Makana Path Blog

August 9, 2020

How Do You Detox from Alcohol?

detox from alcohol

Are you ready to move on from your alcohol dependency? The decision to get clean is an important first step. Now you probably have a lot of questions. Alcohol use disorder has affected virtually all aspects of your life and addressing your need to get sober is a significant move. The first step in getting clean is to detoxify your body. How do you detox from alcohol?

Why Detox?

Alcohol use disorder can take over your life, affecting your physical and mental health. Dependency on alcohol can also be very dangerous. The first step toward true recovery is to get rid of the alcohol in your system. This process is called detox.

In the US, an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In 2018, 26.45 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.6 percent reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Your body has become dependent on alcohol. The alcohol slows down your brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to – and expects – alcohol in your body all the time. Your body then works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another.

When you reduce or cease your alcohol intake, your brain remains in this keyed-up state. You will then start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The typical timeline for these symptoms begins just six hours after your last drink:

  • 6 hours: A person who has a long history of heavy drinking could have a seizure six hours after stopping drinking.
  • 12 to 24 hours: A small percentage of people going through alcohol withdrawal have hallucinations at this point. They may hear or see things that aren’t there. While this symptom can be scary, doctors don’t consider it a serious complication.
  • 24 to 48 hours: Minor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this time. These symptoms may include headache, tremors, and stomach upset. If a person goes through only minor withdrawal, their symptoms usually peak at 18 to 24 hours and start to decrease after four to five days.
  • 48 hours to 72 hours: Some people experience a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that doctors call the delirium tremens (DTs) or alcohol withdrawal delirium. A person with this condition can have a very high heart rate, seizures, or a high body temperature.
  • 72 hours: This is the time when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst. In rare cases, moderate withdrawal symptoms can last for a month. These include rapid heart rate and illusions (seeing things that aren’t there).

Safe and Healthy Detox

So how do you detox from alcohol safely? It is best not to try it on your own, especially if you have a long history of alcohol dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious and even devastating when you try to detox without professional medical assistance. Your nervous system will remain overactive and you could suffer major health consequences unless you seek help to safely detox.

Professional Treatment for Mental and Physical Health

A professional medical detox program can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms safely. In a supervised program, the healthcare professional often uses medication to treat your symptoms. As part of your detox program, the medical professional will monitor your body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing, keeping a close watch on your health and well-being throughout the process. Nutrition counseling can help you restore your physical health as well.

It typically takes about a week to detox from alcohol in most cases. Medically supervised alcohol detox programs, such as that offered by Makana Path, can ease your withdrawal symptoms, reduce your cravings, and stabilize your physical and mental health.

Contact Makana Path for Alcohol Detox During COVID-19

We want you to experience freedom from alcohol dependence. At Makana Path, our Alcohol Detox program works to cleanse your body so you can begin to move forward with your recovery. We are open to help you during COVID-19 and are taking every possible precaution to make sure the coronavirus outbreak does not affect your ability to get treatment for your addiction. To learn more about our Alcohol Detox program, contact Makana Path today by calling 1-866-313-0978.

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