How long does alcohol detox take?

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Alcohol detox is an essential part of an alcoholism treatment programme.  It is the process of flushing out the residual toxins left behind after alcohol abuse.
Alcohol detoxification allows the body to start healing and the mind to “defog”.  You are unlikely to be able to benefit from alcohol addiction counselling until your thoughts are cleared from the mind-altering effects of alcohol.  So if you’re wondering how long alcohol detox takes, you should bear in mind that this is an important phase of addictions treatment and should not be rushed.
Alcohol detox can last anywhere between a few days to two weeks.  The actual length of time will depend on your level of physical health, age, weight, sex, the quantity of alcohol consumed, as well as the duration that you have been addicted to alcoholic drinking for.
Full physical recovery from alcohol abuse can take several months.  Note that the term “recovery” when used in the context of alcoholism encompasses recovery in a number of spheres and not just physical recovery.  Any quality alcoholism treatment programme will build upon the work started in the detoxification.
This means that when you ask how long alcohol detoxification takes you should also be looking at the treatment programme that must follow detoxification in order to help the patient find full recovery from alcoholism.
Alcoholism treatment should not be rushed.  Remember that the thought patterns and behaviours associated with alcoholism have developed over years and may be deeply entrenched in the alcoholic.  Achieving lasting change may require difficult emotional and psychological adjustments.  Short alcohol treatment programs last for 28 days while longer ones may last several months.
The European Association for the Treatment of Addiction notes that it is fundamental for the patient to be placed in the correct type of program in order to achieve the best treatment outcome.  You will need to decide whether a short program is going to be effective for you or if you need a longer period of treatment.  We Do Recover can help you in making this difficult decision, contact us today for independent advice from our professional intake coordinators.
Do I need a doctor for alcohol detox?
Alcohol is potentially one of the most dangerous substances to detox from and you should always seek medical advice when considering starting to “dry out”.
Alcohol detox has physical and psychological symptoms.  Physical symptoms range from mild (clammy skin, sweating, insomnia, headaches) to severe (delirium tremens, fever, seizures).  Psychological symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, nightmares and rapid emotional changes.
A doctor who is experienced in providing alcohol detox will be able to mitigate the risks and make the process more comfortable.  Alcohol detoxification can be fatal, but modern pharmacology has given us medications which can dramatically reduce the chance of death.  Don’t leave anything to chance – rather let We Do Recover help you find a addiction treatment centre that offers a professional detox service.
Can I do alcohol detox as an outpatient?
If after assessing you a doctor feels that you are not at risk of developing severe symptoms she may allow you to start an outpatient alcohol detox programme.  Ideally you should still have somebody who is available to be with you and monitor your progress.  Additionally you should see the supervising doctor regularly, even daily, during the detoxification process.
If withdrawal symptoms are so uncomfortable that you feel you can’t handle them then please rather book into an inpatient programme rather than picking up the bottle.  Of course if you start to display severe symptoms you should immediately consult with a doctor.
If you want to dry out safely in a world class treatment centre under the care of experienced and caring medical personnel please let We Do Recover help you choose a clinic.  Our intake coordinators have extensive experience in dealing with clinics and will be able to match you to the alcohol rehab centre that meets your needs.

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