A somber man thinking about detoxing from alcohol.

Side Effects of Alcohol Detox: Duration and Symptoms

As an alcoholic, realizing you need to stop drinking is one of the most sobering, life-changing thoughts you can have. Recovery from alcohol addiction starts with this reflection. What comes next may be some of the hardest work you do in your life. But, without question, it will be the most important.

If you’re ready to cut ties with the bottle, the blackouts and the hangovers, prepare your mind for what’s to come. Keep reading to learn about detoxing from alcohol, including symptoms of alcohol detox and how long alcohol detox can last.

Where Should You Detox from Alcohol?

Two Routes: Alcohol Detox at Home or at a Recovery Facility

Instead of quitting cold turkey or trying to go it alone, it’s imperative you have a plan for detoxing from alcohol. For many, the process of detoxification can be very dangerous due to the side effects of alcohol detox. Begin by choosing where your detox process will take place.

Alcohol Detox Treatment at Home

Some individuals elect to remain in their home as they detox from alcohol. For obvious reasons, one’s home is comfortable, familiar and has all the amenities. However, alcohol withdraw is not a one-size-fits-all condition. There is a certain level of unpredictability in the detox process, as it can become a life-threatening medical situation. That being said, detoxification in the home without a licensed medical professional(s) who has deep experience with the detox and withdrawal management process is not recommended.

Alcohol Detox Treatment at a Recovery and Rehab Facility

Alcohol detoxification at an established addiction treatment and recovery facility is by far the safest route. The withdrawal process from alcohol is unpleasant and can result in hallucinations, seizures and in extreme cases, death. For this reason, a medically supervised alcohol detox is crucial.

Additionally, the detox and withdrawal management process at a treatment and recovery facility offers:

  • Unparalleled personal attention to ensure patients receive the best care and comfort during the detox process
  • An opportunity to step away from negative influences and temptations that can be present at home, so individuals can face alcohol detoxification distraction-free
  • The best medical treatment and therapy to help people safely and successfully detox from alcohol

Symptoms of Alcohol Detox

The alcohol detoxification process varies from person-to-person. Depending on the duration and volume of alcohol use, the symptoms of alcohol detox can range in intensity. If an individual has heavily consumed alcohol for years, the side effects and symptoms of detox will be more severe.

Common symptoms of alcohol detox include:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Shivering

In extreme cases, some individuals may experience delirium tremens (DTs). DTs usually occur in individuals who suddenly stop drinking after a bout of 10 or more years of excessive alcohol use.

Symptoms of DTs include:

  • Body tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Death, in extreme cases

Alcohol Detox Timeline

Because the alcohol withdraw process unfolds differently for everyone, the following alcohol detox timeline isn’t matter-of-fact. Nevertheless, it can give you a general sense of how long alcohol detox can last and when certain symptoms tend to develop.

  • 6-12 hours after your last drink, mild symptoms can emerge.
    o Anxiety
    o Headache
    o Nausea
    o Insomnia
    o Irritability
    o Shaking
  • 24 hours after your last drink, symptoms can become more severe.
    o Hand tremors
    o Disorientation
    o Seizures
  • 48 hours after your last drink, symptoms are intense and will continue to be painful.
    o Panic attacks
    o Hallucinations
  • 3-7 days after your last drink, similar symptoms experienced in the first 48 hours can continue to develop and subside.
    o Delirium tremens can emerge throughout the remainder of the first week of alcohol detox.
  • More than one week after your last drink, many alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin to wane. It’s common, however, for mild symptoms to linger for a few additional weeks. These symptoms can be easily managed with medication.

It’s important to keep in mind that a sober life is not guaranteed after detoxification treatment and recovery. Alcohol detox is a lifelong commitment. When you enter a detoxification treatment program, you will work with trained detox professionals on how to approach life after alcohol addiction and learn how to manage problems without returning to alcohol for escape.

Alcoholism Treatment Program at Ranch Creek Recovery

Alcohol has no power over you. Your new life starts the moment you declare you have complete control over your actions, health and future. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and alcohol recovery treatment that offers personalized and long-lasting care. Learn more about our alcoholism treatment program or contact us today to start your journey toward detox and recovery.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

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