Author: Gary Jackson

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline & Detox Treatment

You’re more likely to stick with a detox program when you have lots of help. Protracted withdrawal from detox, also known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, may last weeks, months, or potentially years for those recovering from severe addiction. Understanding how alcohol detox works can help you prepare yourself or a loved one for a detox program. The length of a rehab program can vary depending on the treatment facility, type of treatment program, and individual needs. After a detox plan is created, the actual process of detoxification begins. For most, early signs of alcohol withdrawal will begin to set in within 12 hours of their last drink.

what is alcohol detox

Partial hospitalization or day treatment is where you live at home but you go for treatment at a hospital or clinic at least 5 days a week. Recently, with COVID-19 precautions, many programs offer programs via telehealth. It can be an alternative to inpatient or residential treatment or a step-down from one of those programs. Withdrawal symptoms can begin to surface in as early as two hours after your last drink. While the most painful symptoms typically subside within the first week, some mild symptoms can last for several weeks to a year. There is no exact timeline as to when or what withdrawal symptoms you will experience; however, there’s a general outline of what to expect.

Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

You can also talk with them about the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as if you are in any pain. This information helps your medical team determine which medicine will help alleviate your discomfort. Your primary care provider can advise you on where to seek care for the physical and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It’s very important to seek help if you struggle with alcohol use disorder. It is possible to get treatment and live a healthier life with a better relationship with alcohol. The most uncomfortable detox withdrawal symptoms usually peak around hours after the last drink and start to lessen by hours.

If you need alcohol for your body to feel normal, then you likely need help. Getting through detox isn’t just a matter of willpower, and stopping “cold turkey” without at least medical help is never recommended. We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery.

Alcohol Detox Process: What Happens During Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox and alcohol rehab may be necessary if you have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol detox includes withdrawal symptoms (both physical and emotional). Symptoms vary in severity and duration but typically peak within a few hours or days. Inpatient and outpatient programs and follow-up care can help you get and stay sober from alcohol. The alcohol detox phase can involve withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to life-threatening.

  • Alcohol (ethanol) depresses (slows down) your central nervous system (CNS).
  • Withdrawal symptoms typically subside within approximately 1-2 weeks after starting detox; however, this could take longer depending on the severity of your AUD.
  • The higher the number, the worse a person’s symptoms are and the more treatments they likely need.
  • A healthcare professional may also ask questions regarding physical health and mental health.
  • If you decide to get treatment, your doctor can recommend the type of care that you need.

Within a detox center, these symptoms—including alcohol cravings—can be effectively managed. While alcohol detox and rehab offer clear-cut ways of getting and staying sober, it’s not always so easy. If you love someone with AUD, undiagnosed or diagnosed, please consider reminding them you’re there to support their sober goals no matter how long it takes.

Inpatient Programs

In addition to the sober individuals, many people among the remaining two-thirds are also drinking less and experiencing fewer alcohol-related health problems after one year. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important that you withdraw from alcohol at a medical facility that’s equipped to prevent and treat alcohol-related complications. You can still pursue therapy and support groups as you go through withdrawal.

what is alcohol detox

Essentially, this is what happens when you stop drinking alcohol. It’s also important to note that delirium tremens can be life-threatening. The prognosis (outlook) for someone with alcohol withdrawal depends greatly on its severity. The main management for severe symptoms is long-acting benzodiazepines — typically IV diazepam or IV lorazepam.

Withdrawal symptoms typically subside within approximately 1-2 weeks after starting detox; however, this could take longer depending on the severity of your AUD. From there, you will be able to focus on other aspects of the recovery process such as different activities, therapies, counseling sessions and support options. Alcohol detoxification, or detox, is the body’s way of getting alcohol out of your system. An alcohol detox program can offer medical treatment, safety during detox, and a referral for substance abuse treatment. Alcohol withdrawal (alcohol withdrawal syndrome) is a range of symptoms that can happen if you stop or significantly reduce alcohol intake after long-term use.

  • The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
  • When you stop consuming alcohol after prolonged, heavy use, your CNS can’t respond or regulate itself fast enough.
  • But severe or complicated alcohol withdrawal can result in lengthy hospital stays and even time in the intensive care unit (ICU).
  • You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs.
  • Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe to potentially life-threatening.
  • Recently, with COVID-19 precautions, many programs offer programs via telehealth.