Struggling with alcohol abuse can be difficult. While quitting is a noble decision, undergoing detox and withdrawal can be particularly taxing. Before you begin your sobriety journey, you may be asking yourself, “How long does it take alcohol to leave your body?” Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer because it can vary from person to person.
How Long Does It Take Alcohol to Leave Your Body?
Alcohol leaves traces in your system for about 24 hours, and potentially longer if someone were to test your blood. While alcohol leaves the body much faster than most substances, this also means that withdrawal effects could occur sooner.
Withdrawal symptoms can occur within eight hours after a person’s last drink. Symptoms can then progress from moderate to severe over the next 24–72 hours, depending on the person’s drinking history and other factors.
Early withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Abdomen pain
- Increased body temperature
- High blood pressure
As the body regains equilibrium, a person can experience hallucinations, seizures, and an irregular heartbeat. Therefore, it’s never recommended that a person attempts to detox on their own. Without medical supervision, it’s possible for individuals to have a fatal accident, deadly seizure or cardiac arrest.
What Happens During Alcohol Detox?
Addiction and withdrawal affect individuals differently. Upon attending an alcohol detox, you’ll go through a physical and mental evaluation before treatment. Then, medical staff at a qualified detox facility will monitor your safety and stability. Many detox facilities also use medications to limit discomfort during the withdrawal process.
The detox process will help to get you stable, but there may be some lingering symptoms, otherwise known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can happen weeks after undergoing the detox process, and it can be scary. The good news is that while these symptoms are uncomfortable, they aren’t nearly as dangerous. In many cases, effective exercise and a steady diet can help decrease these symptoms.
The Key to Overcoming Alcohol Addiction
Those wondering, “How long does it take alcohol to leave your body?” now have a working answer. However, detox is only the first step toward recovery. To truly get well, you need to continue with a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Without treatment, you may never discover what led to your drinking in the first place. Also, you won’t know how to deal with your triggers when they inevitably arise in sobriety.
Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, is here to help provide you with the treatment you need, and can refer you to a high-quality detox to help you begin your journey. We’ll also help you to transition into our extended care program or intensive outpatient treatment. Some of our specialties include trauma therapy, individual therapy, and dual diagnosis therapy.