When a person is in recovery from alcohol dependency, they are following a lifelong journey to remain sober. But to start this path toward healing, those who are addicted to alcohol must first go through a detox period, which is characterized by various symptoms of withdrawals. While alcohol detox is unique to the individual, Daymark Recovery Services explains the process as one that typically takes about a week to 10 days to complete. If you’re considering sobriety, this North Carolina addiction treatment program breaks down the basics of the timeline below, so you can be better prepared for the experience.
What to Expect During Alcohol Detox
Your body will crave the substance that it has come to rely on. Because these cravings can be so overwhelming, it is essential to remain in a safe environment where there is no risk of alcohol exposure, such as a rehab center.
As your brain interprets a new influx of activity, you may experience shakes or tremors. Unstable mood, problems sleeping, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting are also typical. If symptoms are severe, medically-assisted detox centers can help provide relief in a safe, controlled fashion.
The longer your body has been dependent on alcohol, the more difficult it will be for you to readjust to not having it in your system. As such, the first few days of withdrawal are often characterized by intensified symptoms.
At this stage, detoxing individuals typically experience mood swings, hallucinations, high blood pressure, vomiting, and fever. As brain cells change and adapt to the disappearance of alcohol, the risk of seizures also increases. Some may experience a symptom referred to as delirium tremens, which is a reaction that causes the rapid onset of altered states. If it is not carefully monitored by a medical professional, this delirium can be fatal.
After the first 48 hours, physical symptoms may continue, but they will start to lessen in severity. Individuals who are recovering from extensive periods of abuse may still be at risk for seizures and delirium tremens symptoms.
This phase involves a decreased production of dopamine and other chemicals, as the brain relearns functions without the stimulus of alcohol. As a result, individuals can experience significant shifts in mood, which may involve serious bouts of irritability, depression, and anxiety.
When this stage is complete, individuals are cleared to progress to an inpatient or outpatient rehab center. This phase of recovery can take 60 days or more, depending on specific therapeutic needs.
While detox is riddled with debilitating symptoms, it is a necessary part of recovery from alcoholism. If you are ready to pursue recovery in North Carolina, Daymark Recovery Services will navigate you through the process with their customized detox, counseling, and recovery programs. To learn how their specialized services can be adapted to suit your needs, visit them online. If you are ready to enter treatment and learn how detox may work for you, contact one of their locations near you.