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What is the Timeline for Alcohol Detox?

What is the Timeline for Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol addiction (also called alcohol use disorders or alcoholism) affects millions of American youth, teens, and adults each year. Unfortunately, few will ever seek the help they need to achieve lasting sobriety. Recovering from alcohol addiction can be a complex and challenging journey. The safest way to achieve the most favorable treatment outcomes is to choose a professional alcohol detox and alcohol addiction treatment program in Dallas. Compassionate, experienced professionals are equipped to help you navigate detox symptoms and overcome addiction.

Does Alcoholism Require Detox Before Treatment?

Alcohol is perhaps the most widely purchased, legal drug in the United States. However, because alcohol is legal to buy, many people do not consider the highly addictive potential of alcoholic beverages. Long-term, regular drinking leads to changes in your body and brain. In some cases, these changes can be permanent even after completing an addiction treatment program.

Over time, alcohol changes how your brain produces chemicals and communicates with the rest of your body. Once dependency on alcohol has developed, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to feel as though you can “function normally” without using alcohol. For this reason, it is essential to detox from alcohol before beginning an alcohol treatment program. It is impossible to fully engage in therapy if you are still under the influence of toxic chemicals like alcohol.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Long-term addiction to alcohol can lead to dependency on the effects alcohol produces on the brain and body. These effects cause withdrawal symptoms when you try to reduce or stop using alcohol entirely. Depending on the severity of your addiction (how much, how often, and for how long you’ve been drinking), the effects of alcohol withdrawal can range from relatively mild to severe and potentially life-threatening.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal look different from person to person. Therefore, each person who begins a Texas alcohol detox program at a professional rehab like Dallas Detox Center will have a different experience. The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (those experienced by most people who choose to stop drinking) consist of anxiety, sweating, headaches, irritability, and fatigue. Slightly more severe symptoms may also include elevated blood pressure, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and heart palpitations.

In the most severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, shaking and tremors Known as delirium tremens (DTs) may occur. Delirium tremens often happen in those who struggle with severe alcohol addiction and, therefore, intense and powerful symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Unfortunately, delirium tremens can lead to potentially life-threatening withdrawal side effects, including seizures. Research indicates that approximately one out of every twenty people experience delirium tremens during alcohol detox and withdrawal.

What is the Timeline for Alcohol Detox?

The first symptoms of alcohol detox will present within six hours (sometimes less) of your last drink. During the early stages of detox, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are generally mild. The first six to 12 hours consist typically of symptoms such as sweating, nausea, irritability, and vomiting. These mild symptoms persist from 12 to 24 hours, often slowly intensifying as time passes. Although unpleasant, withdrawal symptoms are an indication that your body is working to flush any remaining alcohol from your system.

Approximately 24 hours into detox, withdrawal symptoms often intensify and become slightly more unpleasant. Someone who struggles with severe alcohol addiction may experience harmful withdrawal symptoms during the 24 to 72 hours after their last drink. Most withdrawal symptoms begin to resolve within three to five days. However, symptoms may persist for a week or more for those who experience significant withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens.

Although the physical symptoms of withdrawal are typically resolved within a week to ten days, it is not uncommon for psychological symptoms to persist well beyond the initial stages of detox. In some cases, it is possible to experience challenges with anxiety, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping for weeks or months after completing detox and a comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment program.

It is also important to remember that detoxing from alcohol is an individual process. This means that what holds true for one person in terms of an alcohol detox timeline may not look the same for everyone. The steps and stages you go through on your journey to sobriety from alcohol addiction are unique to you, your treatment needs, and your treatment goals. 

It is important to consider the severity of your addiction, how long you have been struggling with alcohol addiction, and your history with alcohol use disorders and treatment. In some cases, it might be harder to overcome an addiction to alcohol after completing treatment and experiencing a relapse.

How to Find an Alcohol Detox Program in Texas

If you or a loved one experiences alcohol addiction and are ready to take your first steps toward lasting sobriety, contact a member of our Dallas, Texas rehab admissions team today. 
Let our caring and compassionate treatment professionals guide you through detox and your journey to freedom from alcohol with our inpatient alcohol addiction treatment programs in Dallas.

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