How Long Does It Take to Fully Detox from Alcohol?
If you’ve ever wondered how long does it take to fully detox from alcohol, then surely you’ve also imagined how our body goes about detoxifying alcohol, and how it affects our internal system? Let’s dig deeper into these thoughts.
Alcohol classifies as a sedative-hypnotic drug that depresses a human’s central nervous system in high doses. It’s formed through yeast fermentation or the breakdown of sugar in different types of food such as grapes, potatoes, beets, and many more.
When an individual is an alcohol-dependent, controlling themself not to drink can be a challenge. Especially for Los Angeles adolescents struggling with peer pressure and teenage alcoholism it’s important t learn the signs of teenage alcohol abuse.
If you or someone you know is suffering from teen alcohol abuse, call us to learn more about our teen alcohol treatment program in Los Angeles.
Continue reading to learn more about what to expect when detoxing from alcohol and how the process works.
What is Detox?
Detox or detoxification is a short-term for the phase of natural removal of toxins from the body, especially for substance abuse recovery. It is when a person decided to get rid of alcohol or poisons in his body, and detox treatment can begin with a fresh start.
Alcohol detox usually occurs once a person quits drinking and alcohol leave the person’s system. When through this, several signs and symptoms of withdrawal might develop. In worse cases, it can also become life-threatening. Seeking advice from a professional will help to minimize the intensity of the outcome.
How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol?
Detoxification or detox is the first phase of treatment for alcohol substance abuse. Someone who has been consuming for years will endure a more extended detoxification period than a person who has had an alcohol addiction for just a shorter period. For Adolescents, a teen alcohol detox can be just as painful on the body, depending on usage. According to the American Addiction Centers medical research, an initial detox time frame takes about seven days or a week. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may differ for every person. In some instances, others might experience prolonged symptoms. Individuals undergoing detoxification may expect the following timeline:
- 6 to 12 hours after last drink
The initial stage of withdrawal symptoms begins. The first symptoms will start, including nausea, headache, anxiety, insomnia, and abdominal pain.
- 12 to 24 hours
Several mild symptoms will occur, such as increased blood pressure or heart rate, confusion, mild hyperthermia, and rapid abnormal breathing.
- 24 to 48 hours
As the withdrawal will begin to escalate, it will include new symptoms and side effects such as hallucinations and seizures.
- 48 to 72 hours
As the last stage, withdrawal symptoms might include fever, sweating, confusion, quick heart rate, high blood pressure, hallucinations, lower oxygen level, and even death.
These stages can be painful and dangerous. The time length of alcohol detox will vary on different factors. The more severe the substance abuse, the longer detox takes.
Factors that Affect the Duration of Alcohol Detox
Alcohol detoxification considers several factors that directly influence the duration or timetable from one person to another. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine published in 2015, roughly 50 percent of people with alcohol misuse or substance abuse go through withdrawal symptoms when they finally decided to stop drinking. Detoxification considers different interventions based on factors that will significantly contribute to a safe and comfortable withdrawal process. These factor-based interventions are designed to help someone safely withdraw from alcohol, guiding a person to transition into a typically longer-lasting and effective treatment process.
Medical professionals estimate 3 to 5 percent of people will likely have severe symptoms based on different factors. These can affect the duration process it may take for a person to withdraw from alcohol. Professionals will consider all these factors when calculating the timetable and how severe symptoms may be. These factors include;
- The amount the person usually drinks?
- Duration period the person has been drinking?
- Whether they binge drink or drink at a steady rate.
- Biological sex
- Genetic factors
- Tobacco or other drug use
- Mental health
- Overall health
The different ways or approaches a person to detox can also quicken or shorten the length of time it takes to get through withdrawal or even the severity of the scenario. Before undergoing detoxification, a doctor will need to perform a thorough assessment of a patient’s history and experience with alcohol abuse, any previous withdrawal experiences, and medical and psychiatric history to ascertain the risk encountered. If you’re dealing with adolescent alcohol abuse then it’s recommended you seek a teen alcohol treatment program that can help with Alcohol detox for teens. Our Los Angeles Teen Treatment Program specializes in helping struggling teens, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
Throughout the process, patients may also undergo several tests and screening considering the factors mentioned above in anticipation of any co-occurring mental or physical health issues that may arise.
Effects of Alcohol
In general, alcohol has a significant impact on a person’s body. In any amount, the effect will take place from the moment you take your first drink. Furthermore, an occasionally consumed glass of wine a day may do minor damage to your overall health. But if the habit becomes frequent or you have a hard time stopping after just one drink, the cumulative effects can add up and take their toll.
Read on to learn further the effects of alcohol on your body.
Brain and Nervous System
- Alcohol can directly affect the communication between your brain and your body. Once under the influence of alcohol, you may have a hard time balancing. Moreover, driving should be a no-no.
- Because alcohol does more damage to your central nervous system and blood vessel, you may experience numbness and tingling sensations both of your feet and hands. Alcohol also makes it hard for your brain to relax, process, or create long-term memories that reduce your ability to think clearly.
- Heavy drinkers would likely result in more serious cardiovascular problems or heart disease.
- Too much alcohol intake might lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, affects the bloodstream, or even stroke. It can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle.
- Consuming a large volume of alcohol can cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas that will directly damage the digestive system. When these enzymes start to build up, inflammation will be a significant concern known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition and might cause severe and multiple complications.
- Alcohol can also damage the tissues along your digestive tract, preventing your intestines from digesting food normally and malfunctioning the absorption of nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition may occur.
- Heavy drinkers over a long period are also more likely to develop pneumonia or tuberculosis than average drinkers. About ten percent of all tuberculosis cases worldwide can be associated with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol has a direct effect psychologically, whether it is short-term or longer term. The psychological result of alcohol addiction can sometimes be severe or, in the worst case, might result in a mental health disorder. Some of the effects include;
- Difficulty focusing and have sudden changes in emotion.
- It diminished stress and mood swing.
- Reduced inhibitions
- Memory loss
- Affected sight and reflexes
- Boost depression and anxiety
- increased substance use or addiction
- Interrupted brain development
Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Alcohol can also affect and lower your sexual and reproductive health. Adult men who frequently consume alcohol are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Too much consumption of alcohol can also prevent or lower sex hormone production and libido malfunction.
- On the other hand, heavy drinker women may affect the regularity of their menstruation, or the worse may entirely stop. That puts them at a greater chance of infertility. Pregnant women who drink during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
Link to Cancer
- Regular alcohol intake can damage different parts of the internal system, harming especially the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring, raising the risk of liver cancer in the long term. Moreover, alcohol also triggers several types of cancer, including mouth, breast, and colon.
Injuries and Violence
- Resulting in harm, including related injury to the drinker and others, is evident under the influence of alcohol.
- Most types of accidents and violence are frequently associated with alcohol use. Alcohol is considered a risk factor for the offender as well as for the victim. It is very evident in significant cases of violence and harassment. Younger boys are usually overrepresented in much of the data that shows causal relationships. A clear alcohol association can be seen in many accident cases concerning both accident risk and severity.
- Alcohol consumption, in general, can have adverse social and economic effects on the individual drinker, the drinker’s environment, family, and social-wellbeing as a whole. It impacts society in terms of resources required for health care, criminal justice, and other social institutions. Non-drinkers are more likely to be seriously be affected.