Alcohol impacts millions of lives and families across the world, with over 57% of men and 43% of women drinking alcohol at least once a week. Getting help is the first step towards sobriety - and one of the first stages of addiction treatment is detoxification.
But what exactly happens when you quit drinking? What are alcoholism detox symptoms? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post.
Read on to learn more about the alcohol detox process, and to find out what to expect from alcoholism detox symptoms.
We’ll also be exploring the alcohol detox timeline, and how you can begin your alcohol recovery journey today with Help4Addiction.
What is an Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is a process that helps someone who is dependent on alcohol stop drinking (or reduce the amount they are used to) safely. It's the first step in alcohol addiction treatment.
During detox, the body removes alcohol from its system. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms like shaking, sweating, and anxiety.
Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, so it’s important that you detox under medical supervision - especially if you are a heavy drinker. Medical professionals can manage withdrawal symptoms, provide medications, support you and ensure your safety throughout the medical detox process.
Remember, detox is just the start of recovery. It helps the body get rid of alcohol, but it doesn't address the reasons behind addiction. After detox, ongoing therapy and support are crucial for long-term sobriety.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?
The alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline can vary from person to person - some people may begin to feel better after a few days, but others may experience withdrawal symptoms that persist for weeks or even months.
The length of time it takes to detox can vary depending on factors such as the amount you drink, your addiction history, and your medical history.
Although the detoxification process differs from person to person, withdrawal symptoms typically begin around 8 hours after your last drink. They may get more intense in the first 48 hours - but if you don’t have a strong alcohol dependence, the symptoms may begin to ease after 24 hours.
It can take several days to detox from alcohol, and the first 72 hours are generally the most challenging. After this initial phase, physical symptoms may improve, but psychological symptoms like alcohol cravings and mood swings can persist for weeks or months.
Alcohol rehab programmes can vary in length. At Help4Addiction, we can find a suitable plan for you. Whether you’re looking for just a 7-day alcohol detox or a month-long detox, trust Help4Addiction to find the best options for you.
What Alcohol Detox Symptoms Should I Expect?
Alcohol detox symptoms, or withdrawal symptoms, can vary from mild symptoms to severe symptoms. You may experience a range of physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the body's reaction when someone who's been drinking heavily suddenly stops or reduces their alcohol intake.
These symptoms can vary in severity, but they generally appear within hours to a few days after the last drink. Here are some common physical withdrawal symptoms:
- Shaking (e.g. hand tremors)
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Increased Heart Rate
- High Blood Pressure
Some of these symptoms can be uncomfortable and even life-threatening in severe cases. We recommend that you seek medical help and supervision during alcohol withdrawal.
Delirium tremens (DTs) is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal. It typically occurs in those with severe alcohol dependence who suddenly stop drinking.
DTs may include confusion, hallucinations, seizures, rapid heart rate and high blood pressure. In most cases, it requires hospitalisation and urgent medical treatment. Delirium tremens can be fatal if not managed correctly.
Healthcare professionals can provide alcohol detox medications and support to manage these symptoms safely. Remember, alcohol withdrawal syndrome should not be taken lightly, and you should seek medical assistance if you experience any alcohol-related health problems.
Psychological and Behavioural Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal can impact your mental health as much as your physical health. These aspects of withdrawal can be distressing and challenging to manage without the right support.
Here are some common psychological and behavioural alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Mood Swings
- Alcohol cravings
These psychological and behavioural symptoms can be overwhelming, and they often contribute to relapse if not managed effectively.
Seeking professional help and support from therapists or counsellors is crucial to address these aspects of alcohol withdrawal and develop coping strategies for long-term sobriety.
Therapy can help you address some of the lingering psychological withdrawal symptoms, and teach you to manage and prevent relapse effectively. You don’t have to overcome alcohol use disorder alone - Help4Addiction can help.
Detox From Alcohol Today
Contact Help4Addiction today to begin your alcohol detox. We can connect you with the best detox programme near you, giving you the best chance of long-term sobriety. Trust our experts to provide you with the support you need to overcome alcohol addiction.
Whether you’re looking for online rehab, medical detox or a comprehensive treatment programme at a residential rehab centre, we can connect you with the best rehab providers near you. Overcome your addiction to alcohol today with Help4Addiction.