How long is alcohol detox?

Asking for help with a drinking problem is not an easy thing to do. First, you have to decide to stop drinking. Then, you have to show a willingness to admit that you actually have a problem. If you can do those two things, it would make actually asking for help a lot easier. When you are ready to seek help, you will hopefully recognize there is only one viable path to recovery from alcoholism.

That path leads right through the front door of a reputable drug and alcohol addiction treatment center like ours. Please don\’t waste your time looking for other options. The numbers just don\’t indicate anything else is going to be as effective as rehab. At the point you decide to stop drinking, you will immediately be confronted by a series of withdrawal symptoms.

The type and severity of withdrawal symptoms you might encounter will depend on several factors, including:

  • The length of time you have been abusing alcohol
  • The amount of alcohol you consume in a day
  • The frequency of your drinking
  • The outlying circumstances surrounding your drinking problem

Assuming your drinking problem tilts more towards the significant side, you are assured of having to go through withdrawal. The worse your drinking problem is, the worse you can expect your withdrawal symptoms to be.

As a point of reference, here are some very common withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol abuse:

  • Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Confusion and loss of ability to concentrate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and heavy sweating
  • Onset of delirium tremens, or DTs for heavy drinkers
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Tremors in the extremities

As you can see, some of these symptoms can be quite alarming. That is why so many alcoholics go through a medically monitored detox program before they start treatment. They need the time and opportunity to get safely past their cravings and withdrawal symptoms with a minimum of pain and discomfort.

Staying on the topic of withdrawal, you might be wondering just how long it might take you to detox off alcohol. In the following section, we will address that very important question.

How Long is Alcohol Detox

The quick answer to the titled question for a significant drinking problem would be 5 to 7 days. For a severe drinking problem, the detox process could take up to three weeks. To better understand the length of the process, here is a typical alcohol detox timeline:

8 to 24 hours; During this time, you would begin to experience nausea and vomiting. You might also find yourself sweating a lot more than you normally would. Other symptoms you might encounter during the first day of sobriety would be irritation, headaches, and insomnia.

24 to 72 hours: This is what they refer to as the danger zone. This is the timeframe in which your blood pressure and heart rate would be shooting up and breathing problems might start kicking in. Towards the end of the third day, you might encounter hallucinations, the DTs, anxiety, depression, and confusion.

73 to 96 hours: If things are going to get worse, it will be on days 4 and 5. Any symptoms like visual or auditory hallucinations, seizures, disorientation, and impaired attention will require great scrutiny.

After 96 hours: After about 5 days, your mind and body should start feeling better. You won\’t quite be all of the way out of the woods, but you should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If your drinking problem is severe, you can toss this timeline out the window. It is very likely you would need to go through some kind of a tapering detox program that could take as long as three weeks to clear.

A medical professional would point you in this direction if they felt a normal detox process was too risky given the depth of your drinking problem. While detox might sound a bit scary at this point, you can rest easy knowing we can keep you safe during the entire detox process. What we would really like to see is you reaching out to us for treatment of your addiction. If you will take a moment and call us at 833-820-2922, we would be happy to tell you about our detox and addiction treatment programs.

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