How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol?

The length of alcohol detox varies depending on a number of factors. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also vary a lot in intensity. Alcohol addiction treatment is needed once alcohol use gets out of hand.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol?

Usually, alcohol detox takes about one week after the last drink. Sometimes, detox will last for longer. Cravings for alcohol may last for months.

Many factors influence how long withdrawal symptoms will last after alcohol abuse. Usually, the more severe someone’s alcohol dependence and health issues are, the longer detox will take.

The Alcohol Detox Timeline

It is important to remember that alcohol detox does not follow one timeline for everyone.

With that in mind, the following stages outline a typical detox schedule after alcohol abuse:

  • Stage 1: Within 12 hours after they stop drinking, people usually feel the first symptoms of withdrawal. These may include nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and stomach pain.
  • Stage 2: Between 24 to 72 hours after the last drink, more serious symptoms, including high blood pressure and heart rate, confusion, and high body temperature, may occur.
  • Stage 3: Beginning two to four days after the last drink, severe symptoms like fever, hallucinations, agitation, and seizures could occur. If delirium tremens (DTs) occurs, it usually starts in this phase.
  • Stage 4: Symptoms usually ease within five to seven days.

The detox process and length of detox phases will not be the same for everyone. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from very mild to severe and life-threatening.

They can last anywhere from a couple of days to weeks, or even months.

Learn more about the stages of alcohol detox.

Factors That Influence Alcohol Detox Time

Several factors can make detox last varying amounts of time, such as age, weight, and overall health.

Severity Of Drinking Problem

People who have more serious alcohol use disorders tend to have more severe detox symptoms that last for longer. The amount of alcohol someone drinks will affect the length of their detox.

Repeated binge drinking and heavy drinking over a long period of time can make withdrawal worse. Severe withdrawal symptoms usually mean detox will last longer.

Length Of Time Abusing Alcohol

How long someone has been drinking alcohol can affect the length of their detox process. Even moderate alcohol consumption over a long period of time may lead to withdrawal.

People who have been drinking heavily for a long time may experience extended alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Age, Weight, And Any Health Issues

In general, the younger and healthier a person is, the faster detox will be. People with existing health conditions such as liver problems may have a more severe and drawn-out detox process.

Older people experience a longer detox, on average. The body processes substances more slowly at an older age.

The body also stores alcohol in fat, so people who are overweight may take longer to detox.

Treatment Services Offered During And After Alcohol Detox

Inpatient detox and alcohol rehab is the best option if you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse.

When you visit a treatment center for alcohol detox and rehab, a team of medical professionals will offer advice and medical supervision to make sure you remain safe and comfortable.

Detox may include medical detox with drugs like benzodiazepines and naltrexone which help to manage withdrawal symptoms and alcohol cravings and calm the central nervous system.

In rehab, medical advice continues and mental health interventions are added to reduce the risk of relapse.

Find A Rehab Facility For Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is uncomfortable at best and can be deadly at worst. Visiting a certified treatment center for alcohol detox and rehab is critical.

Bedrock Recovery Center is the top alcohol and drug addiction treatment center on the east coast.

Call our helpline today to learn more about our programs and start your journey toward a healthier life.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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