If you want to recover from alcohol abuse or alcoholism, you need to complete a detox. An alcohol detox is the first step toward lifelong sobriety. A great place to start is by learning more about what detox entails, the goals of a detox and what to expect.

What is an Alcohol Detox?

A detox is any time that a person ceases all consumption of an addictive substance. While it’s possible to detox from home, it can be very dangerous. Detox that medical professionals supervise around-the-clock is much safer.

During the detox, patients abstain from all alcohol consumption. When they do this, the body goes into withdrawal. This stage is often uncomfortable, but those in a medical detox have access to resources that help make it more tolerable.

What are the Goals of a Detox From Alcohol?

woman discusses alcohol detox with medical professionalsThe goal of a detox from alcohol is to start the recovery process. To truly overcome a dependence on alcohol, it takes commitment, time and professional assistance. In a detox, patients can start to break free from the binds of alcohol.

Ultimately, patients will be able to leave detox without the physical need for alcohol. Of course, there are still psychological components at play. Patients should work on those in rehab, but detox covers the all-important first step of getting physically sober.

Once patients are sober, they can work on other aspects of their health. When the physical and chemical dependence on alcohol is gone, they will have clear minds and the ability to focus on recovery.

Who Should Complete a Detox?

A detox is necessary for anyone who struggles with an alcohol dependence. However, the signs of alcoholism aren’t always easy to spot. An alcohol detox is often a good idea if you can’t stop drinking or if cutting back causes you discomfort.

Another sign of alcoholism is when the negative consequences of alcohol aren’t a deterrent. Individuals who struggle with divorce, financial problems or health concerns because of heavy drinking should stop immediately. If they can’t, then there’s likely a bigger issue at play than just social drinking.

How Long Does a Detox From Alcohol Take?

The exact length of a detox can vary from one patient to the next. On average, it can take anywhere from five to eight days.

There’s an approximate timeline that most patients follow while completing a detox. About 10 hours after starting the detox, it’s normal to start experiencing some mild withdrawal symptoms. These generally increase in intensity about 24 hours into the process.

Withdrawal symptoms tend to peak about 72 hours into the detox. From there, they lessen, and patients see a decrease in discomfort.

What are the Most Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

While every patient is different, there are certainly some withdrawal symptoms that are more common than others. Many individuals will experience symptoms like shaking, sweating, a mild fever, a lack of appetite and anxiety. While more severe symptoms are possible, they’re rare.

What is the Next Step After Detox is Complete?

Completing an alcohol detox is the beginning of recovery from addiction. To maintain sobriety moving forward, patients should opt for further addiction programs.

In rehab, patients can benefit from a range of therapies and substance abuse treatments, including:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Group therapy
  • 12 Step recovery programs
  • Life skills
  • Family therapy

Although overcoming alcoholism is tough, the right treatment can make all the difference. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can access resources to begin your journey to recovery. Call 866.262.0531 to work toward sobriety starting right now.