An alcohol detox is the only effective way to end an alcohol addiction. If you want to overcome alcoholism, the journey begins with detox. It is no secret that an alcohol detox can come with unpleasant side effects, but they won’t last forever. Find out how long detox will take so that you can be prepared for the journey to sobriety.

The Objectives of an Alcohol Detox

Medical staff member speaking to a client about alcohol detox and what to expect.There are three major objectives of an alcohol detox. The first is to stabilize the health of clients. The second objective is to end the chemical dependence on alcohol. The third objective is to begin the path to recovery from alcoholism.

In a medical detox facility, clients will have access to around-the-clock medical supervision. This is critical, because individuals will need medical monitoring throughout detox. If there are any serious medical problems that demand attention, clients will be in the right place.

That’s why no one should ever attempt to complete a detox at home or on their own. Even if you have the support of family members with good intentions, nothing can replace medical expertise. Clients in a medical detox program will have the best possible care and support throughout the process.

During an alcohol detox, clients won’t consume any alcohol. When this happens, withdrawal symptoms can occur. This happens because the body and the brain are used to functioning with alcohol in the system. Once the alcohol is gone, unpleasant symptoms appear.

Over the course of the detox, individuals will no longer have that chemical dependence on alcohol. The brain will begin relearning how to function without alcohol. While this isn’t the end of alcohol addiction, it is an all-important first step.

The Timeline of a Typical Detox From Alcohol

Almost everyone that is planning to complete detox wants to know how long it will take. Ultimately, the exact duration depends on the individual. However, all clients will follow roughly the same timeline. Getting familiar with the timeline can make it easier to prepare for what is to come.

The alcohol detox timeline starts the minute you decide to stop consuming alcohol for good. Whether this happens at midnight or in the middle of the day, that’s the beginning of your detox.

Most individuals will begin to experience their first mild withdrawal symptoms about 10 hours after their last drink. These won’t be severe, and many clients are already used to them. An alcoholic who doesn’t drink during the night, or who abstains from drinking alcohol at work, might already know what these mild symptoms feel like.

From that moment on, withdrawal symptoms will begin to intensify. The second stage of detox starts about 24 hours after the last drink of alcohol is consumed. This stage will continue for about two days, bringing the total length of the detox to around 72 hours.

At 72 hours into the detox, clients will hit the peak of withdrawal. This is about day three, and it is when withdrawal symptoms are at their most intense. During this phase, clients are also most vulnerable to relapse. That’s just one more reason why it is vital for clients to be in a secure medical detox facility throughout the process.

After the peak of withdrawal, symptoms recede. Clients will start to feel better with each passing hour. Another day or two, and clients might begin to experience feelings of health and happiness. This is a turning point, and it means that detox is about to end.

In most cases, withdrawal symptoms end when the alcohol detox ends. However, some clients will still experience lingering psychological or physical symptoms. Fortunately, clients can receive help for these symptoms in ongoing addiction treatment or rehab and that’s where Healing Springs Ranch comes in.

Factors That Impact Detox Duration

The timeline detailed above is the typical pattern for an alcohol detox. Every individual that completes an alcohol detox can expect a unique timeframe. Just some of the factors that impact detox duration include health, age, alcohol consumption, mental health and duration of addiction.

As important as it might be to complete a detox, the process is still stressful on the body. If your body is already under stress in the form of poor health, then detox can take longer. Clients who are ill or who are older may notice that each stage is prolonged. While a young and healthy person might complete detox in five days, it could take an older or less healthy individual eight days.

Mental health is also a big factor in detox duration. There is no denying the link between addiction and mental illness. Individuals who struggle with mental health conditions may find that psychological symptoms intensify during detox. This can make it tougher, or it can make the detox itself last longer.

The severity of the addiction to alcohol will also be a factor in detox duration. A client that drinks four units of alcohol a day will find detox easier than someone who drinks 12 units of alcohol a day.

Finally, the length of the addiction itself is important. A newer addiction may be easier to overcome than an addiction that is decades old. Clients who have been abusing alcohol for many years should expect detox to take longer than average.

What to Expect From a Detox

It is normal to be apprehensive about an alcohol detox. However, it is an important part of the recovery process, and it simply can’t be skipped. Knowing what to expect can make it easier to commit to addiction treatment.

Individuals should complete their alcohol detox in a safe and secure facility. That means it should be inpatient, which means that all clients stay on the premises 24/7. This is a great way to ensure accountability and make it easier to complete the entire detox without relapse.

Alcohol withdrawal can be unpleasant, but it isn’t as bad as many people imagine. In fact, a lot of clients report that it feels similar to having a bad case of the flu. Certainly not enjoyable, but far from terrible.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

It is also very normal to experience dehydration. This happens because of sweating as well as nausea. Fortunately, medical professionals in a detox center can help. Electrolyte beverages or saline solution IVs are a quick fix for severe dehydration.

There is a chance that some clients experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. While these are rare, they can sometimes require immediate medical attention. These symptoms can include seizures, cardiac problems or hallucinations.

Prospective clients should expect detox to be tough, but not impossible. No one has to complete detox alone, and the right staff can make all the difference. Plus, detox is a necessity if you’re serious about overcoming alcohol addiction once and for all.

After Detox–What Comes Next

Alcohol detox is a great first step toward your sobriety. Once a detox is complete, it is time to get serious about preventing addiction from taking hold ever again. At Healing Springs Ranch, we can help facilitate your detox and even handle some of the logistics. Once you’re ready, you can head straight to our location Tioga, Texas, to start making strides toward true recovery.

A residential treatment program is perhaps the most effective way to make a lasting change. A secure, closed environment means it is easier to commit to the program and avoid temptations. Clients at Healing Springs Ranch commit to a minimum of 30 days, but treatment can last up to 90 days.

During addiction treatment, we offer a comprehensive, whole-person approach to recovery. An alcohol detox treats the immediate medical needs, and we treat the full range of factors that contribute to an alcohol addiction. Our I.AM, or Integrated Addiction Model, takes every aspect of health into consideration.

Our Integrated Addiction Model may include 12-Step program meetings, trauma models or family therapy. It could incorporate holistic therapies, and it allows every client to get the customized support they need.

Our recovery programs also focus on the root cause of addiction. This is different for every client, but it informs us as to your best path to recovery. Clients might require more talk therapy, an emphasis on trauma therapy or extensive dual diagnosis treatment. Tailoring the program to the needs of the client is the best way to prevent relapse.

An alcohol detox takes an average of one week, but it is what comes next that matters more. At Healing Springs Ranch in Tioga, Texas, you can build on the progress of detox and make strides toward lasting recovery. Take the next step toward sobriety by calling us at 866-656-8384 today.