How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

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within two days at home detox always results in relapse. professional detox and a medical detox program are essential for within two days

Detoxification from alcohol or drugs involves removing toxic substances from the body and treating withdrawal symptoms. Usually, detoxification takes three to 10 days. However, a more severe addiction might lengthen the detoxification process by weeks or months. Before beginning the process, you must know what to expect during detox.

There is more to detox than the initial withdrawal symptoms. It also involves cravings that last for several weeks beyond the initial phase of withdrawal. The detox duration also varies according to the type of substance used, the intensity of addiction, and how you consumed alcohol or drugs.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

The duration of an alcohol detox varies from person to person. For those battling mild or moderate alcoholism, withdrawal can begin 8 hours after their last drink. The withdrawal period might then last between four and five days. Those battling severe alcoholism may endure symptoms for at least two weeks. There is a general timeline for alcohol withdrawal symptoms, even though the detox timeframe may vary by case.

The First 6 Hours of Detox

Due to alcohol’s ability to depress the central nervous system, the body becomes unbalanced. The brain responds by signaling the production of more neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters excite the central nervous system, thus creating an equilibrium within the body. 

Once alcohol is eliminated, the extra neurotransmitters cause the body to become overactive. The overactivity results in a variety of withdrawal symptoms. In the first six hours of detox, recovering addicts will feel discomfort.

Typical symptoms that appear six hours after the last drink include:

  • Increase or decrease in blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid breathing
  • Irritability
  • Tremors (shaking)
  • Sweats
  • Faster than the regular pulse
  • Sleep deprivation

12 to 24 Hours of Detox

Those recovering from heavy alcohol use may experience hallucinations over the first 12 to 24 hours. The individual in recovery may hear or see apparitions. It is essential to highlight that only a tiny proportion of people are affected by illusions. Though hallucinations may be terrifying, medical specialists do not view hallucinations as serious complications. Seizures, hand tremors, and disorientation are more common but severe symptoms.

24 to 48 Hours of Detox

After one or two days, most people may still experience mild symptoms. Fortunately for those individuals experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms, the peak of alcohol detox symptoms often occurs between 18 and 24 hours.

These symptoms may include:

  • Tremors
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches

Still, those people who are experiencing stronger alcohol cessation may deal with much more severe symptoms, like:

  • Insomnia
  • High fever
  • Excessive tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Excessive sweating

48 to 72 Hours of Detox

During this timeframe, it is necessary for medical practitioners to closely monitor former heavy drinkers. An uncommon symptom known as Delirium Tremens (DT) usually manifests on the second day of detox.

DT may lead to:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Extreme hyperactivity
  • High heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Nervous or angry behavior
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion

This condition is serious and potentially fatal. Nevertheless, some sedatives can avoid the condition. Before starting the detox, seeking treatment in a medical center is vital to avoid potentially fatal consequences.

After 72 Hours

After 72 hours have passed and the symptoms have reached their climax, individuals begin to recover. However, circumstances vary. In rare cases, withdrawal symptoms might last for thirty days. Among the mild symptoms, a person may feel rapid heartbeat and hallucinations.

Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Some individuals may have post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) as the initial physical effects of alcohol begin to disappear. PAWS is an uncommon condition characterized by withdrawal symptoms that manifest after 72 hours. It might last from a few weeks to a whole year.

Why is Professional Medical Detox Vital for Recovery?

Many people believe that they can detox at home on their own. While this might be true in some instances, most people either experience severe withdrawal symptoms that require medical attention or cannot bear the stress of cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Within two days, at-home detox always results in relapse. Professional detox and a medical detox program are essential for long-term recovery. The Haven Detox, a medical detox center in South Florida, has everything you need to complete this initial phase of recovery successfully. Medical specialists provide constant monitoring, emergency medical help, support, and encouragement.

alcohol detox timeline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to detox your body?

Detoxification from alcohol or drugs involves eliminating toxic chemicals from the body while simultaneously managing withdrawal symptoms. Usually, detoxing lasts between three and ten days. A more severe addiction, however, might delay detoxification by many weeks or months.

What comes out of your body when you detox?

A variety of waste products, such as uric acid, urea, excess sebum, creatinine, and dead skin cells. Your body can signal you it needs to detox with signs like weariness, poor sleep, irregular bowel motions, and skin problems.

Is detoxing hard?

Alcohol and drug detoxification may be challenging. It involves detoxifying the body and managing any withdrawal symptoms that may arise. The duration of the complete detox process might range from a few days to many months. For example, alcohol is eliminated from the body within a few days. However, detoxing from cravings may take far longer.

Start Living Sober Life with The Haven Detox

The Haven Detox will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan and provide continuous support. When you undergo our inpatient detox program for close supervision, we will assist you in overcoming your addiction problem and returning to everyday life.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol use problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. Contact us at (561) 328-8627 today!