The alcohol detox process takes place in the body over time, so it’s important to know what to expect when you choose to detox from alcohol. There are many different aspects of alcohol withdrawal that can affect you, including both physical and psychological symptoms. Here’s what happens when you detox from alcohol.
What Happens To Your Body During Alcohol Detox?
For anyone who has ever tried to quit drinking, you know that withdrawal symptoms are almost impossible to manage on your own. Withdrawal can begin within hours of your last drink and continue for days—even weeks—after you’ve stopped drinking. The physical effects are bad enough, but it’s common for withdrawal symptoms to cause intense anxiety and depression. Alcohol isn’t just addictive physically; it’s also psychologically addicting—leaving many people with cravings after their bodies have sobered up. Most withdrawal symptoms begin within 12 hours of your last drink, peak in intensity around 24 hours later, and fade away after around 4 to 7 days.
Day 1, 2 And 3
The first days of alcohol detox
are characterized by an overabundance of withdrawal symptoms. Some people describe these sensations as flu-like: nausea, vomiting, tremors and chills, among others. The dizziness and disorientation that mark day one might be accompanied by emotional disturbances such as anxiety and paranoia. It’s not uncommon for patients to develop insomnia during their first 24 hours in treatment. If you’re going through withdrawal from alcohol, it’s important to note that all these symptoms can be life-threatening if left untreated. If you notice any signs of danger — such as confusion or swelling — let your medical professionals know immediately so they can manage your condition with care and compassion.
After day four, withdrawal symptoms should begin to dissipate; even though there may still be physical symptoms remaining (headaches, body aches), they should not be nearly as intense as they were on days one and two.
Where Do I Get Alcohol Detox?
If you’re interested in alcohol detox, speak with your doctor about whether it’s right for you. If it is, he or she can determine which program may be best to break your addiction
. You can also check online for rehab facilities that offer an alcohol detox option—you should find one slightly out of your area for best results.
What Happens After Alcohol Detox?
Once you’ve been through detox, you’ll likely begin what is called post-acute withdrawal (PAW). PAW is a period of time during which symptoms may linger after detox. It typically lasts for one to two months but can extend beyond that timeframe. These symptoms can include: nausea, cramping, trembling and excessive sweating. Some people experience these symptoms to varying degrees; others do not notice them at all.