How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?

When you have been drinking alcohol for some time and then suddenly stop, you should always expect to experience quite a few withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can start within just a couple of hours to a few days of your last drink, depending on your weight, age, and drinking history. If you haven’t been drinking for a long time, your withdrawal symptoms may be mild and simply uncomfortable. But if your alcohol abuse has been going on for a long time, your symptoms could be painful and even life-threatening.

If you have been abusing alcohol, you should never attempt to detox on your own. You may think that your symptoms are mild enough not to require professional care, but you never know what might happen during this period. Inpatient care is a good idea while you detox so you can be monitored for any problems that may occur.

What will happen during detox? How long does alcohol detox last? Where can I get help? We’re here to answer these questions and more.

What Symptoms Can I Expect?

When you will start feeling symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will depend on a few factors, according to experts. These include:

• Your age
• Your weight
• Your tolerance
• How long you have been drinking

What symptoms you experience will again depend on the above factors. The following are the more common symptoms you can expect to have if you have a mild to moderate alcohol problem:

• Shakiness
• Anxiety and nervousness
• Irritability
• Exhaustion
• Feeling depressed
• Mood swings, often violent
• Feeling foggy
• Trouble sleeping
• Weight loss

While many of these symptoms seem relatively easy to deal with, it is still a much better idea to have professional help nearby as you go through detox. If you have been drinking heavily for years, you may experience more intense symptoms, such as:

• Extreme confusion and agitation
• Fever
• Seizures
• Hallucinations
• Delirium tremens
• Rapid breathing
• High blood pressure
• Hand tremors

Heavier drinkers should always seek medical intervention before attempting a detox. You may need to be monitored day and night during the worst of your symptoms.

How Long Will Detox Last?

If you are a light to moderate drinker, your symptoms can appear within two to six hours after you have taken your last drink. They will then usually peak within the next few days before gradually diminishing. However, a heavy drinker may experience symptoms for a week or more. Again, these symptoms will depend on your age, weight, physical health, and length of alcohol abuse. What happens to one person during detox won’t necessarily happen to you, so always make sure you have professional help to get you through the worst of the storm.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

The first couple of days of detox will center on the physical symptoms of withdrawal. The second stage is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. During this particular time, your physical symptoms will start to get better, but you’ll start having more emotional ones day after day. These can include:

• Anxiety
• Mood swings
• Fatigue
• Loss of enthusiasm
• Trouble sleeping
• Irritability
• Variable energy and concentration

These problems happen as your brain chemistry begins to return to normal. In the very beginning of detox, you will often experience changing symptoms minute to minute or hour to hour. When your brain functioning begins to improve, you’ll experience good moods more often. Post-acute withdrawal can last for two years for some patients. The longer you are in recovery, the less each episode will last. During rehab, you’ll learn how to deal with your ever-changing emotions in a healthier way.

Why Rehab is a Must

Alcohol detox is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to alcohol abuse. Once you are through the worst of the symptoms it’s important to begin the mental healing process. Staying in a residential inpatient center will give you the time you need to come to terms with your alcoholism and create new, healthier habits. You’ll fight your disease head-on with a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, and new friends you’ll make during your stay.

You’ll challenge your alcohol addiction physically and emotionally in the right rehab program. Your time will be spent attending private and group therapy sessions as you learn to navigate your world without alcohol. Your therapists will help you understand what triggers you to want to drink and what you can and should do instead.

Call Our Center Now

Don’t try to detox on your own. You can reach us at 833-820-2922 to learn more about alcohol detox and what to expect.