How Long Is the Alcohol Detox Process?
Alcohol detox can be a challenging experience for people dependent on alcohol or individuals with alcohol-based substance use disorders. However, an alcohol detox, if done the right way, is a positive step in overcoming alcohol addiction, alcoholism, and other related substance use disorders.
The detoxification process can be defined as a medical treatment involving the removal of a substance from the body and how the body reacts to the subsequent abstinence from that substance. Alcohol detox involves the removal of alcohol and any other related metabolites from the system.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a substance use disorder characterized by the inability of an individual to control their level of alcohol consumption, usually leading to excessive alcohol intake. This often leads to substance dependence on alcohol. Excessive alcohol intake is harmful to any biological system. The DSM -5 classifies alcohol use disorder as a medical term for people diagnosed with this condition.1
How Common Is Alcoholism?
Importance of Alcohol Detox
The importance of alcohol detox cannot be understated, and it is the first step in the alcoholism recovery process. Alcohol abuse plays a significant role in social and domestic problems, homicides, suicides, and traffic accidents nationwide.
Process of Detoxification
Before undergoing alcohol detox, individuals usually receive a general assessment to determine the appropriate level of care that the patient would receive during the detoxification process. This assessment would help determine the extent of alcohol usage and the best possible ways to tackle any withdrawal symptoms that may occur. This offers better care and has an overall better success rate when compared to individuals trying to detoxify on their own. The alcohol detoxification process majorly involves three steps.
Intake: First Stage
In this stage, the medical professionals carry out a comprehensive assessment before beginning alcohol withdrawal syndrome treatments. The assessments generally include:
- Figuring out the quantity of alcohol consumed daily
- Psychiatric history
- Usage of other drugs
- Previous attempts to detox alcohol and symptoms of detox encountered
Medication: Second Stage
Stabilization: Third Stage
Consequences of Alcohol Detox Process
Symptoms that Ensue
Alcohol Detox Timeline
The alcohol detox timeline may range from as little as ten days to an extended period of more than a year. The detox process extends beyond merely quitting alcohol and also includes adopting active steps to stop drinking entirely. In general, the timeline would depend on the amount and duration of alcohol consumption, along with the use of other substances, the individual partook in.
First Six To 12 Hours
At this stage of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, insomnia is still very much present due to the effect of alcohol on deep sleep. Alongside the detox symptoms above, dehydration could also be prominent here due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.
- High blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Irregular heart rate
Days Three to Seven
After One Week
At this stage of the quitting alcohol timeline, the body gets used to the detox from alcohol. And as such, begins to adjust to a healthy life away from alcohol. At three weeks without alcohol, withdrawal symptoms tend to disperse with cravings still present but minimal.
Medications Used During Alcohol Detox
The medications for alcohol withdrawal management work either by mimicking the effects of alcohol in the brain to prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, or to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal directly.
These are primarily used in managing opioid dependence and the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Naltrexone works within the central nervous system to reduce the cravings for alcohol.
Get Help with Alcohol Addiction at Concise Recovery
At Concise Recovery, we help break the endless cycle of alcoholism. Our team of professionals works to help patients with tips for quitting drinking, how to overcome alcohol addiction, and take complete control over their lives. At Concise Recovery, care is given in a supportive environment designed to ensure the patient’s maximum comfort.
Step One: Professional Detoxification
We initiate the alcohol detoxification process with our team of experts. This is followed by around-the-clock monitoring to manage any withdrawal symptoms that might be developed using therapy or medication. This offers a better success rate when compared to detoxing from home.
Step Two: Rehabilitation
With rehabilitation, we offer counseling and therapy to help with alcohol withdrawal, aid every patient to quit alcohol use, and provide help in adapting to a new phase of life without alcohol. This might be provided based on inpatient or outpatient arrangements, depending on the level of care needed.
Step Three: Aftercare
Alcohol detoxification is just a step in the long journey of staying away from alcohol and living a healthy life. Aftercare is offered to prevent relapse incidences and ensure a better quality of life overall. This can be done through continued therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.