If you are an alcoholic who has finally had enough of putting yourself and your family through hardship, it is time to kick your addiction once and for all. However, overcoming addiction is not easy.
One of the first phases in overcoming alcohol addiction is the detoxification progress which involves immediately stopping the use of the substance while also allowing the body to rid itself of any of the remaining drugs in the system.
This detoxification process usually always involves a variety of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. However, withdrawal symptoms generally give people problems while alcohol detoxing. So, many people wonder how long it takes to detox from alcohol.
As you are about to find out, it can be a lengthy and often difficult process, but it is more than doable and undoubtedly worth the end result.
This article discusses how long to detox from alcohol addiction, what the process involves, and how to make the alcohol detox process as easy as possible.
- Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol Detoxification
- Alcohol Withdrawal and Detoxification Timeline
- Delirium Tremens – Risk Factors and Recommendations
- Possible Treatments for Alcohol Withdrawal
- The Alcohol Detox Timeline – The Bottom Line
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol Detoxification
Withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol detox can be very severe. An important statistic is that roughly 50% of alcohol abusers will suffer from various withdrawal symptoms when going through detox. In addition, it is estimated that up to 5% of these people will experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
These withdrawal symptoms occur because alcohol abuse causes your brain to create more neurotransmitter receptors (additional to the existing receptors) that stimulate the central nervous system. When alcohol is taken out of the equation, this leads to an overactive nervous system.
Possible side effects include irritability, nausea, anxiety, increased heart rate, tremors, headaches, and sweating. However, these are the milder side effects.
One symptom experienced during alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens, a severe and sometimes life-threatening condition. DTs can lead to hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, elevated body temperate, and seizures. In very severe cases, and if left untreated, delirium tremens can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Detoxification Timeline
Some studies have examined the effects of alcohol withdrawal, particularly when these withdrawal symptoms can be expected during the detox progress. Below is an in-depth timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, to put it bluntly, these withdrawal symptoms, in severe cases, can last for up to an entire month.
Minor symptoms will likely occur within the first 6 hours of stopping. Although somewhat unlikely, a person may experience a seizure. This is also when intense alcohol cravings will occur. To help reduce cravings, using something like NoMoreDrinks Alcohol Cravings Reducer can help some people.
Within the first 24 hours, a person may have visual and auditory hallucinations. It can be nerve-wracking to have hallucinations, although they usually are not considered dangerous or life-threatening.
Within the first 48 hours, a person can expect to experience all the minor alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms. This can include an upset stomach, tremors, headaches, and other symptoms. By this time, if you are only experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms, they should be at their peak and will then usually subside within three to five days.
Within the first 72 hours, a person experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms may develop what is known as delirium tremens. The 72-hour mark is when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are at their worst in most cases. However, it depends on the person, with some people experiencing minor symptoms for up to a whole month.
Delirium Tremens – Risk Factors and Recommendations
Delirium tremens is a severe alcohol withdrawal symptom that develops in up to 5% of people. Various risk factors can lead to developing delirium tremens due to alcohol withdrawal.
The risk factors for developing delirium tremens include:
- Abnormal or reduced liver function
- History of seizures when alcohol is withdrawn
- Low sodium and potassium levels
- Low platelet count
- Existing brain lesions
- Being old-aged during withdrawal
- Using other drugs
If you know that you have any of these risk factors, you must go through the alcohol withdrawal process in a facility equipped to handle all possibilities. Remember that delirium tremens may cause heart attacks and strokes, so a person with DT risk factors must undergo alcohol withdrawal with 24/7 medical supervision.
Possible Treatments for Alcohol Withdrawal
Some medications and substances can be used as detox aids to minimize these withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more manageable. Let’s look at some of the most effective options.
This type of medication is designed to depress and control the overactivity of the central nervous system. As a result, they can help prevent agitation, irritability, and even seizures.
It is recommended that people going through alcohol detox take a combination of magnesium, thiamine, and folic acid. These will increase nutrition levels in the body (to help combat malnutrition caused by alcohol abuse) and help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
These medications are prescribed to people going through alcohol detox to reduce the chances of seizures during withdrawals. These can include lorazepam, diazepam, and alprazolam.
Medical professionals may also recommend using beta-blockers to reduce high blood pressure when going through withdrawal. This can help prevent heart attacks from occurring.
There are also medications designed to help reduce or even eliminate alcohol cravings. A prime example of this is NoMoreDrinks Alcohol Cravings Reducer.
The Alcohol Detox Timeline – The Bottom Line
For most people, the peak of withdrawal symptoms should happen at around 72 hours, with those symptoms then subsiding within four or five days. However, some people may experience withdrawal symptoms for an entire month. But, there are medications and treatment options that can help make the alcohol detox process faster and easier.
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