Alcohol Detox in Arizona Explains the Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal is different for everyone, even between two people who have extremely similar drinking patterns and addictions. When you start thinking about recovery, the thought of alcohol withdrawal and alcohol detox can be the scariest part. You likely will find yourself wondering how long alcohol withdrawal lasts and the timeline of alcohol withdrawal. It’s imperative that you find an excellent treatment center to tackle the fear and anxiety that alcohol withdrawal brings with it.
One of the most valuable tools for anyone who wants to stop drinking and beat substance abuse is education. By learning more about the process of alcohol detox you can prepare to cope with the challenges ahead. Understanding the timeline of alcohol withdrawal can prepare you for what you might experience and assist in choosing the best alcohol detox program for your needs.
Who Experiences Alcohol Withdrawal?
When someone becomes dependent on alcohol, their body physically requires it to feel normal. As the addiction and physical dependence progress, even large amounts of alcohol are not enough to keep you feeling like yourself. Eventually, a point is hit that has you and everyone around you concerned for your life. Many people do not realize they have a problem until they try to stop drinking and the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal shock them into drinking again. The cycle continues while their substance dependency intensifies.
As a diagnosable condition, alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe. The severity of the disorder is determined by evaluating how much alcohol a person consumes on average, how often they drink, and the effects alcohol has on their life and ability to function.
Why is Medical Alcohol Detox in Arizona Important?
For most drugs, medical detox is recommended because it reduces the risk of serious health consequences. Even after just a few hours without a substance, the body’s chemistry starts to change. Drinking the usual amount of alcohol after a short amount of sobriety could result in alcohol poisoning and even lead to death.
Another major risk people with alcohol use disorder face is a condition called Delirium Tremens, often shortened to just the “DTs”. DTs is a life-threatening condition usually occurring three days into withdrawal and lasts for several more. It causes confusion, shakiness, a rapid heartbeat, and can cause a dangerously high fever and seizures.
To understand your own risk and to plan ahead for your own recovery, here is a general timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, how long they last, and what can be done during detox to manage them.
Stage 1: The First 8 Hours
A few hours after your last drink, you’ll likely start to experience an increase in anxiety. For many, this anxiety is a trigger for cravings and they immediately want to reach for the best form of self-medication they know. Alcohol is not the answer and you’ll need to ensure there is no access to it during this time. You may also experience abdominal pain and have difficulty sleeping. Insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, and depression are all normal symptoms during stage 1.
By working with a reputable alcohol detox in Arizona, you will be in a comfortable, safe environment and possibly be given medication to offset your anxiety and help you sleep. If you want to detox from alcohol more naturally, the staff will give you different items and suggestions on how to cope with the negative feelings.
Stage 2: The First 72 Hours
The first three days of alcohol withdrawal can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- high blood pressure
- a change in pulse
- feelings of fogginess and confusion
You may experience changes in your mood that occur quickly. You may also feel exhausted but be unable to sleep well. This time is often when most people take medication to stabilize their condition. However, you can still continue to work through it naturally with ample, healthy coping strategies if that is your preference.
Stage 3: The First Week
From day three to seven, people are at the highest risk of experiencing the more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Delirium Tremens
- Shakes and tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling overly excited or agitated
- Depressed thoughts, possibly thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Some people only experience a few symptoms during alcohol withdrawal while others must work through nearly all of them. The body’s nervous system must relearn how to function without alcohol, and it is not a simple process. A safe environment is vital for alcohol detox. Arizona rehab centers provide supportive medical professionals to protect from the medical dangers of detox and increase the likelihood of longterm sober success. You will be able to detox without the risk of relapse and be able to transition into an alcohol rehab program of your choosing.
The psychological side-effects of withdrawal can make even the most determined person drink again. It is not a sign of weakness or personal failure; it can happen to anyone. Giving yourself the greatest shot at recovery means accepting the vice-grip addiction has on your better judgment. Choosing to detox in a medical center or rehab is an act of self-love. It is putting yourself first and acting in your own best interest because you know that you need time to gain control over alcohol.
During detox, be kind to yourself. Listen to positive affirmations, surround yourself with supportive people if you can, and focus on things that bring you happiness, no matter how difficult it may be to feel joy at the moment.
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How Long Does Alcohol Detox in Arizona and Addiction Recovery Last?
Most symptoms of alcohol withdrawal taper off over the course of a week. However, some people may have symptoms that last longer. Rehab can help you manage your symptoms, cravings, and future sobriety while addressing your addiction and mental health from the ground-up.
The road to recovery is paved one day at a time, and detox is the first step to getting there. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, contact your local hospital or one of our professionals at Desert Cove Recovery today for more information.