The alcohol detox process is complicated, and is best done under the supervision of medical professionals and detox experts. Alcohol is available in most gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores, and many people don’t understand how complicated alcohol addiction is and how dangerous detoxing from it can be. There are some alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may be obvious, but there are also some symptoms that many experience that are more serious and complicated. 

Common Alcohol Detox Symptoms

Some of the more common alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, depression, and loss of appetite. Other common symptoms that can cause significant discomfort are rapid heart rate, clammy skin, tremors, head and body aches, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms can escalate quickly and often go hand in hand with co-occuring issues such as dehydration and high blood pressure.

One of the more serious side effects of the alcohol detox process is delirium tremens (DT), which manifests as altered mental status and autonomic hyperactivity, which is the arousal of your autonomic nervous system which translates to symptoms related to anxiety and fear. DT can result in cardiovascular collapse, and has an expected mortality rate of about 37% when experienced without medical intervention. Common signs of DT are severe agitation, “delirium” or severe confusion, seizures, hallucinations, and fever. DT can occur as little as 48 hours upon stopping alcohol consumption and can last about 5 days. DT can be avoided with medical detox, and in the event DT sets in, it can be addressed promptly by clinicians who are equipped with the knowledge to prevent serious impacts or death.

Medications Used in Alcohol Detox

Medical detox is the safest way to stop consumption, and it is often the first step in alcohol rehab. Some medications frequently used in alcohol detox to make you more comfortable are:

  • Benzodiazepines – used to alleviate insomnia and reduce seizure risk.
  • Anticonvulsants – manage acute withdrawal symptoms and seizure risk.
  • Barbiturates – treats withdrawal symptoms.
  • Disulfiram – inhibits the metabolism of alcohol in the body.
  • Naltrexone – can curb the urge to drink.
  • Acamprosate – helps rebalance the central nervous system.

These medications should only be taken when prescribed by a medical professional in an inpatient treatment environment. When used incorrectly, they can cause more harm than good. Your medical team will prescribe you the right medications needed depending on your history with alcohol consumption and how your detox process progresses.

Understanding the Alcohol Detox Timeline

Ultimately, your alcohol detox timeline will depend on how long you have been addicted to alcohol and how heavily you have been drinking. The severity of your tolerance, dependency, and addiction all play into your alcohol detox experience. Generally, here’s what you can expect during detox:

  • 6 hours after you stop drinking, you will begin to experience very mild withdrawal symptoms. This could include nausea, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, nausea, and anxiety. You will likely also have strong cravings for alcohol.
  • 12 to 48 hours following your last drink, you will begin to feel stronger symptoms. If you were a heavy drinker, you are at risk of experiencing hallucinations or seizures, which is most common within the first two days. This is when medical intervention can help prevent serious withdrawal symptoms and ease your discomfort.
  • Two to three days after your last drink is when there is the highest risk for DT. Your chances of developing DT are around 5%, but the longer you drank the higher the chances.

It’s important to note that you will likely experience a peak in withdrawal symptoms 72 hours into the alcohol detox process, but this can be longer depending on the severity of your alcohol consumption. 

It’s Never Too Late for Treatment

Finding the right alcohol detox program makes a massive difference in your sober living journey. Start your alcohol rehab journey off the right way and have a successful detox process. Once you have gone through withdrawal and become stabilized, you can enter your next phase of treatment. Our admissions team will help you get set up with the right programs needed for successful recovery. 

About Solution Based Treatment

Solution Based Treatment is a national leader in detox and rehab programs. We offer inpatient medical detox, substance rehab, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, faith-based recovery, and sober living options. We maintain a 2:1 client to staff ratio to offer the best support possible to our patients within upscale living environments. At Solution Based Treatment, we support better living for brighter futures, all starting with our detox and rehab services. For more information visit our website at or give us a call at (833) 999-1941.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.