Did you know that over 85% of adults in the US have consumed alcohol at some point during their life? Long-term alcohol use increases your risk for chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer and also seriously impacts your mental health.
Your first step towards lasting change is an alcohol detox program. If you have doubts about a detox program, it helps if you understand how alcohol withdrawal affects your body and how a 7-day detox program helps you through this process.
Keep reading to learn about the mental and physical changes that occur when you detox from alcohol and what you can expect from a 7-day alcohol detox program.
Overview of Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox
If you drink a large amount of alcohol regularly, the neurotransmitters in your brain adjust to the alcohol present in your body. Alcohol suppresses the neurotransmitters in your brain, making you feel relaxed after drinking.
When these neurotransmitters are no longer suppressed by alcohol, your brain becomes overstimulated, which leads to mental and physical symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal.
If you abruptly stop drinking, you’ll start detoxing from alcohol on your own and start experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms start occurring over a specific period of time and can start as early as five hours after your last drink.
Alcohol Detox Timeline
The alcohol detox symptoms that occur once you stop drinking vary for each person, but most people follow this timeline and go through each stage.
The first stage of detox typically begins between 5 and 8 hours after your last drink. Symptoms at this stage usually peak between 24 to 48 hours after you stop drinking, but sometimes they can last longer. In this stage, you can expect symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- A rapid pulse and low blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
Stage 2 occurs between 24 to 72 hours after you stop drinking. Symptoms range from high blood pressure, rapid pulse, confusion, and hallucinations.
Stage 3 usually starts about 72 hours after drinking and can last up to five days. Symptoms can be more severe at this stage and include fevers, agitation, and seizures.
Sometimes, you can have a severe type of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens. This condition occurs when you stop drinking alcohol after drinking heavily for a long time period. You’re more likely to get this condition if you don’t eat enough food during your withdrawal period or have a history of alcohol withdrawal.
Delirium tremens is a medical emergency and includes symptoms like heavy sweating, chest pain, vomiting, seizures, and rapid muscle tremors.
Overview of a 7-Day Alcohol Detox Program
Withdrawing from alcohol is very difficult, and your symptoms can become severe. It’s essential you’re in an alcohol detox program to work through the symptoms of withdrawal safely.
A 7-day alcohol detox program aims to clear your body of alcohol and toxins by helping your body metabolize any alcohol that remains. During an alcohol detox program, you’ll have constant medical care around the clock.
The steps of a 7-day detox program like Apex alcohol therapy include:
You’ll start with the intake process when you first check into a detox program. During this process, you’ll receive an assessment and answer questions about your alcohol use.
In some cases, you’ll meet with a physician to have an interview, but either way, you’ll get a physical exam and review any other medical conditions you have. You’ll then get a personalized treatment plan based on your emotional, mental, and physical state.
It’s important to realize that the length of the detox process typically lasts seven days, but this can vary. Sometimes, it can last longer depending on the severity of symptoms, how you function physically and mentally, and how much alcohol you consume regularly.
As you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, your overall medical condition and vital signs will be monitored throughout the day. You’ll also receive medications to help with things like:
- Anxiety or depression
- Vitamin deficiencies
You’ll also get meals provided during the day, so you get the proper nutrition you need to support your body through the detox process.
Once your withdrawal symptoms start to improve, you’ll begin therapy sessions to help you work through the mental issues that cause you to turn to addiction in the first place.
Next, you’ll need to go through a counseling program to address your mental health. At treatment centers like Apex, you’ll have motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions.
Motivational interviewing is a type of counseling that motivates people to make positive behavior changes in their lives. It’s very helpful if you have mixed feelings about changing your behavior and current lifestyle.
During motivational interviewing sessions, your therapist will help you recognize and draw out your true motivations to make these changes. They’ll then use this to help you through the recovery process and to keep going when you think you want to give up.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps you become more aware of your negative thinking patterns. By becoming aware of them, you’re better able to change your perceptions and deal with situations in your life more effectively.
Find an Alcohol Detox Program Today
Remember, alcohol withdrawal causes serious and sometimes life-threatening symptoms, so you don’t want to go it alone. Finding an alcohol detox program you’re comfortable with is a crucial part of your recovery.
It’s time to reach out to the professionals at Apex recovery for help. We’ve been helping people in San Diego since 2013 and will create an individualized treatment plan to help you succeed.
At this time, we don’t accept Medi-Cal but do accept self-pay options. Make sure you reach out and contact us today, and we’ll help guide you through the next steps!checkArticle ApprovedThe Dangers of Doing an Alcohol Detox at Home
You may be inclined to attempt an alcohol detox at home. Be aware of these dangers before you commit. And call our team to learn about your options.