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What Is The Alcohol Detox Process Like?

The effects of alcohol on the brain and body can be extremely difficult to endure, especially alone and without proper medical care and support. The alcohol detox process can be dangerous and lead to severe complications if there is not the right kind of support and medical help available. Having the right support and care available as someone is going through the process of detoxing from alcohol is crucial for not only successfully detoxing, but also for the safety of the person who is going through it. Understanding the process and how professional help can assist in this process can help someone to make a decision to get the proper help through this process. 

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The alcohol detox process is a complex undertaking and the effects of going through it can vary from person to person. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms at the same intensity for the same amount of time. Every person is different, and their bodies heal at different rates. So saying the alcohol detox process will last for a certain amount of days is often misleading. Some people recover from this process a lot quicker than others do.

There are many factors that play a part in how long alcohol detox takes, the symptoms being experienced, and how intense these symptoms can be. Those factors can include age, length of use, level of use, and any underlying health and mental health conditions. With this being said, there is a general timeline available that can shed some light on how long the process can take.

Usually, withdrawal and detox symptoms can begin within 6-12 hours of the last drink. Within the first 24 hours, the symptoms can spike and someone may begin to experience some more severe symptoms. Within 24-72 hours of the last drinks, these symptoms generally have peaked, and begun to level off to allow for relief from some of the more severe symptoms. There may be lingering effects that can take some time to go away, but within a week the more severe symptoms could be gone making it easier to go forward in the process. 


Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, is a condition that can occur weeks or months after a person stops consuming alcohol. It is characterized by severe mood swings, insomnia and increased anxiety. Signs and symptoms of PAWS can include impaired cognitive functionality, irritability, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, cravings, disturbances in sleep, pessimistic attitudes, and difficulty with social relationships. The symptoms of PAWS can make the alcohol detox process more difficult for those who are struggling. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can lead to dangers that could potentially be fatal. The symptoms of the alcohol detox process can include: 

  • Tremors or shakes
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • High pulse and heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures

These symptoms can be extremely dangerous and having proper professional care through the process of alcohol detox can help to ensure success and safety. 

How Detox Helps

Detox in terms of alcohol addiction is a process in which someone rids the body of the toxic chemicals that get introduced through addiction to alcohol. It can be uncomfortable and extremely unpleasant to endure. However, a professional detox setting can help. The alcohol detox process is best done under a professional setting in which medical monitoring and medical advice can be obtained. Undergoing therapies such as trauma therapy and holistic therapy can help those who are struggling with alcohol addiction to find relief and healing, as well as learn new and positive coping skills to help in the long run. 

What Happens in Detox

During the alcohol detox process in a professional setting, a person is able to receive medication to alleviate the unbearable symptoms of alcohol detox that often lead people back to drinking. They can also receive mental health support that can help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety that can make it difficult to find the brighter side of life in recovery from addiction to alcohol.

Detox allows for someone to distance themselves from alcohol, while safely and effectively removing the toxic substance from the body, and begin healing physically from alcohol addiction. Having this care and support through this pivotal time can make a huge difference when it comes to safety and successful results. 

Begin Healing with Lexington Addiction Center

Alcohol dependence and addiction is a dangerous experience for anyone going through it. Withdrawal and detox symptoms can be dangerous as well. Potentially leading to seizures, blood pressure, and heart rate changes, nausea and vomiting, withdrawal from alcohol can lead to impactful health conditions that can make daily life extremely difficult to endure. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol, we can help. Our team of professionals is available to help those who are struggling with alcohol addiction and dependence to start with a clean slate and begin the healing process that is necessary to begin a life in recovery. Call us today and begin your journey.