How Long Will Detox from Alcohol Take?
When people with alcohol use disorders realize that they cannot continue using alcohol the way that they have been, treatment is the natural response, and it should be. One component of that process is detox, the process of transitioning from actively intoxicated to free of alcohol and drugs. You may have questions about detox and how long it will take. Like everything else about alcohol treatment, there are a number of factors that will determine how long your detox from alcohol will take. There is no one size fits all answer.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 16.3 million adults, 18 and over, had an alcohol use disorder in 2014. With the sheer number of people facing an alcohol dependence and seeking treatment, it isn’t possible to find one finite length of detox.
One consistent aspect of detox is that all participants should attend qualified, structured detox programs. These provide medical consultations, care, and assistance from experts who specialize in the field and make the difference.
To find an appropriate detox program, contact our helpline at 800-483-2193(Who Answers?) and speak to our experts. They can guide you through choosing a facility and answer all of your questions. Don’t ignore the importance of professional detox and the role it can play in your recovery from your alcohol use disorder.
When determining the length of your detox, many factors will be assessed. These include:
- The length of time you have been drinking to excess (months, years, etc.)
- The amount you drink on a daily basis (daily, a few times a week, regular binges, etc.)
- Whether or not you combine your alcohol use with other drugs
- Other mental health disorders
- Other physical health conditions
- Whether or not the other conditions contributing to the drinking or caused by it
The answers to these questions in addition to how the answers connect to one another or don’t will help your doctors determine the way they treat you during detox. That treatment and your response to it will decide how long your detox takes.
In addition to the information gathered for your initial assessment will be your reactions to the detox program. Initially, it may be decided that detox will take a certain length of time, but that estimate may need to be adjusted during the process.
One factor that contributes to adjustment is medical emergency. For example, jumps in blood pressure, breathing rate, or heart rate can pop up without warning. Conversely, drops ion all of these functions can occur as well. Seizures are another concern.
When these unexpected changes manifest, medical intervention is the key to stabilizing you. You will also be monitored to protect against further changes. It is important that alcohol detox be monitored consistently by medical personnel because alcohol detox tends to have more medical complications than detox from other substances.
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In addition to the possibility of raised blood pressure and seizures, when you are in alcohol detox, you may face unexpected mental health problems. But, such problems are an expected part of alcohol detox.
You may face:
- Fluctuations in mood
- Trouble sleeping
- Muddled thinking
Nearly 8 million American adults have co-occurring disorders. If you have a co-occurring mental health issue, you will struggle with it during detox and a professional detox program will probably treat you specifically for that condition while they deal with your alcohol detox. The difficulty is that detox can cause co-occurring mental health conditions to increase in severity and without a professional detox staff, most people can’t manage both the withdrawal symptoms and the increased mental health problems.
Should mental health worsen, detox will need to be extended to properly guide a patient through intoxication and withdrawal and into a sober state free of withdrawal symptoms.
You should expect that a huge mental hindrance will be your craving for alcohol. It will worsen considerably as you approach peak detoxification. But, you (like millions before you) will make it through the discomfort.
For a better understanding of how long your detox could take, contact a professional alcohol detox program. To find such a program, contact 800-483-2193(Who Answers?). We can connect you to people with answers.