Step One: Alcohol Detox – Days 1-7
If you have been struggling with an alcohol use disorder of any severity, medical detox comes as a recommended first step. The symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal can be severe — even life-threatening — when they are left untreated. Alcohol detox typically lasts for anywhere between one and 7 days depending on the severity of the alcohol use disorder, the presence of pre-existing conditions and whether or not any other substances were being used simultaneously. The alcohol withdrawal process can be broken down into three distinct stages. For more information on any one of these stages or on how to speed the process along, contact us today.
Alcohol Withdrawal Stage 1: 6 to 12 hours
During the initial stage of the withdrawal process, physical and psychological symptoms begin to take hold — though they are typically not severe. Symptoms might include stomach cramping, anxiety, nausea and restlessness.
Alcohol Withdrawal Stage 2: 12 to 48 hours
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms peak in severity between 12 and 48 hours after the final drink. The symptoms associated with this stage of the alcohol withdrawal process include:
- Severe stomach cramping.
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Muscle aches and pains.
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks.
- Depressed mood and suicidal ideation.
- Insomnia, nightmares and other sleep-related issues.
- Mood swings.
- Agitation and irritability.
- Body tremors and uncontrollable shaking.
The level of clinical care you choose once medical detox concludes will depend heavily on the severity of the alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is a progressive condition and it occurs in several distinct stages. The later you catch an alcohol use disorder the more intensive continuum of care you will require.
- Profuse sweating/night sweats.
Alcohol Withdrawal Stage 3: 48 to 72 hours
During late stage alcohol withdrawal the more severe symptoms begin to subside. Most people experience lingering psychological symptoms, which might include anxiety, depression and cravings for alcohol.