In the U.S. today, a great number of Americans are able to consume alcohol regularly without having any serious problems. The problem invariably and inevitably comes when binge drinking takes over. This is defined as having over five drinks for men or four drinks for women in less than two hours or over 14 drinks per week for men and seven drinks per week for women, per the NIAAA. At this point, the individual has transformed into an alcoholic. Detox then becomes necessary to stop the drinking, and there are concerns as to whether or not such alcohol detox can be successfully accomplished in less than a week.
Detox is necessary for those addicted to alcohol because the withdrawal symptoms and side effects can be severe. They occur in the following three primary stages:
- Stage 1 – Insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and even abdominal pain are characteristic of this first stage that starts a mere eight hours after the final drink
- Stage 2 – Rising body temperature, high blood pressure, confusion, and an irregular heart rate are a part of this second unpleasant stage that starts from 24 hours to 72 hours after taking the final drink
- Stage 3 – Fever, hallucination, agitation, and seizures are a part of this final stage that usually begins in from two to four days following that last drink
The silver lining is that these symptoms commonly start to diminish in from five to seven days. This means that there is hope to get into a reputable alcohol detox program and finish it in less than a week (or right at a week for those who are heavily addicted to alcohol).
Alcohol Stats Are Troubling
The NIAAA estimated that roughly 16.6 million adult Americans (in the 2013 year) suffered from alcohol abuse disorders. In fact, fully one out of each three emergency room visits is correlated to consuming alcohol, according to the International Business Times. Overdosing on alcohol led to one for each 10 deaths in the country in adults (aged from 20 to 64) during the years from 2006 to 2010, per the CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention publication. Today alcoholism remains the third greatest cause of preventable death within the United States, per the NIAAA. Every year, roughly 88,000 individuals on average perish because of causes preventable related to the consumption of alcohol.
Withdrawal from Alcohol Proves to Be Highly Variable
Withdrawal from the influence of alcohol can vary greatly from one individual to the next. A few different factors influence its severity and length. These include the following:
- Duration of alcohol drinking
- Medical history of the individual
- Amount of alcohol consumed on average
- Any co-occurring mental health disorders that are present
- Any childhood trauma
- Family addiction history
- Levels of stress
Using additional illicit drugs along with drinking alcohol is a dangerous and all too common practice for alcoholics. This habit intensifies the severity of alcohol withdrawal as well as boosting the chances for possible dangerous side effects. The greater an individual’s dependence on alcohol the higher their chances are of suffering through more serious symptoms of withdrawal after they stop drinking. Not all individuals will go through each stage of the withdrawal either.
The Timeline for Alcohol Detox
Alcohol withdrawal does not have a definitive amount of time for every individual. The general scientific and medical consensus is that withdrawal occurs along this timeline (per the National Library of Medicine):
- Eight hours after the last drink – Stage 1 of withdrawal symptoms typically begin
- After from 24 to 72 hours – you usually see a peak in the symptoms suffered. Stages 2 and 3 symptoms commonly occur quickly from this point
- Five to seven days later – symptoms usually begin to gradually lessen and disappear in their intensity
- Following the first week – there are side effects (primarily psychological ones) that can be ongoing for a few weeks if you are not treated in a detox program
You do not have to suffer through alcoholism withdrawal all by yourself. When you are ready to start down the road to recovery, give our counselors a call at 844-639-8371. They are standing by to help you now.