How Long Does It Take An Alcoholic To Detox?

When you are ready to call it quits with alcohol, should you stop drinking altogether or slowly cut back on your consumption? It is natural to want to quit immediately while your willpower is strong, but it can also be potentially dangerous for some. How long does it take an alcoholic to detox, what happens when you quit cold turkey, and what are the risks of an at-home alcohol detox? 

For the safest alcohol detox, you can rely on the professionals at Promises Right Step. Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs are designed to address your physical, mental, and emotional health to set you up for long-lasting recovery. Call us today at 17135283709 or fill out our online form to speak with one of our friendly staff members about overcoming alcohol detox at our treatment centers. Remember, alcoholism doesn’t mean that you are weak. It is a disease that can be treated with the right support and resources.

How Long Does It Take an Alcoholic to Detox?

How long does it take an alcoholic to detox ? For most people, alcohol detox usually lasts up to one week. However, the length of time it takes for a person with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) to detox can vary based on several factors, including:

  • How long the person has been drinking
  • How much alcohol the person typically consumes
  • The severity of the addiction
  • Their overall health

Generally, the longer a person has been drinking and the more they drink, the longer it will take for their body to detox from alcohol. Certain health conditions can also impact the length of detox, such as those related to impaired liver or immune function. 

What Happens During an At-Home Alcohol Detox?

An at-home alcohol detox can involve quitting cold turkey or tapering one’s consumption. Quitting cold turkey means abruptly stopping all alcohol use without any medical supervision or support. While this approach might seem like the fastest way to recovery, it can be dangerous and even life-threatening for some, particularly those with severe alcohol dependence.

If you undergo alcohol detox at home, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

In the most severe cases, you may also be at risk of delirium tremens or DTs, which are a serious form of alcohol withdrawal requiring immediate medical attention. Without professional help, the DTs can lead to fatal seizures or coma.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

As far as the alcohol detox timeline goes, you can expect the following:

Eight Hours After the Last Drink

Withdrawal symptoms begin to appear.

One to Three Days Later

Withdrawal symptoms may be at their worst.

Four to Seven Days Later

Withdrawal symptoms start to ease gradually.

After the First Week

While the majority of withdrawal symptoms have subsided, you may continue to experience the psychological effects of alcohol withdrawal, such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis, for a longer period as your brain and body continue to heal.

The Dangers of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

Quitting alcohol on your own can be tempting. However, it is important to keep in mind that going cold turkey can be much more challenging than tapering your consumption. If you are considering stopping drinking altogether, first review the following dangers of quitting cold turkey:

  • Excessive vomiting or sweating
  • Severe dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)
  • Coma

In addition to these dangers, another potential downside of an at-home alcohol detox is that you are more likely to relapse. The symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable enough to make it feel unbearable to abstain from alcohol. But with medical supervision from an alcohol addiction treatment program, you can get through this challenging period safely and more comfortably.

Call Promises Right Step for Help Detoxing from Alcohol Safely

Detoxing from alcohol is a critical step in your recovery journey. Instead of trying to do it all on your own, reach out to Promises Right Step to enroll in one of our evidence-based treatment programs. Call us at 17135283709 or reach out online to get started.

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