When an individual is addicted to alcohol, their body becomes accustomed to the presence of the substance. As a result, when an individual decides to quit using alcohol, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can become difficult to deal with and even dangerous. The safest way to endure alcohol withdrawal is to detox at a medical facility.
Detox is the first step in recovery from alcoholism. During this process, alcohol is flushed from the system completely. Thankfully, alcohol detox programs in New Jersey utilize medications and medical treatments to combat the uncomfortable and dangerous side effects of alcohol withdrawal. This allows recovering alcoholics to overcome the physical aspects of their addiction and focus on treating the emotional and mental factors of alcoholism.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is the medical process of ridding a person’s body of alcohol. As mentioned, doing so can produce dangerous and painful side effects known as withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms of alcohol detox vary from mild to severe depending on various factors, including how much a person drank, how often, and whether they are in good overall health. Alcohol detox programs in New Jersey help their clients manage their symptoms through the use of medications and medical treatments.
How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?
While alcohol detox takes an average of one week, the length of alcohol detox varies on a case-by-case basis. In severe cases of alcoholism, withdrawal symptoms may be present anywhere from two weeks to a month.
The amount of time needed to detox from alcohol varies due to several factors, which include:
- How much alcohol is consumed each time
- How frequently alcohol is consumed
- Whether the client is using additional substances with alcohol
- Whether the client has additional mental or physical health conditions
- Family history
- Liver health
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Medical detox is extremely vital for one’s health and safety when quitting alcohol abuse. While some cases of alcohol withdrawal are mild, others are severe and life-threatening without medical intervention.
Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin 24 hours after an individual’s last drink. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
- Low energy
- Poor appetite
- Decreased coordination
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Heart palpitations
- Physical tremors
- Liver or kidney dysfunction
- Delirium tremens
If someone is experiencing the severe side effects of alcohol withdrawal, contact emergency medical services immediately. Individuals should never attempt to detox at home.
Alcohol Detox: Step by Step
The timeline of alcohol detox will vary from person to person depending on the aforementioned factors. However, most individuals experience the following four stages of alcohol detox.
Early Stages of Withdrawal
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal typically begin 6 to 24 hours after the individual’s last drink. However, in severe cases of alcoholism, people may experience symptoms as early as 2 hours. The initial symptoms will be mild, however, they can quickly worsen as time goes on.
Early alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
Of course, individuals attending an alcohol detox program in New Jersey will receive comfort medication as needed once the symptoms of withdrawal begin.
The peak withdrawal stage is typically the worst phase of alcohol detox for everyone. This occurs once almost all of the alcohol has left the body, between 24-48 hours after a client’s last drink. If an individual is not attending a medical detox program, their symptoms will become too painful to bear. This is typically when alcoholics relapse. As a result, medications and medical treatments are of the utmost importance during the peak withdrawal stage.
Along with the early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, individuals will experience new symptoms such as:
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks
If a person struggles with severe alcoholism, the peak withdrawal stage can last from day 2 to day 7 of detox.
Weakening Stage of Withdrawal
This occurs once the body begins to adjust to the absence of alcohol. Typically, this occurs after one week. Patients will experience lessened symptoms of withdrawal and doctors will reduce the amount of medication they are given. Different withdrawal symptoms may come and go, but individuals with severe cases of alcoholism are at the highest risk of experiencing life-threatening symptoms like seizures and delirium tremens during this time.
If a client is stabilized, other forms of addiction treatment might be introduced, such as individual therapy and group counseling.
End-Stage of Withdrawal
This is when the body has completed detoxing from alcohol and the client is ready to move on to other methods of addiction treatment. Mild cases of alcoholism may reach the end stages of withdrawal by day 5, while severe cases of alcoholism typically reach the end stage by day 14.
Attend Alcohol Detox in New Jersey
Alcoholism is a serious medical condition that requires extensive professional treatment. When a person decides to quit using alcohol, they must attend an alcohol detox program where there is around-the-clock care and support. Moving Mountains is a top-rated alcohol addiction treatment center that can help guide you to a reputable detox program. Contact us today for more information.
Moving Mountains Recovery has close relationships with trusted detox facilities in New Jersey and across the country. When medical detoxification is recommended, we can help you get admitted to the best facility for your needs. Following the completion of detox, we can also help make the transition to our outpatient treatment programs simple and easy.
Call now to get started.