a group supports someone being emotional about the alcohol detox timeline

What Is the Timeline for Alcohol Detox?

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, you may be wondering how long alcohol detox takes and what the alcohol detox timeline looks like. In general, alcohol detox can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on factors such as the severity of your addiction and any medical issues that may arise during the process.

Breaking free from alcohol addiction is possible. With the help of an alcohol detox center, you can safely and effectively go through alcohol detox. During alcohol detox, your body will begin to rid itself of alcohol and the physical symptoms associated with alcohol addiction. Promises has alcohol detox programs that can help—reach out to our team at 844.875.5609 today to learn more.

The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Heavy drinkers often experience physical and mental alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they quit drinking. About half of the people with alcohol dependence have severe withdrawal symptoms. When you regularly abuse alcohol, your central nervous system thinks alcohol is essential for survival. When alcohol is removed from your body, it can cause a number of symptoms that must be managed safely in order to ensure the detox process is successful. Understanding the alcohol detox timeline can help you set realistic expectations for recovery.

Six Hours After Your Last Drink

Withdrawal may start as soon as six hours after your last drink. These alcohol withdrawal symptoms often feel like an intense hangover and may include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

These early symptoms may last for several days and can be managed by a combination of medications, relaxation techniques, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

24-72 Hours After Your Last Drink

Your alcohol withdrawal symptoms may worsen 24-72 hours after your last drink. During this time, you may experience delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that must be monitored and treated with immediate medical assistance. Symptoms of DTs include:

  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme confusion
  • Rapid heart rate

Symptoms during this time can become extremely intense and may even include life-threatening complications. If you’re in this stage of alcohol detox, it’s important to seek help from an addiction treatment center like Promises.

7-14 Days After Your Last Drink

In the days following alcohol detox, you may find yourself experiencing post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This is a form of alcohol withdrawal that can last for weeks or months after alcohol detox. PAWS symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of energy
  • Confusion
  • Irritability

PAWS is not as intense as other alcohol withdrawal symptoms and can often be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, and counseling. However, withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks or months.

Up to One Year After Quitting Alcohol

It may take up to one year for your body to fully recover from alcohol dependence. During this time, you may still experience PAWS symptoms and alcohol cravings.

Finding help during the alcohol detox process is essential to ensure safety and promote long-term sobriety. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

When Will I Feel Better After I Stop Drinking?

It may have taken a while to develop an alcohol addiction. It will likely take a while to repair all the damage. The timeline for alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal symptoms depends on:

  • The severity of your alcohol dependence
  • How long you’ve been abusing alcohol
  • Your physical and mental make-up
  • If you have co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety

Most people can count on getting through the most uncomfortable physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms within a week. You may continue to have mild symptoms for several months. The effects of withdrawing from alcohol are different for everyone. Many alcoholics struggle with nutrition issues, poor physical health, digestive issues, and low or anxious mood. You can take steps that may help speed up physical and mental healing, like eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. It is important to practice self-care during alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal.

Find Effective Alcohol Detox Help at Promises Behavioral Health

Trying to quit drinking on your own is difficult if you have an alcohol dependency. The alcohol detox process should occur in a supervised setting with specialists who understand alcohol withdrawal. At Promises Behavioral Health, our alcohol detox programs are designed to provide you with the care and support you need to get through alcohol detox and start your recovery journey.

We offer alcohol addiction treatment in Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. Our team of board-certified addiction physicians, mental health professionals, and experienced support staff will help you manage the physical and psychological alcohol withdrawal symptoms and provide you with evidence-based therapies to help you transition into recovery.

For more information about alcohol detox timelines, reach out to Promises. We’re here to help. Call us today at 844.875.5609 or reach out online to speak with a member of our team. Take the first step towards alcohol recovery today.

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