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How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Because alcohol is a prevalent component of day-to-day life, it is easy to overlook the devastation caused by alcohol misuse and dependence. For those who have been struggling with a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, however, the implications of excessive alcohol consumption are clear. If you or someone you love has been struggling with alcohol addiction, you might feel helpless, hopeless, and unsure where to turn. Fortunately, Detox Nashville is available to help. 

At Detox Nashville, we offer effective and comprehensive alcohol detox services in Nashville, Tennessee. Our detox program focuses on more than helping our clients move through a safe and pain-free alcohol withdrawal. As we treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with alcohol detox, we also prepare our clients to take the next step on their personal journeys of alcohol addiction recovery.

To learn more about how long it will take to detox from alcohol, or to begin your journey of healing, contact us today. 

Alcohol Use and Dependence

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “219.2 million people ages 12 and older (78.3% in this age group) reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. 133.1 million people ages 12 and older (47.5% in this age group) reported that they drank in the past month.” 

While alcohol use is extremely prevalent throughout the country, not everyone who consumes alcohol will develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, rates of AUD are exceptionally high. NIAAA reports, “29.5 million people ages 12 and older (10.6% in this age group) had AUD in the past year.” Fortunately, there is help available to those with a diagnosable AUD. At Detox Nashville, we offer effective medical detoxification services, helping individuals of all ages begin the journey toward alcohol addiction recovery. 

What is Alcohol Detox?

The National Library of Medicine defines alcohol withdrawal as “symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis suddenly stops drinking alcohol.” The more frequently a person consumes alcohol, the more likely it is they will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms range in severity, and they can be life-threatening in some cases. The goal of alcohol detox is to reduce the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, prevent complications, and begin a person on the road to long-term alcohol addiction recovery. 

During alcohol detox, a team of licensed medical professionals monitors vital signs. A nurse practitioner checks blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature regularly — typically several times daily. In the case of severe dehydration, fluids might be administered intravenously. If medication is deemed necessary, it is prescribed and administered by an experienced physician. Once a person has been physically stabilized, they transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range in severity and are typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Common symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Profuse sweating and clammy skin
  • Persistent headaches 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Body tremors and uncontrollable shaking 
  • Anxiety and nervousness 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Worsening symptoms of depression 
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues 
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Irritability and agitation 
  • Mood swings 

Delirium tremens, or “the DTs,” is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can affect heavy drinkers. The symptoms of the DTs include severe confusion and disorientation, fever, hallucinations, and seizures. Anyone who is at risk of developing the DTs should be closely monitored in a medical detox center. 

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally occur within 8 hours after the last drink. However, symptoms can develop days later. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal tend to peak in 24 to 72 hours, but they may last for weeks in some instances. When treated in a designated detoxification center, the duration of the withdrawal period and how long it takes to detox from alcohol can be reduced significantly. 

Alcohol Detox Timeline

  • The First 8 Hours — The first signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin to develop. They are mild and easily managed. 
  • The First 24 to 72 Hours — Alcohol withdrawal symptoms worsen in severity and peak during this time period, which is also known as acute withdrawal. 
  • Days 3 and 4 — Those at risk of the DTs might begin experiencing more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Mild or moderate drinkers will notice the more severe withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. 
  • Days 5 and 6 — The more severe symptoms subside, and a client is generally able to transition into the next appropriate level of care. 
  • Day 7 and Beyond — Symptoms associated with post-acute alcohol withdrawal might persist. These symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, depression, and mood swings. 

Treatment Options for Alcohol Withdrawal 

There are numerous treatment options available for alcohol withdrawal. In most cases, physical symptoms are treated with a combination of over-the-counter medications and bed rest. However, in the case of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, sedative medications might be prescribed. Benzodiazepines are used to prevent seizures and calm the central nervous system. It is important to note that sedative medications are used short-term under the close supervision of the prescribing physician. 

Some alcohol detox centers offer therapeutic interventions to begin the emotional and mental healing process. At Detox Nashville, we combine individual and group therapy with around-the-clock medical care, providing our clients with the best chance of long-term sobriety. 

Contact Us Today to Begin

Our alcohol detox in Nashville, Tennessee, provides professional detoxification services to those in need. We understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help. Making the decision to seek professional treatment for an alcohol use disorder is certainly not easy. Fortunately, admitting that help has become necessary is the most challenging part of the process. 

We are available to walk you through each step of the early recovery process, from the initial call through admission. As soon as you make the decision to contact us, we connect you with someone who can help. We answer any additional questions you might have and help you prepare for the road ahead.

We look forward to speaking with you and helping you begin your personal journey of alcohol addiction recovery. Contact us today.

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24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.