Alcohol Detoxification – How Long Does It Take?

The fact that over 17 million adult ages 18 or older have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) has led to a rise in the need for additional detox centers in the U.S. to help alcoholics deal with the disease and get sober. Alcohol rehabs provide a safe environment that have medical detox programs that are supervised allowing patients to go through withdrawal symptoms completely isolated from temptations to drink. Detoxification from alcohol will inevitibly test a person’s spirit.

It is a painful experience and depending on the severity of the disease, it can sometimes be fatal. Watching a person go through the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal also has an affect on family and close friends. As nobody want to see another human being suffer, let alone a friend or family member. Statistically, most people who attempt alcohol or opiate detoxification on their own fail. It is a devastating disease that not only detroys individual lives, much like an atomic bomb, the fallout inevitibly affects the lives of children, families and loved ones.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

alcohol detox
The symptoms of alcohol detox include nausea, head aches, vomiting, chills, body tremors and decreased appetite. While those are the most common symptoms, unfortunately, some addicts may suffer from severe anxiety, seizures, insomnia and various types of hallucinations, from hearing or seeing things to physically feeling things that are not happening.
Delirium Tremens (DT’s)
The above are acute withdrawal symptoms of what is known as Delirium Tremens or the “DT’s”. Medical treatment is often used in the form of Benzodiazepines like lorazepam, diazepam for convulsions or seizures and in the case of hallucinations, haloperidol is prescribed. In addition, Thiamin is also given due to the deficiency associated with alcoholism. The symptoms of DT’s generally last for 3 days. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial to the patient’s life.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The process of alcohol detoxification generally takes 7-10 days or one week. It is where alcohol consumption stops and the time it takes the body to self cleanse and recover. It is important to understand that this is merely the beginning of a life long journey. Detox is only the first step to the path to sobriety.

Rehab & Detox Centers

Finding the best alcohol and drug treatment locator is only the first step to recovery.  Once you have commited yourself and after your body has been detoxified and has purged all traces of alcohol, the process of rehabilitation must take place. Rehabs teach you how to psychologically deal your alcohol addiction and help you set up a support system. Most rehab programs require a 30-45 day commitment. Depending on the severity the disease, your doctor may refer you to a residential or inpatient alcohol rehab center. Inpatient rehab centers generally require a longer stay of anywhere from 60 – 90 days.

As a friend or family member, it is important to understand the various symptoms of alcohol abuse and dependancy. Providing a strong support system for the alcoholic and finding a local detox center or rehab facilities that are nearby can help make the difference between a future of sobriety for your loved one or relapse.