Millions of people struggle with various substance abuse disorders. Being addicted to a mind-altering chemical can seem overwhelming. Many fail to recognize alcohol as a mind-altering chemical. Alcohol destroys lives as readily as illegal street drugs.
The social stigma of revealing a drinking problem can make getting help even more challenging than having a drug problem. The physical and psychological withdrawal dangers can be equally challenging. There is a period of detox for alcohol.
This process is different for everyone. There isn’t a single, one-size-fits-all timeframe for alcohol detox. However, we can help answer the question of how long does alcohol detox take by exploring the symptoms and necessary precautions required to safely detox from alcohol.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Many of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal and the importance of supervised detox involve how alcohol affects your body. Alcohol is a depressant. You may feel a sense of euphoria when gradually becoming more intoxicated.
However, alcohol still affects the central nervous system as a depressant. Habitual drinkers begin to experience varying degrees of loss of mental acuity. This is because your brain must battle to release more natural chemicals to compensate for a loss or reduction in alcohol.
Eventually, you drink more to feel the same effects. Ultimately, alcoholic drinkers reach a dangerous point called wet-brain. Because of the deadening effects on natural nerve activity, there will be various psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
You may become moody, extra sensitive to light and sound, and especially fatigued. Alcoholics are known to have irrational thoughts, even thoughts of suicide. Alcohol withdrawal makes you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
The physical symptoms can be more obvious than the withdrawal symptoms that center in your mind. You may feel clammy and cold one minute and then experience hot flashes. Headaches are a common characteristic of alcohol withdrawal.
There is the telltale nausea and vomiting, each of which can be dangerous. This combination causes an unhealthy level of dehydration. You may experience a rapid heart rate and unusual elevations in blood pressure. Heavy alcoholics experience uncontrollable shakes and tremors.
Delirium Tremens is an extremely dangerous point in alcohol withdrawal. At this level, medical supervision is critical. However, even moderate withdrawal symptoms can reach a dangerous point. Let’s look at a general timeframe for a safe, medically supervised alcohol detox.
Generally, the more serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are within the first 72-hours. This is a critical period, both physically and psychologically. Suicidal thoughts are a serious threat during this very difficult period.
The medical dangers of abnormal heart activity and high blood pressure add to the risk. Extremely heavy alcoholics can experience many of these dangerous physical symptoms for up to 10 days.
You may also have a weakened ability to address the physical aspects of alcohol withdrawal. This can increase the time necessary to detox from alcohol, plus raise the level of need for medical supervision.
The psychological cravings, on the other hand, are impossible to predict. Many will drink out of fear when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. While this may temporarily relieve the physical and mental cravings for a drink, it triggers the entire process to start over.
Each time you relapse to deal with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, you worsen the damaging effects alcohol is having on your body. There comes a point when stopping and starting your drinking rapidly puts you closer to danger.
Each relapse pushes you closer to a more dangerous medical situation. There comes a point where the danger reaches a critical point. When it comes to alcohol detox, sound advice is to always err on the side of caution. Your life may depend on it.
Anytime you feel like you’re experiencing even mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seek the advice of a professional. The line between being uncomfortable and medically at risk can be crossed in an instant. Talk to someone before it’s too late.
If you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, even if you’re not prone to debilitating withdrawal symptoms, reach out for help. Help is available and begins with just one call. You don’t have to continue along the same path full of disappointments.
Hope is found in recovery. You should consider a treatment program to help stabilize your body and mind and then establish a foundation for living clean and sober. An important part of this treatment is often supervised detox. Make the best decision of your life today; reach out for help. Call us at 833-680-0165.