You’re waking up to withdrawal symptoms. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ve been dreading this day for a while. Your alcohol abuse has been out of control. What’s the alcohol detox timeline like to get back in control of your life?
Detoxing at Home is a Bad Idea
Alcohol is one of the drugs that create dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Examples include seizures and delirium tremens. At a detox facility, you receive the medical support you need to remain safe. Most importantly, you get help to keep going.
At the alcohol detox center programs New England can trust, therapists routinely work with good people like you. There’s no judgment. Instead, you find understanding, compassion, and hands-on assistance. In a short week, you might be able to wake up without the symptoms you dread right now.
A General Alcohol Detox Timeline
There’s nothing standard about alcohol withdrawal. Your age, health, gender, and the time you’ve been drinking determine your withdrawal experience. That said, there is a general timeline that applies to most people quitting the drug.
You’ll initially experience withdrawal symptoms eight to ten hours after the last drink. That’s because your body’s metabolizing the chemicals and ridding itself of them. Therefore, your nervous system is getting back online. At the same time, your brain, which is working overtime to keep you going, continues.
This leads to some unpleasant feelings. It starts with the shakes. You’ll notice that your hands are shaking. Sometimes, your knees shake, too. In the past, you’d have taken a drink.
Now, you refuse to give in to the addiction. The alcohol detox timeline progressively intensifies over the next three days. You’re starting to feel as if you’re coming down with the flu. Concurrently, you feel anxiety building up.
You can’t rest. Similarly, you don’t have the energy to do much. At a detox facility, medical professionals intervene at this point. They might provide you with medication that helps you get comfortable and deal with cravings.
As you continue along the alcohol detox timeline, you might experience hallucinations. This isn’t uncommon. Some people encounter times of confusion. A small number may deal with seizures and delirium tremens, which requires immediate medical intervention.
By day four, you start to feel better. However, you might still deal with depression or anxiety. You’re starting to think about what comes next. For most people, a smooth transition to rehab is the best option.
Breaking the Psychological Addiction
Detox ends the physical addiction to alcohol. However, it doesn’t address your reasons for drinking. This happens at rehab. There, you work with therapists who empower you to find new ways of dealing with stressors.
Evidence-based treatments might include:
- One-on-one and group counseling sessions to discuss coping strategies
- Dual diagnosis treatment for program participants with depression or anxiety
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps you develop ways of ending dysfunctional patterns
- Trauma therapy, which empowers you to deal with adverse memories from the past
- 12 Step program participation