Detoxing from Alcohol

If you decide to stop drinking daily and densely, expect to experience withdrawal manifestations.  The detox duration depends on a few circumstances, including how much you drink, how long you’ve been drinking, and whether you’ve previously gone through detoxing from alcohol.  Most people end having detox symptoms four to five days after their latest drink.

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol addiction is a critical condition that can ultimately become life-threatening.  Therefore, alcohol detox can enable the body to eliminate all alcohol in the body and return to its usual functioning.  In fact, an individual who has been struggling with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder has a significant probability of developing withdrawal symptoms and could benefit from the help of a detox program.  Furthermore, the longer and heavier the drinking, the more prolonged and stricter detox will be.  For this reason, going through the process sooner than later, and getting help, is crucial to recovery.

Detoxing From Alcohol
Detoxing from Alcohol in We Level Up NJ

Getting started with an alcohol detox program begins with a call to our admissions team.  Basically, the admissions team helps to carry out the first stage of the detox program:  evaluation.  In addition to helping with insurance, payment, and travel arrangements, they will ask a series of questions to understand what type of treatment plan is best.

Once fully admitted and evaluated, the 2nd stage of detox gets underway:  stabilization.  Based on the information provided during the admissions process, patient feedback, and the symptoms observed, our experienced team of medical addiction professionals will provide care to keep the patient stable and as comfortable as possible.

Stabilization Phase

  • Stay in one of our semi-private rooms
  • Be monitored 24/7
  • Be provided with nutrient-rich meals throughout the day
  • Have access to common areas
  • Have the option of utilizing alternative therapies
  • Be encouraged to join group support meetings

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may differ significantly from one person to another but may include any of the following physical and psychological symptoms.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Shakiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Appetite loss
  • Pale skin
  • Tremor
  • Seizures

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Feeling irritable
  • Depression
  • Feeling wiped out and tired
  • Mood swings
  • Not being able to think clearly
  • Having nightmares
  • Extreme agitation
  • Hallucinations (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)

Treatable Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can be relieved with a team of professionals.  However, the withdrawal symptoms that you may suffer from without help include:

  • Seizures
  • Physical tremors
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased agitation and anxiety
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Fever, sweating, and extreme headaches
  • Increased heartbeat

How Long To Detox From Alcohol?

Withdrawal Timelines

According to a 2013 literature review in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal  [1],  the following are general guidelines about when you can expect to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

  • 6-12 Hоurѕ Aftеr thе Lаѕt Drink:  Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin about six hours after your last drink.  After that, you will start feeling іrrіtаtіng symptoms, enough to be bothersome and noticeable:  аnxіеtу, insomnia, nаuѕеа, lоѕѕ оf арреtіtе, ѕwеаtіng, hеаdасhе, аnd іnсrеаѕеd оr іrrеgulаr heartbeat.  Sometimes you will also feel agitation and mood swings.
  •  A person who has a long history of heavy drinking could have a seizure six hours after stopping drinking.
  • 12-24 Hоurѕ Aftеr thе Lаѕt Drіnk:  This stage is often аѕѕосіаtеd wіth assorted types of hаlluсіnаtіоnѕ.  Also, you may experience a ѕеnѕе оf іtсhіng, burnіng, оr numbnеѕѕ, hear ѕоundѕ which dо nоt еxіѕt or see things which aren’t there.
  • While this symptom can be scary, doctors don’t consider it a severe complication.
  • 24 to 48 Hours: Minor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this time.  These symptoms may include headache, tremors, and stomach upset.  If a person goes through only a little withdrawal, their symptoms typically peak at 18 to 24 hours and start to decrease after four to five days.
  • 48 Hours to 72 Hours:  Thе uѕеr ѕtаrtѕ еxреrіеnсіng wіthdrаwаl ѕеіzurеѕ and dеlіrіum trеmеnѕ.  This is the most dangerous stage of withdrawal, and intensity will depend on the patient and alcohol use.  And, if not treated by a professional medical staff, аlсоhоl dеtоxіfісаtіоn mау rеѕult іn coma or dеаth.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens refers to the onset of confusion and severe hallucinations brought about during withdrawal from alcohol.  It usually takes place during the second stage of alcohol detox, or three days since the last alcohol consumption and can last up to three more days.  It affects between 15%-20% of alcoholics and is considered one of the most dangerous scenarios for alcohol detox.  In addition, it is common for people to hallucinate and have physical symptoms such as irregular heart rate, high blood pressure, shaking, shivering, sweating.  These conditions are fatal because they can lead to increased body temperature and seizures.  Therefore, clients must suffer from alcohol addiction be monitored during the detox process to ensure their safety.

72 Hours:  This is the time when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst.  However, in rare cases, moderate withdrawal symptoms can last for a month.  These include rapid heart rate and illusions (seeing things that aren’t there).

Detox Duration:  Alсоhоl dеtоx should not be treated lightly.  Thе wіthdrаwаl may іnvоlvе a lоt оf аgоnу аnd раіn if done without medical detox supervision.  Untrеаtеd аnd unmаnаgеd ѕуmрtоmѕ саn bе lіfе-thrеаtеnіng.  You should not rush treatment because each person’s symptoms subside as the detox going on.  Other complications may arise that need to be addressed.  In general, inpatient detox ranges from 3-7 days before transitioning into inpatient outpatient treatment.

Alcohol Detox Treatments

Multiple approaches are available to treat alcohol detox.  This can vary from a medicalized approach to a more alternative approach.  With a holistic view of addiction treatment, our detox facilities provide various therapies from one end of the spectrum to the other.  This allows us to provide each client with the best treatment possible.

Medically Assisted Detoxing from Alcohol

There are medication-based options available for clients who face severe detox symptoms or are open to a more medicalized approach to managing their comfort.  Benzodiazepines and sedatives are 2 types of medications sometimes used to help relax the brain and body when at the peak of detox.  In addition, naltrexone is one of a few medications that can help curb the cravings accompanied by alcohol detox.

Additionally, prescription medications are not the only means of beneficial medical interventions during detox.  For instance, heavy sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and further complications.  The use of an IV drip can quickly solve this issue and help keep fluid levels up for instance.  Also, detox facilities typically provide nutritional supplements that carry numerous benefits for a healing body.

Detoxing from Alcohol Alternative Activities

Yoga, Chiropractors, Massage, and Acupuncture are a few of the alternative therapies available at We Level Up in New Jersey.  These are evidence-based methods that have been shown to advance detox faster and provide much-needed relief for individuals in withdrawal.  Not only do these therapies help with detox, but they also boost overall health and wellbeing.  Generally, many clients take these practices with them into their everyday life as a mechanism because it helps to maintain their sobriety.

Alcohol Detox at Home

How to detox from Alcohol? At-home detox kits will not work and will not eliminate your addiction withdrawals or cravings. While Detoxing at home or by using untested products can be risky especially where severe withdrawal symptoms are not treated timely. Whereas, FDA-approved Detox medications specially designed to help you overcome addiction must undergo clinical trials.  These detox medications require U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and must be prescribed by trained licensed physicians.

Detoxing from Alcohol and Safety

It is advisable to detox in a rehab center where you can access experienced professionals who can manage alcohol detox and withdrawal complications.  The medically supervised detox processes allow the body to process the alcohol in the system and gently enable the body to be unaccustomed to its dependence.  It is the first stage of alcohol treatment and one you should seek before your addiction gets more acute.

In conclusion, those suffering from addiction for long periods at high rates of use usually encounter more severe withdrawal symptoms, making the process more difficult for them.  Also, the symptoms may seem to get worse through the detox process.  They need constant care and attention to help manage the symptoms.  Detoxing from alcohol and addiction treatment is within your reach to ensure your recovery starts on a healthy and safe step.

If you, your friend, or your family need help with alcoholism, contact us today at We Level Up New Jersey.

Sources:

[1] Clinical Management of Alcohol Withdrawal: A Systematic Review – National Center for Biotechnology Information