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How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

Alcohol Detox Treatment

Alcohol detox can take different amounts of time depending on your addiction. 

If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol and has tried to stop drinking in the past only to realize that the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol detox are too difficult to cope with then you have likely asked the question, “How long does alcohol detox take?” The answer to this question is largely dependent on the individual, the level of their addiction, the length of time they have been consuming alcohol and also on the amount of alcohol that is consumed. All of these factors come into play when determining how long alcohol detox will actually take.

Alcohol detox can usually be completed in about 10 days when other health problems do not interfere. During the first 24-48 hours many of the initial signs of alcohol detox will begin to appear and may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. Often times, the most severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will not appear until a few days into the detox phase such as around the 3-4 day. This is when the chances of hallucinations, seizures, convulsions and other dangerous alcohol detox symptoms increase.

Generally speaking, how long it takes for alcohol detox to be complete depends mostly on the individual and their own addiction. Most people feel physically better within a week but for some the physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol detox can last for 10-14 days or even longer in severe cases. An individual who has only been drinking for a few weeks and may detox more rapidly than someone who has been a long term binge drinker for many years. There’s really no way of knowing how long alcohol detox will take without experiencing it for oneself.

It’s important to remember that alcohol detox only considers the time that it takes to overcome the physical withdrawal symptoms and dependence on alcohol, not any time that it may take to recover from any psychological symptoms or dependence. Alcohol detox centers can provide assistance and guidance for those who are taking the first step to alcohol addiction treatment but for long term sobriety, it is advisable to enter into an alcohol treatment program that can help with the psychological aspect of addiction.

While alcohol detox may only take a few days or a week, this is only the amount of time that it takes for an individual to stop experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms and physical dependence on alcohol. The psychological symptoms may last a lifetime and may require long term follow up care in order for an addict to maintain their own sobriety and continue to live alcohol free.