How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?
Alcohol detox is the sudden stoppage of alcohol intake in people that depend highly on alcohol. This is mostly accompanied by giving medications that mimic the effects of alcohol, inhibit its synthesis or influence the nervous system.
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Doing that minimizes alcohol withdrawal symptoms which sometimes can be chronic and life-threatening. The body takes alcohol as a signal to produce neurotransmitter receptors that excite the nervous system.
So stoppage of alcohol removes alcohol from its old receptors and the extra receptors that the brain has produced. In turn, it causes overactivity in the nervous system that results in symptoms like;
- Rapid heart rate
- Fever, etc.
How Long Does It Take?
How long alcohol detox takes depends on age, weight, and past alcohol withdrawal attempts. Because this influences the severity of withdrawal symptoms that can be managed by professionals.
In short, withdrawal symptoms affect the duration of the alcohol detox.
- As you become older, your body water decreases. Also, alcohol dehydrates your body system and this elevates the blood alcohol concentration.
- The higher the weight, the lower the body water, and the higher the blood alcohol concentration.
When alcohol concentration is on the high side, it tends to bring in chronic alcohol withdrawal symptoms that might take longer for the alcohol detox.
The Four Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal
After a particular duration of the withdrawal, symptoms show, and an alcohol detox process is put in place to monitor and manage them.
These are the stages:
1st stage (8 hours after the first alcoholic drink)
At the initial stage of the withdrawal, symptoms like nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and abdominal pain are seen in the person. But in cases where the person is a heavy drinker, a seizure can be developed.
2nd stage (24-48 hours after the first drink)
The minor symptoms continue with other noticeable symptoms like headache, fever, tremors, and sometimes, hallucinations and seizures.
3rd stage (48-72 hours after the first drink)
Usually, this is where the symptoms reach their highest. Fever, confusion, abnormal heart rate, and high blood pressure are associated with the person at this stage.
4th stage (5-7 days after the first drink)
Under normal circumstances, the symptoms should subside at this stage.
Although it’s not always the case, especially with someone that drank too much alcohol consistently. The symptoms may become worse with this person. Rapid heart rate and illusions are applicable.
Note that alcohol detox can last for a month under a professional.
Other Factors That Influence How Long Alcohol Detox Takes?
You should go to a standard hospital for the alcohol detox to get proper monitoring and treatment. Your doctor will consider many factors to know how long the detox will take. These are the other factors that would be considered;
- History of delirium
- History of seizure after alcohol withdrawal
- Brain lesions
- The decreased electrolyte in the body
- Abnormal liver function
- Use of some medications
- Low platelet count