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Those with an alcohol use disorder are unable to control how much they drink. If this sounds like you, it’s not too late to get help. In order to break your physical dependence, a detox program is necessary. However, you may be wondering, “How long does it take to detox?”

So, how long does it take? No magic pill will shut off alcohol cravings from one moment to the next. Typically, however, a stay lasts between five and ten days. Variables that influence the time frame include your overall health, motivation, and alcohol abuse history.

What Happens During Treatment?

women staring out the windowAny alcohol detox starts with an intake interview. Caring therapists want to learn more about you, your health, the length of time you’ve been using, and how much you consume. They help you get comfortable in your accommodations and ensure that medical personnel is available if you need assistance. You’ll probably notice your first withdrawal symptoms eight hours after your last drink.

The alcohol that once depressed your central nervous system begins to slowly leave your body. The nervous system now “reboots,” which may lead to some physical discomfort. Examples include gastrointestinal issues, stomach cramps, nausea, and sweating. You may also experience psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

Symptoms slowly grow more persistent over the next couple of days. Although rare, some program participants may experience delirium tremens (DTs). These include visual or auditory hallucinations as well as seizure activity. DTs are a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.

By day five, the uncomfortable symptoms begin to wind down. You’ll start to feel better and gain confidence that you can shake the addiction.

While deciding to quit is a step in the right direction, you shouldn’t try to quit cold turkey at home. Not only does the attempt typically end in failure, but suddenly stopping alcohol consumption after months or years of abuse can be dangerous. We’ve already discussed the danger of DTs. There’s no accurate way of predicting who will experience them and who won’t.

Moreover, having medical supervision on standby ensures that any physical ailments receive immediate treatment. These experts also assist as needed to keep you comfortable during withdrawal. Examples of their care include:

  • Easing the pain of early withdrawal symptoms
  • Protecting your emotional state during the process
  • Preventing you from harming others or yourself
  • Supporting your resolve to quit drinking once and for all
  • Helping you to relax and feel comfortable

Stop wondering, First Step is there to help. Contact our friendly therapists at 877-389-1135 to schedule your appointment today!