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How Long Does An Alcohol Detox Take?

How Long Does An Alcohol Detox Take?

Regular alcohol consumption can quickly progress into dependence – which can take over your life. It not only affects your physical health but your mental well-being too.

Understanding the ins and outs of alcohol detoxification is the first step towards a healthier life. But how long does an alcohol detox take? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post.

Read on to learn more about alcohol detoxification, including signs you need an alcohol detox, how long an alcohol detox takes, how long withdrawal symptoms last, and what comes after alcohol detox. We’ll also be explaining how you can begin an alcohol detox with Home Detox UK today.

 

What is an Alcohol Detox?

Before we explore the alcohol detox timeline, let’s define what an alcohol detox is. Alcohol detoxification is the process of safely and gradually reducing alcohol intake, typically with professional support.

This is a critical step if you’re dealing with alcohol dependence. Quitting alcohol suddenly can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including life-threatening symptoms like delirium tremens (DTs).

The detox process aims to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications. It addresses physical dependence – but does not address the psychological and social aspects of addiction.

If you opt for a medically supervised detox, medical professionals will monitor you closely to ensure your safety. However, if you opt for an outpatient detox or at-home detox, you will liaise with a healthcare professional online, over the phone, or during scheduled appointments.

 

Signs I Need an Alcohol Detox

If you are concerned about your drinking habits or think you have an alcohol use disorder, you should consider detoxing from alcohol.

Some common signs that you have an addiction and should consider quitting alcohol include:

  • Higher tolerance – needing more alcohol to feel ‘drunk’ is a sign that your body is getting used to higher levels of alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms – physical and psychological symptoms when you stop drinking, such as tremors, anxiety, nausea, or irritability
  • Alcohol-related health problems – for example, liver damage, cardiovascular issues, or mental health issues
  • Failed attempts to cut down – Trying to reduce alcohol intake but struggling without support
  • Neglecting responsibilities – neglecting personal and professional responsibilities, strained relationships, and an overall decline in the quality of your life
  • Alcohol cravings – having the desire to drink alcohol despite the negative effects

 

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

The duration of alcohol detox can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as your health, addiction history, and any co-occurring conditions. Generally, the alcohol detox timeline can be divided into three main stages.

 

Assessment – One Day

The first stage is completing an addiction assessment. This will give your healthcare or rehab provider insight into your physical and mental health, as well as the severity for your dependence.

The duration of this stage varies but typically takes a few hours to a day. At Home Detox UK, our initial assessment allows us to create a tailored alcohol addiction treatment plan for you that meets your specific needs.

If you have a severe alcohol dependence, you may benefit from an inpatient detox with medical supervision from medical professionals.

 

Detox Process – Several Weeks

The detox process itself can vary in length, lasting from just 48 hours to several weeks. In most cases for those with mild to moderate alcohol addiction, it will take around seven days to detox from the time of your last drink.

During this stage, professionals carefully monitor and manage moderate to severe symptoms, and provide medical support as needed. The goal is to safely taper off alcohol consumption while minimising discomfort and health risks. For many, this initial detox stage is the most difficult part.

 

Recovery – Weeks to Months

After you have successfully finished detoxing from alcohol, you may continue to the next stage of your recovery journey. This often involves ongoing therapy, counselling, and support to address the underlying issues contributing to alcohol dependence.

This can take anything from weeks to months to years. The long-term recovery process is highly individualised, and some people remain in recovery for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that severe cases of alcohol dependence may require much longer to recover. Likewise, if you have co-occurring health issues, you may need additional time for stabilisation.

 

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The alcohol withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person, in both severity and duration. Typically, alcohol withdrawal syndrome lasts from a few days to a week.

When you stop drinking alcohol, your body reacts to the lack of alcohol it’s used to. You may notice early withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and nausea. These can occur just a few hours after your last drink.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically peak around the third day (around 72 hours after your last drink). Severe alcohol symptoms may persist for longer.

Although most symptoms tend to improve within a week, some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (such as mood swings and cravings) may persist for longer. Likewise, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) involves symptoms that can last for months or even years.

 

What Comes After an Alcohol Detox?

Detoxing from alcohol is a huge achievement, but it doesn’t end there. Detoxification is just the beginning of your recovery journey. After detoxing, you should work to address the psychosocial aspects of addiction.

Ongoing addiction support and therapy can help you understand the root causes of your alcohol abuse issues. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can build your confidence, and teach you effective coping techniques to help you manage relapse.

Some people also benefit from joining support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These groups can connect you with others facing similar challenges, and offer a platform to share experiences, receive guidance, and hold yourself accountable throughout the recovery process.

 

Begin Your Alcohol Detox Journey Today

If you are dealing with alcohol addiction and are looking to take the first steps towards recovery, our team here at Home Detox UK are here to help you. We are here to provide you with a discreet and effective solution for alcohol detox within the comfort of your own home.

Our detox kits are suitable if you have a mild form of alcoholism. Our professionally created packages are designed to guide you through the detox process with ease, ensuring safety and support at every step.

Begin your alcohol detox journey today by emailing help@homedetoxuk.org.uk or completing our ‘request a callback’ form.

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