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Understanding The Alcohol Detox Process

A therapist helping a patient in understanding the alcohol detox process

Alcohol detox treatment is frequently the beginning of recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). As a rule, you need this form of treatment if you’re clinically addicted to alcohol. What is the alcohol detox process? It’s a managed way to quit drinking while safeguarding your health and increasing your odds of success. Understanding the alcohol detox process will make you more comfortable and willing to take part in it.

Think you may need to detox from alcohol as part of AUD recovery? Turn to the detox professionals at Northpoint Colorado. We’re dedicated to providing you with a safe environment for halting your drinking and starting your recovery off right. Just call us today at 888.231.1281 for more information.

What Is Alcohol Detox’s Role in AUD Recovery?

The first step in understanding the alcohol detox process is clarifying its role. Detox is not on the agenda of everyone in AUD recovery. However, it’s often essential to recovery success. Why? For starters, anyone who is addicted to alcohol can expect to have difficulty quitting. That’s true because:

  • You have a compulsive need to obtain alcohol and drink it
  • Your brain expects you to keep drinking
  • You will likely go into alcohol withdrawal if you defy this expectation

Detox is designed to override these difficulties and help you quit in spite of them.

Just as important is the safe environment provided by detox programs. If you’re heavily addicted to drinking, quitting can sometimes trigger some major health complications. You’re protected from these complications in alcohol detox.

Starting the Alcohol Detox Process

The alcohol detox process begins when you take your last drink of beer, wine, or liquor. From that point on, alcohol will start leaving your system. At first, you typically won’t notice any changes in your mind or body. But after roughly eight hours, the initial signs of alcohol withdrawal may begin to appear. It may also take much longer before you enter withdrawal.

How can you tell if you’re withdrawing from alcohol? The potential effects on you include:

  • An inability to focus or think clearly
  • A shaky or jumpy mental state
  • An unstable mood
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of irritability, anxiety, or depression
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • A rapid heartbeat

If you’re severely affected by alcoholism, you may also experience seizures or hallucinations. In addition, you may experience delirium, an extreme and dangerous state of confusion.

What Is the Alcohol Detox Process’s Typical Timeframe?

Another step in understanding the alcohol detox process is knowing how long it typically takes. Unfortunately, there is no single timeframe that applies in all cases. For most people, the effects of withdrawal grow worse until they reach their peak in one to three days. After that, you’ll gradually start to feel better until withdrawal is complete. This can take up to 10 days for the average person.

However, it can also take you weeks, or even longer, to fully withdraw from alcohol. This kind of extended timeframe isn’t common. In fact, it usually only applies to people with a lengthy history of heavy alcohol use.

What’s more, even if most of your withdrawal symptoms fade away, others can linger. That’s true, no matter the extent of your alcoholism. The term for these lingering symptoms is post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Get Started With Alcohol Detox Treatment at Northpoint Colorado

What is alcohol detox for AUD? It’s a time-tested way to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Detox participation is the norm if you’re recovering from alcoholism.

Need more help understanding the alcohol detox process? The detox professionals at Northpoint Colorado have the information you need. You can also turn to us for a customized detox program that helps you make a safe start to long-term recovery. Just call us today at 888.231.1281 or use our online contact form to get started.