point, the danger of withdrawal is over, and the medical professionals' role is to keep you as comfortable as possible.

    What Happens After Detox?

    Once an individual has successfully completed alcohol detox, the next step is to begin treatment for AUD. This absolutely cannot be done before you have completed detox, though. If you are still drinking all the time, it is impossible to do the necessary work involved which will mean that you can achieve life-long sobriety. It all starts with detox!

    How An Alcohol Detox Center Helps You Detox

    Detoxing from alcohol is a difficult process, and many people are unable to safely complete it on their own. That’s why an alcohol detox center can help you stay safe during the withdrawal period and provide any medications or supplements that may be necessary. Detox centers offer a safe, comfortable environment and provide 24/7 medical supervision to ensure that you are as physically and mentally stable as possible.

    When you enter an alcohol detox center, the first step is to complete a physical assessment so that medical professionals can assess your individual needs. This includes checking your vital signs, blood levels, hydration status and other factors. Detox centers also provide nutritional supplements to help replenish the body with essential nutrients, as well as any medications that may be necessary for symptom management or reducing the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens.

    Once you have completed detox, you will be referred to an alcohol rehab program or support group to help you address any underlying psychological and behavioral issues associated with your drinking. This may include individual and group counseling, 12-step programs, medication-assisted treatment and other interventions.

    Risks of Delirium Tremens

    Delirium tremens (DTs) is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal characterized by confusion, agitation, hallucinations and seizures. It can be a life-threatening condition if not treated quickly, so it is important to seek medical help immediately if you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of DTs.

    Individuals who attempt to quit drinking on their own are at an increased risk for developing delirium tremens due to the lack of medical supervision and support. Detox centers can provide 24/7 monitoring, medications and supplements to reduce the risk of DTs, as well as help address any underlying psychological or behavioral issues that may be contributing to your drinking habits.

    Risks of Alcohol Withdrawal Seizure

    Alcohol withdrawal seizures occur when an individual suddenly stops drinking after a period of heavy alcohol use. Seizures can be dangerous and may result in serious physical injury or death if not treated immediately.

    Individuals who attempt to quit drinking on their own are at a higher risk for experiencing seizures due to the lack of medical supervision and support. Detox centers can provide 24/7 monitoring, medications and supplements to reduce the risk of alcohol withdrawal seizures.

    Risks of Relapse

    Relapse is when an individual returns to drinking after a period of abstinence. It is a common occurrence in individuals recovering from AUD, with approximately 40-60% of people experiencing relapse at some point in their first year of sobriety. Individuals who attempt to detox at home are at an increased risk of relapse since they lack the necessary support and resources.

    Why Choose Midwest Detox For Your Alcohol Detox

    Midwest Detox can help you gain control of your life again. Our detox program is the best way to detox from alcohol and ensures that you will be kept safe and comfortable throughout the length of your alcohol detox. Our team of medical professionals will be there with you every step of the way through your alcohol detox, ensuring that your vital signs are monitored and that you feel cared for through every stage of your alcohol detox.

    If you would like more information on the Midwest Detox approach to alcohol detox, contact us now at 414-409-5200. We’re waiting for your call.