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What Is the Alcohol Detox Timeline?

What Is the Alcohol Detox Timeline?

Without proper medical care, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal. Heavy drinkers and alcoholics may experience withdrawal symptoms soon after discontinuing their sessions. It typically occurs within eight hours of the last drink, but in some cases, it may take longer.

Alcoholics may feel uncomfortable and have strong cravings during this period, causing them to feel as if time is slowing down. After the last consumption of alcohol, withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 24 to 72 hours.

Detox Timeline of Alcohol

An detox timeline of alcohol is determined by the severity of the disease. The greater the addiction, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms, and the longer they are likely to last.

There are several things a patient can expect during alcohol detox:

  • Receive a medical examination
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms
  • Take medication for symptoms
  • Receive around-the-clock support 

It is common for certain symptoms to last for weeks, but the actual alcohol detox process is a short process, usually lasting between 7 and 10 days.

6 to 12 Hours After The Last Drink 

After stopping drinking, most alcohol withdrawal subjects will start experiencing discomfort between six and twelve hours after quitting, although severe addiction patients could experience withdrawal symptoms as early as two hours after quitting. 

It is common for withdrawal symptoms to begin mildly and progress as time passes without further consumption.

As part of the emergence period, the patient will receive a medical examination if they have checked into a detox center. This will allow the medical staff to determine if there are any other issues that may endanger the patient’s life and determine their health conditions.

As soon as the examination is complete, the patient will be prescribed medications that will help manage withdrawal symptoms.

During the emergence phase of withdrawal, the following symptoms can be observed:

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hypertension and hyperventilation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High body temperature
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Anxiety

12 to 24 Hours After The Last Drink 

When the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal develop, and as time marches on, the alcoholic will experience increasingly dangerous and severe withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Hallucinations
  • disorientation 
  • Seizures
  • Feeling pins and needles
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression

24 to 48 Hours After The Last Drink 

The second day is characterized by hallucinations, panic attacks, and seizures. The patient is entering a delicate medical phase during this period. 

In this stage, patients should be under constant supervision and receive medical care around-the-clock.

3 to 7 Days After The Last Drink 

The third to seventh days tend to be the most challenging and risky for the recovering alcoholic. Besides being debilitating mentally, this period is also hazardous to their physical health, placing them at risk of death.

It is possible to have a cardiac collapse during this period due to delirium tremens, a potentially life-threatening symptom. Statistics show that patients have a whopping 37% risk of mortality rate when the proper treatment is not provided.

8 Days After The Last Drink 

With the end of the detox timeline of alcohol comes a new window of opportunity, as many withdrawal symptoms begin to fade. It is possible for mild symptoms to persist for a long time, but they can usually be treated with medication.

Getting Help

You can’t overestimate the importance of getting help if you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism. 

Data shows that detoxing with severe withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. Taking part in a detox program will protect the alcoholic from alcohol withdrawal risks, allowing them to receive medical care and protection.

Now that you know what the detox timeline of alcohol looks like, it’s time to get started.

At Ava Recovery, we offer alcohol detox programs to help you or a loved one get sober and remain sober.

Whenever you need help, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no cost or obligation to you. Get the help you and your loved ones need from a Veritas recovery expert. 

Get in touch with Ava Recovery today!

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