How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 15 million people in the US suffer from alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder. If you’ve become addicted to alcohol, you will likely suffer some withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop or cut back your intake of alcohol, but how long does alcohol detox take?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from feelings of depression and fatigue to more severe symptoms of fever and seizures. Alcohol detox is the first important step towards healing and recovery from these symptoms before the ongoing work of rehab and recovery can begin.
The amount of time you will need to complete a period of detox from alcohol use will differ for each individual. Cleansing your system of all alcohol toxins will depend on several different factors, such as how long you’ve been abusing alcohol, how much you’re drinking, and if you’ve been through detox or rehab in the past.
The exact symptoms experienced during alcohol withdrawal will also differ for everyone. Still, most alcohol detox symptoms follow a general timeline during which you can anticipate how long your period of alcohol detox will take.
How long does alcohol detox take? Below is an approximate timeline showing you what to expect during alcohol detox. The hours listed are the number of hours after you’ve had your last drink of alcohol.
You can expect to have some minor withdrawal symptoms six hours after your last drink. If you have a history of heavy drinking over a long period, there is a possibility of experiencing a seizure.
12 to 24 hours
Some individuals have hallucinations at this point during detox, meaning they might see or hear things that aren’t really there. This can be frightening, but medical practitioners don’t treat this as a serious symptom.
24 to 48 hours
During this period, you may continue to experience minor withdrawal symptoms. If your detox symptoms remain minor, these symptoms can peak at 18 to 24 hours and start to lessen after four to five days.
48 to 72 hours
Some people suffer a more severe form of withdrawal symptoms known as delirium tremens (DTs). This can lead to a very rapid heart rate, seizures, or high fevers.
After 72 hours
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms reach their peak by 72 hours after your last drink. The signs will be at their worst at this point. In some rare cases, moderate symptoms may continue to exist for 30 days, such as rapid heart rate and some hallucinations.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol drinking dampens your central nervous system, making you feel relaxed and happy. This, in turn, signals your brain to create more and more neurotransmitter receptors to stimulate your central nervous system in an attempt to keep your body in balance.
When you go through detox and quit drinking, you’ve stopped alcohol from attaching to those receptors and the receptors your body was creating to deal with the imbalances. This causes your nervous system to sort of go into an overdrive mode, causing these withdrawal symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
If you suffer from the more severe DTs, these are the alcohol withdrawal symptoms you might expect to experience:
- High body temperature
Alcohol Detox and Rehab at Resurgence
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we want to help you regain control of your life and overcome addiction so you can live a healthy, happy life without alcohol. When you detox from alcohol, the withdrawal symptoms can become quite unpleasant and sometimes even be severe enough to require medical intervention.
It’s essential to go through detox and rehab for alcoholism with professionals who can oversee your progress and know how to keep you comfortable and safe during this challenging period.
At Resurgence, we offer medical detox to help you through detox with as little unpleasantness as possible. Our customized treatment programs address your underlying issues that may have led to your addiction. You’ll heal and thrive at our beautiful retreat, where you can entirely focus on your recovery. Call us at (855) 458-0050 today to learn more.