If you’re a chronic drinker, the thought of dealing with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and the detox process can be a scary thing.
How long does alcohol detox take?
So just how long do alcohol withdrawal symptoms last? General speaking there will be 2-4 days of acute withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms are usually worst on the 2nd/3rd days after the last drink, but this will vary from person to person. The detox process is not that long; for most individuals, it will take as little as a week.
Alcohol withdrawal affects everyone differently, but generally the more you drank, the more frequently you drank, and the longer you were an alcoholic – the higher your chances of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, body type and your individual metabolism will play a role as well. Its difficult to accurately predict the alcohol withdrawal duration and severity beforehand.
If you’re a chronic alcoholic, it’s best to be prepared to deal with the worst when it comes to alcohol withdrawal; this means being in the medical detox unit of an alcohol rehab facility where you can get the proper medical care.
What Can You Do To Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal?
The safest thing you can do is check yourself into a drug rehab center and detox there. Detoxing by yourself at home is risky and generally not advised.
Here’s where it can get tricky – many alcohol treatment centers won’t be able to take you in right away. You’ll likely have to book an appointment. While it would definitely be ideal if you could get help right when you need it, it’s not always possible.
So what should you do? Do not try to quit cold turkey. Even gradually tapering and weening yourself may be a bad idea, depending on your level of dependency. Your best bet is to call around and find the detox center wit the shortest wait time and schedule an appointment; in the meantime, you should continue to self-medicate with moderate amounts of alcohol until you can detox under proper medical supervision.
Remember, Detox is NOT Rehab
For some, the detox process will be especially grueling and will test their resolve, but its crucial to remember that detox is not rehab. While detox may be necessary to begin rehab, it is the beginning of the road to recovery, not the journey itself.
For true recovery, it’s important for individuals to seek out a proper treatment after detox. The best route is to follow up detox with an inpatient treatment program. This will teach you the tools you as you recover from your alcohol addiction.
Most individuals need a strong support system to maintain their sobriety following rehab. Its important for those serious about recovery to seek out a, 12 step program like AA. Staying sober for the first few months, and even the first full year out of rehab is extremely challenging, and the chances of relapse are high.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and build a strong support system for yourself. Staying clean and sober might be the most difficult thing you ever do, but your chances of success are much greater if you have others to lean on. Don’t sabotage yourself by trying to go at it alone.