Detoxing from Alcohol: How Long Does It Take?

detoxing from alcohol, woman running with a smile on her face

How long does detoxing from alcohol take? The detox period depends on the severity of the addiction and how long you have been drinking. The time it takes to detox varies. There can be ongoing withdrawal symptoms or cravings. On average, most users experience the initial wave of symptoms over a period of four to five days after their last drink. 

The Effects of Alcohol and Binge Drinking

Alcohol is both a stimulant and a depressant. Therefore, it alters brain function, which can make detoxing from alcohol extremely difficult. When you first start drinking, you may feel relaxed or intoxicated. The more you drink, the more the effects wear off. As a result, you may increase your consumption levels to continue feeling the side effects.

Over time, your body and mind form a dependency on the substance. Prolonged use causes intense cravings. You may get to the point where you can’t get through the day without drinking. When you decide to stop, you may experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. You may also suffer from health problems or mental health issues.

What to Expect When Detoxing from Alcohol

When you stop drinking alcohol, you will go through three main stages of recovery during detox: 

Stage One: Crashing

‘Crashing’ usually means that you have gone from an extreme high to an extreme low. You may experience fatigue, stomach problems, hallucinations, sweating & chills, muscle spasms, headaches, and irritability.

Stage one of your detox can last for three to five days. During this time, a treatment specialist will monitor your symptoms and even provide medication to help with the withdrawals. If you can get through stage one, you are more likely to recover with less chance for a relapse.

Stage Two: Cravings

Eventually, your body will clean itself out. All traces of alcohol will disappear from your system. However, you will still experience cravings that could for several months. With the proper treatment and support from your therapist, family, and a support group, you can manage the cravings and overcome your urges. 

Stage Three: Recovery

Regardless of how severe your addiction is, detoxing from alcohol is possible. Much of it depends on your desire to quit. Once you get through the detox period, you have access to a wide range of treatment plans that include: 

  • Inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • Treatment for mental health disorders
  • Individual, family, and group therapy
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Holistic treatment
  • Men’s and women’s treatment centers

Once you take the first step and start detoxing from alcohol, a therapist can meet with you to develop a treatment plan. You will discover lots of options for treatment that are suited to your goals, your addiction, and your life circumstances. The good news is that you never have to battle your addiction alone. You will receive ongoing support from professionals that care about your recovery.

Begin Your Recovery from Alcohol Addiction Today

Would you like to know more about detoxing from alcohol? Find out at Summit Detox. We have the facilities, treatment plans, and staff that can give you everything you need to quit. Find out more about our treatment options by calling us at 866.341.0638.

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