How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take in a Hospital?

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as 30% of American adults have struggled with alcohol abuse or dependency at some point in their lives. It’s a common and destructive problem that ruins countless lives every year. And even if you can’t see a way out of it, there are ways to overcome your addiction and reclaim your life. But getting sober must begin with detoxification. You have to allow your body the time it needs to clear the alcohol from your system and start to adjust to functioning without it. And you might need to go through alcohol detox in a hospital.

That’s because if you’re a heavy drinker, the detox process isn’t very pleasant. It can come with some uncomfortable or even dangerous symptoms that mean you’ll need medical supervision while you go through it. So you might have to go through detox in a hospital setting where qualified doctors and nurses can monitor your progress and help you if you need it. It’s the safest way to begin your recovery from alcohol addiction, and the first step toward an alcohol-free lifestyle. Here’s a bit about going through alcohol detox in a hospital. We’ll cover the types of symptoms you should expect, and how long you’ll have to deal with them in the hospital before you’ll be released.

Alcohol Detox in a Hospital

When you begin the detox process in a hospital, it will take some time before you have noticeable symptoms of withdrawal. For most people, early withdrawal symptoms begin between 4 and 8 hours after their last drink. The timing will vary based on your unique physiology and the amount of alcohol you regularly consume. If you haven’t been alcohol dependent for very long, your early symptoms might be quite minor. But your early symptoms will increase in severity the longer you go without consuming alcohol. The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Sweating and rapid pulse
  • Agitation, irritability, and anxiety
  • Headache and insomnia
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

The good news is that the severity of your withdrawal symptoms should peak around the second day after you’ve stopped consuming alcohol. And it is at that point in your hospital stay that the staff will be monitoring you the closest. They’ll be looking for any indication that you’re suffering from delirium tremens (DTs), which is the most severe – and dangerous – form of alcohol withdrawal. But it’s an outcome that only happens to between 3% and 5% of people going through alcohol withdrawal. Since DTs can cause seizures and other life-threatening complications, though, the hospital will stand ready to treat you as the need arises. And in most cases, your detox symptoms should subside by the fifth day of your stay in the hospital, whether you experience DTs or not. At that point, as long as you’re not suffering from any complications, you should be ready to leave the hospital.

Although the possibility of severe alcohol detox symptoms or DTs isn’t something you’re likely to look forward to, it’s something you have to face on your road to sobriety. And it’s emblematic of how much damage that alcoholism does to your body when left untreated. The important thing to realize is that the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more difficult your detox period will be. So the sooner you decide to take action, the better. And with skilled doctors and nurses by your side, you should feel confident that you’ll emerge from detox with a new lease on life, ready to meet your future head-on.

So if you’re struggling with alcohol addiction and need help, don’t wait another minute. We know what it takes to help you through your detox period safely and compassionately. All you have to do is call us today at 833-820-2922.

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and will help you decide if a hospital detox is right for you. And if it isn’t, we’ll help you figure out a treatment plan that works for you and that has the best odds of helping you succeed. We can provide you with the tools and resources you need to overcome your addiction and take back your life. The rest is up to you.