QUALITY TREATMENT & CARE
What is Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal?
You may have heard alcohol referred to as a depressant, which it is. In order to compensate for the depressant effect that alcohol has, your body has been producing more of the hormones that counteract depression (serotonin and norepinephrine). After several hours without using, the alcohol begins to leave your system, but it can take several days for your body to fully adjust to this change. This adjustment is what we refer to as alcohol detox.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of withdrawal may vary depending on how long you have been drinking, how much you would drink, whether you have been using any additional substances, your age, gender, as well as a number of other potential factors. Common symptoms include:
Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal Timelines
If you are an addict who has never achieved sobriety before you may wonder how long alcohol detox can take. In reality, the answer can vary a lot from one person to another. The more an alcoholic drinks, and the longer that they drink, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms can be, ranging from mild to severe. Not all users experience all of the same symptoms, but they do occur in the same pattern.
6 Hours Following Your Last Drink
Symptoms of withdrawal typically start between 6 to 24 hours and they can get most severe over the following days. The onset of alcohol detox is marked by tremors or uncontrollable shaking. Other symptoms that can accompany tremors include rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, sweating, nausea/vomiting, anxiety, irritability, vivid dreams, and insomnia.
During this time, it is also possible to experience seizures that can occur over several hours. Seizures are seen up to 48 hours after your last drink.
12 to 48 Hours Following Your Last Drink
Hallucinations may start as early as 12 after your last drink and can last up to 48 hours.
48-72 Hours Following Your Last Drink
For the most severe detox cases, you may experiences what are referred to as delirium tremens, or severe delirium with tremors. Delirium tremens is a dangerous effect of alcohol withdrawal that can cause severe changes in heart rate, breathing, and temperature. Individuals that experience delirium tremens are monitored closely to prevent violent behavior, major brain damage, and loss of life.
All symptoms typically start to wear off after about 5 days but can last for longer. Psychological symptoms can take the longest to wear off, sometimes lasting weeks. Our team performs regular evaluations and creates personalized treatment plans.
Health Risks and Dangers of Alcohol Detox
Detoxing at home is common, but alcohol withdrawal carries a number of serious risks ranging from dehydration to brain damage and even death. These health risks are the main reason why we recommend seeking the help of Compass Detox, as opposed to attempting detox at home.
Detox is unpredictable and the ability to act quickly at the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms or unforeseen complications is key in preventing permanent damage. Our doctors know what signs to look for and what interventions need to be prescribed to prevent or control changes in your mental and physical well-being.
The unpleasant side effects of alcohol detox mixed with increased cravings make it tempting to break off the detox and start drinking again in order to escape the symptoms. In the event of a relapse, your body may be at an increased risk of alcohol poisoning and overdose because your tolerance has already started to decline. You are less likely to relapse during detox when it is completed at a detox center, under the supervision of trained caregivers and with access to proper medical treatment.
If severe symptoms occur during detox, you may be transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
Round the clock care is needed for several days, sometimes weeks before you are fully sober. You cannot care for yourself during this time and even if a loved one offers to help, a full team of caregivers is necessary to provide 24/7 monitoring.
Our staff can help minimize and treat the symptoms of withdrawal, decreasing your chances of relapse or serious complications.
Statistics On Alcohol Withdrawal
- Only 5% of people who go through alcohol withdrawal experience delirium tremens, but 1 out of 20 people who develop symptoms die from the condition.
- Only 20% of alcoholics who try to get sober without seeking professional assistance or support are able to stay sober.
- On average, life expectancy drops by 15 years or more for someone who is not able to get sober and stay sober.
- 88,000 people die each year from an alcohol-related cause, making it the third-highest preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Alcohol Detox at Compass in South Florida
Our 3-step treatment process includes a detailed evaluation, stabilization, and referral to a trusted program for aftercare. Based on your evaluation, your stabilization plan will be created to meet your personal needs and may include a combination of sedation with the use of medications, medical monitoring, IV fluids, nutritional supplements, counseling, and psychotherapy.
At Compass Detox, based in South Florida, we offer 24/7 medical supervision to all detox clients. There will always be a risk with detox, but help from our doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals reduces risks for complications, relapses, and overdose and provides the best opportunity for a positive outcome.
Why It’s Important to Seek Professional Help When Detoxing From Alcohol
An alcohol use disorder causes someone to drink more to produce the same effects. When that person stops drinking, the body rids itself of toxins, but it can also go into shock. While the alcohol detox process may only produce minor withdrawal symptoms for some, others can experience life-threatening effects. Delirium Tremens, seizures, and dehydration are all possible during alcohol detox and withdrawal.
Despite the potentially dangerous side effects, individuals should not be afraid of detoxification if conducted under medical care. Medical professionals recommend seeking help with alcohol detox to effectively manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent fatal symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about alcohol detox and why it is important to seek professional help when you stop drinking.
Why is alcohol detox dangerous?
Heavy drinking or prolonged alcohol abuse causes chemical and physical changes in the body. Removing alcohol can potentially send the body into shock. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours after the last drink and last days or weeks. While some withdrawal symptoms are mild or uncomfortable, others can be more severe.
The symptoms of withdrawal are not predictable, and it is difficult to determine how alcohol detox will affect a person. Without proper medical care, withdrawal symptoms can cause significant damage to the body and mind. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Shaky hands
- Lack of appetite
- Racing heart
Delirium Tremens, or DTs, is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal with life-threatening symptoms. DTs can begin within 48 hours after the last drink and cause hallucinations, severe agitation, pain, and tremors. Delirium tremens has a mortality rate of 5% to 25% and is considered a medical emergency. The effects of severe withdrawal symptoms can lead to serious health conditions, making the detox and recovery process difficult.
Detoxing from alcohol at home
Detoxing from alcohol at home is not recommended. Without medical supervision, it is difficult to monitor withdrawal symptoms and seek care if symptoms worsen. Professional detox and rehab facilities are equipped to recognize the symptoms of withdrawal and intervene if symptoms become dangerous. Doctors on staff can also prescribe certain medications to help lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
At home, it can be more difficult to focus on recovery. Personal responsibilities, negative influences, and access to alcohol can make it difficult to avoid the temptation to drink. The detox process is hard enough. There is no need to add on the stress of everyday life and caring for oneself. Medical facilities handle daily responsibilities like cooking meals or cleaning up. The more things you can take off your plate, the better you can focus on recovery.
Do you need to detox from alcohol?
It is often difficult for people with an alcohol use disorder to recognize that they need professional help. Admitting that you need help with alcohol abuse or dependence is an important first step towards recovery, but it can also be scary. Some people worry about alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms and how the detox process will affect them.
If you believe you may be at risk of DTs, you should seek professional alcohol detox treatment as soon as possible. The unpredictable nature of DTs make the condition very dangerous, and it is important to be in a safe facility. Also, if you have gone through withdrawal before, symptoms may be worse when you go through withdrawal again. Seeking professional treatment is the safest option to control withdrawal symptoms.
People suffering from other conditions, like another addiction, mental disorder, or physical illness, should seek professional medical care. Different conditions can make the symptoms of withdrawal worse. Relying on family and friends alone is not enough when your life is on the line.
Types of Alcohol Detox Treatment Programs
There are multiple options when it comes to detox treatment and medically-supervised detox. Most rehabilitation facilities offer 24-hour phone lines to answer questions about their program and provide valuable information on medically-supervised detox. You should consult your doctor as soon as possible to review your medical history and receive a physical examination. Your doctor can provide the recommended course of action for detox based on your unique situation.
Inpatient rehab facilities offer care 24/7 with medical staff onsite to care for patients. People experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms needs this level of care to ensure their health and safety during detox. If symptoms worsen rapidly or come up unexpectedly, doctors and nurses on site can intervene quickly and efficiently.
If the intense level of care that comes with inpatient facilities are not needed, patients with milder withdrawal symptoms can utilize outpatient services. Outpatient detox treatment involves checking in with a doctor or medical professional every day to assess the effects of detox. Doctors can prescribe necessary medications to lessen the effects of withdrawal and encourage patients to stay on track with their recovery.
Benefits of Alcohol Detox in Florida
Professional, Florida-based detox facilities and medically supervised treatment can potentially save your life if you are experiencing withdrawal. Beyond health and safety benefits, professional detox makes it easier to focus on the process of recovery and find the support needed to carry on. A successful experience with detox can be the first step needed towards a lifetime of addiction recovery.
The exact effects and severity of withdrawal symptoms are unknown until a person begins the detox process. Underlying conditions like physical illnesses or mental disorders can cause acute symptoms that are dangerous or life-threatening. In a controlled professional detox environment, medical staff can act quickly to stabilize a patient if acute withdrawal symptoms occur. Initially stabilizing a patient can help them through the rest of detox, and professional treatment centers can provide ongoing monitoring to keep patients stable.
Managing changes to medication, vitals, psychiatric care, and emergency medical care require a lot of time and attention. Letting professional medical staff handle these responsibilities allows someone to focus their energy on recovery and getting through the detox process. If a patient experiences any kind of emergency, they are in a safe and controlled environment. Trained professionals are available at all times to provide medical care and assess a situation.
Dehydration and a lack of nutrients are possible during detox from alcohol and can worsen withdrawal symptoms. Professional detox facilities provide regular meals with the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep the body healthy during detox. Medical staff can also ensure that a person stays properly hydrated, so they do not experience the potentially fatal effects of dehydration.
Detox is the first step towards recovery, so relapse prevention is crucial. The body is vulnerable after detox, and relapses are especially after someone goes through withdrawal. Support and care from medical professionals can help prevent relapse following detox. Many inpatient treatment programs last for 30 days or more, well beyond the general timeline for detox. This extended period of care ensures a person is supported through detox and as they transition to other treatment methods.
Access to Therapy
Individual counseling, group therapy, and other therapeutic treatments are often available onsite at professional detox & rehab facilities. Having immediate access to these therapies can help a person stay on track during detox and prepare for the next phase of recovery. Working through issues related to drinking can provide a person with the tools they need to prevent relapse.
Support from Family
Professional treatment programs benefit more than just the person going through detox. Family members can benefit from a trained medical professional, asking questions and receiving guidance on supporting their loved one. Medical staff can provide information on alcohol abuse and addiction, how treatment works, and what family can expect during the process.
Continued care after detox is crucial to preventing relapse. Many treatment programs for alcohol abuse involve support for life after detox, including referrals for ongoing assistance. By transitioning to other methods of care after detox, a person can maintain their momentum for recovery and successfully stay on the road to sobriety.
- Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?
- Is Alcoholism Genetic?
- Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline: How Quickly Do Symptoms Start?
- How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?
- How to Help Someone Detoxing from Alcohol
- Does Alcohol Withdrawal cause Hypertension (high blood pressure)?
- Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal – Treatment, Causes, Timeline & Dangers
- Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): Symptoms, Treatment & Types
- Nutritional and Vitamin Therapy is Essential in Alcohol Detox and Alcoholism Recovery
- Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Auditory, Visual or Tactile Hallucinations?
- Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Increased Heart Rate and/or Increased Blood Pressure?
- How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?
Alcohol Detox in Florida FAQs
At Compass Detox, we are constantly fielding questions about alcohol detox. There are many myths surrounding it and so much misinformation out there. Here are some of the questions that we hear most often and our answers to those questions, which will hopefully help you understand what alcohol detox is and, more importantly, what it is not.
The most common symptoms that your body experiences as it begins to detox from alcohol are the same as alcohol withdrawals. Your craving for alcohol intensifies and your focus is on getting that next drink. You become irritable, often feeling sore and sick to your stomach, similar to the flu. You may sweat or get headaches. Many people struggle with trying to get any kind of sleep. When you do sleep, you may have nightmares.
These are all the early stage symptoms associated with quitting alcohol. As time goes on, you will still crave alcohol, but the cravings will not be as strong. You may also still struggle with mood changes or feeling anxious, but those are also going to settle as time passes. Some may also notice that after a few days with no alcohol, they feel, hear, or see things that are not there. These hallucinations are somewhat common when detoxing from alcohol.
The experience of alcohol detox is unique for everyone, but the concept is simply allowing the body to remove as many traces of alcohol as possible. It can be painful for some, and nerve-wracking for nearly all to go through. However, it is a necessary step when it comes to getting sober. Your body needs to go through and remove the traces of alcohol. This helps to reset your body and allows the healing and recovery process to begin.
The entire experience of alcohol detox is going to be unique for each person. However, on average, most people say they find relief from the effects of alcohol detox by the end of a week. Some noticed they felt better by day 4 or 5, while others needed a bit longer. It depends on how quickly traces of alcohol can be removed from your body. Those with damaged kidneys and livers should expect it to take longer.
You never want to see someone you care about struggle with alcohol. However, watching them go through alcohol detox is not easy, either. If you know of someone that is trying to stop drinking, encourage them to seek help. It is usually not safe to detox at home. They should be in a detox facility where someone can help keep an eye on them.
If they refuse, then at least stay with them. Should you see anything that makes you question if that person is alright, call for help. It is not your job to keep them safe, but if you take on that role, remember you have help a simple just a phone call away. Medical professionals can step in and get them the medical help they need to make it through this process.
This question is difficult to answer. Are you capable of detoxing from alcohol on your own? Most likely. However, should you? That answer is a simple no. No one should ever go about detoxing on their own, especially from alcohol. Detoxing from alcohol is hard on your body. It can go from you feeling mildly bad one minute to being in severe discomfort just a moment later. This makes the idea of trying to detox alone dangerous and ill advised.
This answer depends on your level of addiction, your health, and the type of rehab you opt to go with. However, you can expect your detox to take at minimum one week, with most people going through a 28-day stay when trying to overcome the effects of alcohol.
Again, this depends on your body and experience, but most people feel better after 5-7 days, while some struggle for weeks to have their body get to the point of being alcohol-free. The healthier you are when you start, and the healthier you stay, the easier the process will be. You should expect your detox to take no less than one week, with each day after that seeing you begin to feel a little better.
We strongly recommend a professional detox facility, like here at Compass Detox – where we are staffed with industry leading therapeutic and medical professionals – to recover from an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawals can be dangerous. They need to remain monitored in order for you to be safe. Getting help from the beginning gives you the best chances of attaining a long-term recovery.
While most people attribute sweating to being hot, it also is a way your body purifies itself. When you are going through an alcohol detox, your body pushes all of the toxins out in any way it can. One method it uses is by making you sweat. This pushes out all of those impurities your body was holding on to. That way, you get to feeling better, faster.
Detoxing your entire body is hard work. This means that every cell of your body is working hard to heal the damage alcohol did. The longer you struggled with alcohol, the more likely you are to feel exhausted during detox. Make sure to stay hydrated, eat a healthy range of foods, and sleep when you can during detox. You need all the rest you can get.
The cost of detox in Florida depends on the type of detox you choose, the facility you go to, and what is all included in your stay. Some detox facilities are minimal, and you pay less for your time spent at them. Other detox facilities in Florida provide luxury stays. These facilities are like staying at a resort while detoxing.
Most are somewhere in between. It’s also important to note that most detox facilities in Florida do accept insurance. Cost varies widely, with some facilities being out of reach without insurance assistance. Programs are available to assist those who may not be able to afford some of the costs. We would be happy to discuss that in depth with you today, simply call us at 800-26-DETOX or email us at [email protected]!