Addiction Treatment

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?

Written By:

Becky Babb

Woman wondering how long does alcohol detox last

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can sneak up on you. One day, you wake up to the shakes and never really thought of yourself as having a drinking problem. Now, you want to quit using. How long does alcohol detox last?

Is It Safe to Quit Drinking Cold Turkey?

It’s not safe to do it alone. Alcohol is one of the drugs that have potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms. Examples include seizures and delirium tremens. Although not everyone experiences them, it’s safest to undergo a medically supervised detoxification at an alcohol detox center.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Alcohol Detox Program?

At most facilities, detoxification for alcohol takes about five to seven days. Within a week, you can break the physiological hold the drug has on you. Doctors work with you to minimize discomfort. Typical treatments include:

  • Around-the-clock monitoring of your vitals during the withdrawal process
  • Medication-assisted treatment that reduces pain and lets you manage cravings easier
  • Nutritional guidance as a way to respond to your body’s needs for carbohydrates with healthy choices
  • Massage therapy, which helps you relax and reduces tension
  • Psychotherapy that serves as the backdrop for addiction education, goal-setting, and recovery planning

What is the Typical Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline?

How long does alcohol detox last for the average person? Everyone’s different. At the detox center, they’ll typically ask you to stay for the full seven days. Doing so ensures that you leave healthy and without side effects.

Of course, you might make it through the withdrawal faster than that. It depends on your overall health. Secondly, your race, gender, weight, and the length of time you abused alcohol play a role. Typically, there are three stages to the timeline that include:

  • Shaking hands, nervousness, gastrointestinal upset, and sweating after six to eight hours without alcohol
  • Blood pressure fluctuations, racing heart rate, and occasional confusion after 24 to 48 hours without alcohol
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations, possible seizures, and the risk of delirium tremens at 72 to 96 hours without alcohol

By day five, the body usually regains equilibrium. This means that the brain no longer tries to compensate for the nervous system depressant that isn’t there anymore. Therefore, your most significant challenges now are the cravings. Because you don’t focus on this aspect of dependency, your next stop should be rehab.

What Happens after the Seven Days of Alcohol Detox?

You wake up without the withdrawal symptoms. It’s a great feeling not to have to reach for a drink to make them go away. However, you still think about drinking. When things get difficult, you think about having a drink to relax.

Because you significantly decrease your carbohydrate intake, you now have junk food cravings. If you give in to these cravings, you may gain weight. Reach for healthy carbs that don’t pile on the pounds. Similarly, enter rehab to deal with psychological addiction.

How long does alcohol detox last in your case? Connect with The Last Resort Recovery today to find out.

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