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Alcohol Detox: How Long Does it Take?

First things first, detoxing off alcohol on your own is not safe. People who quit alcohol cold turkey after a period of abuse run the risk of tachycardia, increased blood pressure, body temperature dysregulation, and delirium tremens which include seizure, hallucinations, and death. Now you know: if you go to a medically-supervised detox such as the Serenity Recovery Center, you can avoid the dangerous side effects of alcohol cessation, and be more comfortable in the process.

If no other drug use or co-occurring conditions are present, the typical timeline for alcohol withdrawal can be broken down into three phases, and usually goes as follows:

  1. Acute Withdrawal: This phase is the most dangerous, and is marked by tremors, autonomic system hyperactivity, and a higher risk for DT’s and seizures. Seizures usually occur within the first couple of days following the last drink, and DT’s will peak around 72 after the last drink. This phase is marked with tachycardia, increased blood pressure, diaphoresis (sweating profusely), dysregulation of body temperature, nausea, vomiting. If you were to go cold turkey, you run the risk of all of these symptoms, and it is possible you could die. Your nervous system will be overloaded during this period, which is why it is essential to go to detox for a safe withdrawal.
  2. Early Abstinence: Disturbed sleep, anxiety, and low mood symptoms continue, but the acute physical withdrawal symptoms have subsided. Increased anxiety typically lasts for three to six weeks following the last drink. In general, women will stay in the early abstinence phase a little longer than men.
  3. Protracted Abstinence or Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome: Anxiety and agitation may not be obvious, but normal, daily challenges can set an individual off in a fit of negativity, alcohol cravings, irritability and mood swings. In this stage, your brain chemistry is slowly returning to normal, and as it heals, naturally-occurring chemicals will fluctuate, causing emotional peaks and valleys.

If you are struggling with drinking, do not attempt to alcohol detox on your own. We cannot stress enough that stopping cold turkey is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

The Serenity Recovery Center will taper you down slowly, safely, and comfortably. You don’t need to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and there is no reason you should.

You are not alone in this. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at 844-339-6964. So many people continue living in the misery of addiction because of the fear of withdrawal. Don’t let this be you. Your life can change, and you can recover. Call us today.