The Alcohol Rehab TimelineIf 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
6 hoursMinor 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 hoursA 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 hoursMinor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this window of time. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach
48 hours to 72 hoursSome 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
- Increased body temperature
72 hoursAt 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 RehabAlcohol 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:
- Rapid heart rate