The struggles caused by a substance abuse disorder can seem hopeless. There are both emotional and physical challenges when trying to stop an addiction. Change can come slowly. However, there can be immediate health dangers involved. The withdrawal period for various drugs and alcohol can differ.
The degree of withdrawal depends on the level of use, plus a number of factors unique to each person. Some mistakenly assume withdrawal risks from alcohol abuse will not be a problem like they can be for certain hard drugs. This may not be true. Alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous.
There is even some risk of death. For this reason, many treatment programs begin with a period of supervised detox. Supervised detox allows you to safely make it through this period. The length of time may vary. Let’s look at how long it does take to fully detox from alcohol.
Alcohol Detox Time Factors
The degree of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol depends on various factors. Intense daily drinking creates the strongest level of physical withdrawal danger. However, even binge drinking alcoholics can experience intense withdraws when they suddenly stop.
Alcohol withdrawal is not the same as the physical discomfort you may attribute to a hangover. While the physical things that happen to your body are similar, it can be more intense. Many alcoholics understand what is referred to as “the hair of the dog”.
This is when you require a source of alcohol the next day to sort of take the edge off the symptoms of a hangover. This does little more than to avert the chemical withdrawal triggers that occur in the human body.
Again, the degree to which these physical withdrawal symptoms affect you depend on different things. There are also emotional dangers that happen as your body physically withdrawals from alcohol. Medical specialists refer to these as delirium tremens or the DTs.
The DTs can be both agonizing and dangerous. DTs have a tendency to produce extreme hallucinations. The risk of suicide during intense DTs is elevated to potentially dangerous levels. The risk from delirium tremens usually passes after 3 to 4 days.
The medical profession insists that alcohol withdrawal begins roughly six-hours after your last drink. In a perfect scenario, medically supervised detox should begin at this point. However, it rarely does. The next 12 to 24 hours grow increasingly critical.
It’s during this timeframe that the DTs begin to surface. A number of other dangers health risks begin to appear. Your body is grossly under hydrated. This would be an ideal time to seek medical attention.
Across the next two to three days, each of the physical symptoms fluctuates depending on your personal level of alcohol abuse. Certain body types have the ability to process alcohol faster than others.
The most common period of high-intensity withdrawal is during the first 72 hours. Nevertheless, even after three days dry, you are not out of danger. After the physical dangers lessen, the emotional triggers of alcoholism will kick in.
This is a very challenging period when alcoholics battle the urges and cravings that will erase all the advances of being sober for a couple of days. Most can expect the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal to be most intense during this first 3 to 4 days.
To fully detox from alcohol, you should expect to at least double this timeframe. This is why most treatment facilities will provide a medical detox period that lasts 7 to 10 days. After this amount of medical supervision, you can immediately shift to a treatment program.
By transitioning from medically supervised detox to a structured treatment program, you add an element of defense against the troublesome emotional alcohol withdrawals. While detox may only last a week to 10 days, the emotional triggers can overwhelm you.
Like physical withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, the emotional triggers depend on the amount and the prevalence of your drinking habits. It is not uncommon for emotional urges and cravings to last many months. This is why treatment is so vital to recovery.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
As we mentioned, the number of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their intensity vary between alcoholics. However, everyone could be faced with potentially dangerous health risks. These dangers are addressed when you enter medically supervised detox. Here are some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
- Nausea and Vomiting – This is the phase of alcohol withdrawal commonly associated with a hangover. However, this stage also dramatically increases the danger of dehydration.
- Abnormal Heart Rate and High Blood Pressure – Your body is battling to dispel a toxin. This can trigger irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. The alcohol is essentially poisoning you.
- Confusion and Hallucinations – These are two dangerous mental withdrawal symptoms from alcohol. They can impair your judgment so dramatically that suicide becomes a profound danger.
- High Fever and Seizures – Intense drinkers often experience a high fever for as long as four to five days. During this period, there is a high risk of seizures. The combination of these physical symptoms necessitates the need for medical supervision during detox.
The time it takes to fully detox from alcohol will vary between individuals. However, each carries a level of danger. The only way to insure your safe detox from alcohol is to be medically supervised. This is available as the first stage of treatment.
To get to this point is really rather easy. If you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you do not need to continue to suffer. There is help. That help is available to you. All you need to do is pick up the phone and reach out for help. You can begin your road of recovery today, just pick up the phone and ask for help. Call us at 833-610-1174.