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How long is alcohol detox? The length of the detox will depend on a wide variety of factors, including how long you’ve been drinking, the type of alcohol you drank, the frequency and amount you drank, your weight, and if you have been mixing alcohol with other substances. The timeline of alcohol detox can last between two days and two weeks. Even after the first withdrawal symptoms wear off, you can continue to experience cravings, anxiety, or depression. 

How long-term drinking leads to dependency

The length of alcohol detox will depend on how deep-rooted the psychological dependency is on the substance. 

Alcohol is a stimulant and a depressant. This means that it alters brain function. When you first start drinking, you might feel relaxed or intoxicated. The more alcohol you drink, the more the effects will wear off. This can lead to you increasing your consumption levels to continue feeling the effects. 

Your body and your mind become dependent on the substance, but a rehab center can walk you through the timeline of alcohol detox. Continued use can cause intense cravings. You might reach the point where you need a drink to get through the day. When you decide to give up alcohol, you might experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. You could also suffer from health problems or mental health issues. 

Alcohol withdrawal timeline

There are three main stages of an alcohol detox program. 

Stage One: withdrawal symptoms

This stage is sometimes called ‘crashing’, which means that you have gone from an extreme high to an extreme low. You could experience fatigue, stomach problems, hallucinations, sweating, chills, muscle spasms, headaches, and irritability. 

The first stage of detox can last for three to five days. During this stage, a treatment specialist will keep an eye on your symptoms and provide medication to help with withdrawal. If you can get through stage one, you have a better chance of recovery without a relapse. 

Stage Two: cravings

After a while, your body will clean itself out. All traces of alcohol will disappear from your system. You will still experience cravings that could last for several months. With the right treatment and support from your family, a therapist, and a support group you can better manage the cravings. 

Stage Three: recovery

Regardless of how severe your addiction is, recovery is always possible. Recovery depends on how strong your desire is to quit. Once you have got through the detox period, you will be able to move on to a range of treatment plans that could include:

  • Inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • Treatment for mental health disorders
  • Individual, family, and group therapy
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Holistic treatment
  • Men’s and women’s treatment centers

When you have taken the first step and started a detox program, a therapist will meet you to develop a plan for treatment. There are lots of different options for treatment that are suited to different goals, addictions, and life circumstances. You can get ongoing support from trained professionals that care about your recovery. 

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