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Detoxification, also referred to as detox, is the process that rids one’s body of foreign substances.

Any person that has habitually abused drugs and/ or alcohol has likely developed a tolerance to the abused substance. When drug tolerance is built, one’s body begins to rely on the substance to function. When the body lacks the previously abused substance, it will react accordingly by way of developing withdrawal symptoms. An individual’s detox experience and duration will depend on a variety of contributing factors. The personal health history of the individual, the average quantity of alcohol consumed each time, the potency of the alcohol, one’s alcohol tolerance level, the frequency of one’s alcohol consumption, if the individual simultaneously used other drugs, and the presence of any co-morbid disorders will all factor into one’s detox experience and associated withdrawal symptoms.  

Detox Withdrawal Timeline

Every individual is different and will experience somewhat unique withdrawal symptoms when it comes to alcohol detox. However, the National Library of Medicine provides a general timeline, which divides the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, respectively, into the following four stages: 

Stage 1: six-twelve hours after one’s last drink

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Shakes/tremors 

Stage 2: twelve to twenty-four hours after one’s last drink

  • Hallucinations
  • Dehydration
  • Mental confusion
  • Irritability
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Loss of appetite

Stage 3: twenty-four to forty-eight hours after one’s last drink

  • Low blood sugar
  • Intense mood swings
  • Grand mal seizures—about four percent of people withdrawing from alcohol can experience grand mal seizures. 

Stage 4: forty-eight hours to seven days after one’s last drink

  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • General physical discomfort
  • Symptoms may begin to taper off

The withdrawal symptoms that accompany each stage of withdrawal from alcohol abuse will differ for everyone. Though the withdrawal symptoms that accompany detoxing from alcohol are not inherently life-threatening, many can cause severe discomfort, and support throughout the duration of the detox program via a medically supervised detox is recommended.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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