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What is the Timeline to Detox from Alcohol?



What is the Timeline to Detox from Alcohol?

Alcohol use in the United States is more than just a fun night out, often it leads to addiction, which leads to the timeline of alcohol detox.

The risks of developing an alcohol use disorder are more than you might realize.

The issue is what happens when you attempt to quit.

If you have alcohol dependence and you suddenly quit drinking, the timeline of alcohol detox begins.

These are the symptoms associated with an alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

It is important to go through medical detox, in order to comfortably go through your timeline of alcohol detox.

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Understanding Alcohol Abuse

Most adults drink in the United States, with 70% reporting drinking within the past year.

The dangers come with binge drinking, as more than 65 million people admit to current binge drinking, and around 14.5 million have an alcohol use disorder.

An alcohol use disorder is also known as alcohol dependence.

This is common, as well as the timeline of alcohol detox that comes along with it.

These developments associated with problematic drinking behavior are common, and you may even experience alcohol withdrawal after one night of drinking, known as a hangover.

The timeline of alcohol detox is a potentially distressing set of both mental and physical symptoms.

These occur because you have quit or slowed your drinking, but it can also occur after less drinking, following a period of heavy or prolonged use.

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Alcohol Withdrawal

If you have developed an alcohol dependence after a period of heavy and prolonged drinking, then you may begin the timeline of alcohol detox. This can start anytime from a few hours to several days after you stop drinking.

Your symptoms can vary, but it has been estimated that more than 80% of those with an alcohol use disorder will experience withdrawal after being hospitalized. Acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs because of the change in brain chemistry that you experience.

When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain and nervous system may become temporarily hyperexcitable, which can lead to:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures


Severe Symptoms

You may also suffer from severe symptoms which can include high fevers, hallucinations, seizures, and severe mental confusion. Severe or complicated alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, so you should go to a hospital to participate in medical detox.

Often these severe symptoms require medication such as benzodiazepines to minimize seizure risks during the withdrawal period. Medical detox is able to keep your timeline of alcohol detox symptoms at bay and keep you as comfortable as possible.

Who is at Risk For Alcohol Withdrawal?

The more you drink, the more likely you are to experience alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal occurs most commonly in adults, but adolescents and teenagers may also be at risk if they are heavy drinkers. Other factors that may influence the severity of your alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Underlying medical or psychiatric condition, known as a dual diagnosis
  • The length you have been abusing alcohol
  • How much you drink
  • How often you use it
  • If you have ever suffered from alcohol withdrawal complications, such as seizures


What is the Timeline of Alcohol Detox?

The alcohol detox time frame is different for everyone. Your alcohol detoxification timeline will depend on a few factors, such as your level of physiological alcohol dependence. There are three main stages of withdrawal

  • Stage 1: This stage is mild. Symptoms may include headache, insomnia, anxiety, hand tremor, gastrointestinal disturbances, and heart palpitations.
  • Stage 2: Known as the moderate state, it will include any symptoms included in Stage 1, as well as increased blood pressure or heart rate, confusion, mild hyperthermia, and rapid abnormal breathing.
  • Stage 3: Symptoms in this stage are severe, and include Stage 2 symptoms, as well as visual or auditory hallucinations, seizures, disorientation, and impaired attention.

Without treatment by a healthcare professional, some people can progress from Stage 2 to Stage 3 rapidly.

Timeline of Alcohol Detox

While the timeline for alcohol withdrawal is different from person to person, there are a few factors that weigh into it. This includes the average quantity and duration of heavy drinking behavior, as well as any presence of physical and mental health issues. The general symptom timeline of alcohol detox may look like this:

6-12 Hours

Up to 12 hours after your last drink, the mild symptoms of early withdrawal will begin to set in. This includes headache, anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and stomach problems.

24 Hours

After one day has gone by, you may have started to experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations.

24-72 Hours

There are various symptoms at this point that may have peaked or began to level off. It should feel as though your timeline of alcohol detox has resolved slightly. Despite this, you are still at risk for seizure risks within the 24-48 hour period. This is important that you have close monitoring and seizure prophylaxis.

Withdrawal delirium is known as Delirium Tremens and may appear from 48-72 hours after drinking has stopped.

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Delirium Tremens

You may experience a condition known as delirium tremens. This is a very severe, and potentially-fatal presentation of alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms of delirium tremens will be seen within four days of the start of your timeline of alcohol detox, but can develop later than this. When these symptoms are left untreated the conditions can grow worse. These symptoms might include:

  • Severe confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Increased fear or excitement
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Body tremors
  • Seizures

In five to ten percent of cases, delirium tremens can cause death. Treatment for this will involve laboratory evaluation, frequent vital sign checks, along with serial mental status evaluation, IV fluids, adequate nutrition, and other supportive care. This will all take place in the timeline of alcohol withdrawal.


Treatment After the Timeline of Alcohol Detox

There are many different literature and research points that show fostering patient readiness for entry into substance abuse treatment as one of the three main goals of the detox process. Despite this, detox is no substitute for comprehensive rehabilitation services. Ongoing support is essential if you hope to achieve long-term recovery

There are various treatment approaches and settings when it comes to the timeline of alcohol detox. It is essential to find ongoing support if you hope to recover fully. Options for treatment in the timeline of alcohol detox include.

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, known as CBT
  • Therapeutic varieties including family therapy
  • 12-step meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Participation with other mutual support groups

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Looking For Help During Your Timeline of Alcohol Detox

If you are struggling to achieve sobriety or looking to begin a medical detox, admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Resurgence Behavioral Health has a number of facilities that can help offer you the medical expertise and support you need.

Especially if you are without a support system, we can help you go through the alcohol withdrawal process, surrounded by medical staff.

You do not need to do this alone.

Contact us today to learn about treatment information, our free insurance verification for treatment, or to enter a substance abuse program.

There is no day but today to get healthy.

Alexa Iocco

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