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Just as every single individual’s road to alcohol abuse is unique, your alcohol detox timeline will be personal and customized during an alcohol addiction treatment program. That said, the symptoms a person will experience while in an alcohol detox center are similar, and the stories of abuse and the beginning of recovery may start to sound the same. And yet, each person’s journey and alcohol detox timeline will differ in an alcohol abuse treatment program.

The Alcohol Rehab Timeline

If you drink alcohol to excess and attempt to stop suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Your alcohol detox timeline starts within a few hours or a few days and may be uncomfortable, at best, if you haven’t had a drinking problem for too long a time, but if you have been abusing alcohol for many years, the impact of detox can be severe and even life-threatening. A medical and professional alcohol detox center is essential to beginning the road to sobriety safely.¬† The exact alcohol detox timeline depends on several factors, including:
  • How much you drink
  • How long you’ve been drinking
  • Past experiences with alcohol detox
According to the Industrial Psychiatry Journal, there are general guidelines about when you can expect to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms in several stages along the alcohol detox timeline:

6 hours

Minor alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms will usually begin about six hours after your last drink. An individual who has a long history of drinking heavily could experience a seizure six hours after stopping drinking.

12 to 24 hours

A small percentage of people who go through an alcohol withdrawal at an alcohol detox center may experience hallucinations at this point in the alcohol detox timeline. Hearing and seeing things that aren’t there may seem scary, but medical professionals do not consider it a serious complication. Still, receiving professional care in alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you get through these symptoms safely as you work toward a sober life.

24 to 48 hours

Minor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this window of time. Some of these symptoms may include:
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Upset stomach
If a person goes through only minor withdrawal, their symptoms usually peak at 18 to 24 hours and decrease after four to five days.

48 hours to 72 hours

Some people experiencing alcohol detox will suffer a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that doctors call delirium tremens (DTs) or alcohol withdrawal delirium. Signs of this condition include:
  • High heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Increased body temperature

72 hours

At three days, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst. Receiving care in a medical alcohol detox center through a substance abuse treatment program is crucial to staying safe and sober at this critical juncture in the alcohol detox timeline. Most people in alcohol addiction treatment programs will see their detox symptoms cease roughly four to five days after their last drink. To manage those days safely, seek out help from an alcohol abuse treatment program.

The Withdrawal Symptoms During Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, causing feelings of relaxation and extreme euphoria. Because the body usually works to maintain balance, it will signal the brain to make more neurotransmitter receptors that excite or stimulate the central nervous system. When you stop drinking, you take away alcohol not only from those receptors but also from the additional receptors your body made. As a result, your nervous system becomes overactive, causing detox symptoms such as:
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Seek Help From An Alcohol Abuse Treatment Program 

If your drinking makes you feel out of control and you are ready to seek help, alcohol addiction treatment therapy can assist you on your road to recovery. Through detox and therapy, led by compassionate medical professionals, you can not only overcome alcohol detox but for your alcohol addiction as well. Get the help you deserve today.