How Long Does it Take to Detox From Alcohol?
Alcohol detox and detox from alcohol
If you have become physically dependent on alcohol, when you try to stop you will experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of your alcohol detox. By quitting drinking cold turkey, or stopping abruptly, you are forcing your body and brain – your whole system, to detox from alcohol, with potentially dire consequences. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms to more severe symptoms that can lead to a possibly life-threatening situation.
Length of Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
So, Just how long does it take to detox from alcohol? When you detox from alcohol, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start as promptly as two hours after your last drink and can last for weeks on end. Between 12 and 24 hours after alcohol cessation, some people experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations that usually end within 48 hours. There’s no real way to say how long your alcohol detox will last; it depends on the individual’s body chemistry, such as metabolism, as well as other factors such as how long the alcohol abuse has gone on and to what degree of severity.
Alcohol Detox Symptoms: Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
Symptoms of alcohol detox range from mild anxiety and shakiness to extremely severe complications, such as seizures and delirium tremens – called “the DTs.” Symptoms from the DTs are characterized by confusion, rapid heartbeat, and fever, the death rate from which is estimated to range from 1% to 5%.
Other severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that result from sudden detox from alcohol include anxiety, deep depression, seizure, fall risk, and coma. Death can result from the symptoms, alone, and commonly is due to head injury sustained from a fall.
The ‘Kindling Effect’
If you’ve experienced previous alcohol withdrawal episodes or if you have other health conditions such as infections, heart disease, lung disease, or a history of seizures, it’s especially important to see a doctor.
This is because of something called the kindling effect. Basically what this means is that, every time you detox yourself from alcohol, you will experience more and more severe withdrawal symptoms. It’s like the body keeps a record of each time in the past that you stopped drinking and got the shakes or something like that. Each subsequent episode will only get worse, putting you at and increasing risk for coma and death.
Importance of Going to a Facility for Alcohol Detox
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can get worse – and quickly, at that. It’s of utmost importance to seek medical attention even if your symptoms seeming rather mild. There is available treatment that has been specifically developed to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can reduce the risk of developing the more severe alcohol detox symptoms, such as withdrawal seizures or the DTs. An alcohol detox is designed to safely detox you from alcohol in a controlled and comfortable setting to assure your health and safety.
Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are a medical emergency. If seizures, fever, severe confusion, hallucinations, or irregular heartbeats occur, either take the patient to an emergency room or call 911.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or alcoholism please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.