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Alcohol Detox: Timeline and Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcoholism, consuming more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 for men, can increase the chances of many health consequences. In addition, liver disease and cardiovascular disease are the leading affected systems by alcohol abuse. The body and mind become dependent upon the substance. With the decision to stop the cycle and break the addiction, treatment professionals can set an alcohol detox timeline. Unfortunately, 15.1 million adults have an alcohol use disorder, according to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Sadly, they also establish that only 6.7% will seek treatment. By learning about the alcohol detox timeline, a person can better protect themselves and their loved ones from tragedy.

What is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox is the safe, medically supervised treatment to begin the recovery plan for an alcohol use disorder. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are extreme. Monitoring by experienced professional staff during alcohol detox ensures adherence to the alcohol detox timeline. Alcohol detox presents with uncomfortable symptoms, and medical emergencies can occur.  The main goal of alcohol detox is to rid the body of alcohol and keep addicts as comfortable as possible.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms occurring upon cessation of alcohol consumption. Prolonged alcohol usage can disrupt the regular neurotransmitter activity in the brain. In addition, the body builds tolerance to alcohol with the addiction spans. The higher the tolerance level to alcohol, the longer the alcohol detox timeline increases, and the danger increases for withdrawal. 

The alcohol detox timeline contains three stages of withdrawal symptoms. Never attempt detox from alcohol without medical assistance from trained professionals. The severity of the alcohol dependence by the symptoms below describes the stages of withdrawal. Detox with medical monitoring decreases the severity of these symptoms while monitoring essential body functions. 

  • Stage One: (Mild) symptoms of headaches, anxiety, irritability, insomnia
  • Stage Two: (Moderate) symptoms of stage one and rapid heart rate, sweating, confusion, and low-grade fever 
  • Stage Three: (Severe) disorientation, hallucinations, and seizures with fatal potential

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

According to the general alcohol detox timeline, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin only hours after the last drink. In addition, factors such as gender, weight, age, length of alcohol abuse, the severity of alcohol usage, mental health, and physical health determine the withdrawal timeline and symptoms. Once the addict begins to experience the withdrawal symptoms, they rebound and drink again for relief. 

Signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes, irritability
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rapid abnormal breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fever
  • Impaired judgment and memory, confusion

Delirium tremens can be one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, senior or middle-aged alcoholics are at a high risk of developing respiratory arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, and aspiration pneumonitis. These potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms require immediate medical attention. Alcohol detox timelines guide professionals through this challenging process.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

An alcohol detox timeline refers to the onset of withdrawal symptoms once detox begins and the series of symptoms that continue to present throughout detox. Withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as four to twelve hours after the last drink. The second day of withdrawal can be challenging. Alcohol clears the body quickly, and by day four or five, withdrawal symptoms may begin to subside. Severe cases can produce withdrawal symptoms for up to a month. Detox can be longer if combined with another substance, and a significant health condition is present, or if this is not the first attempt at sobriety.

An average detox timeline appears similar to the following timeline:

  • 6-12 hours after the last drink: early mild withdrawal symptoms of headache, mild anxiety, insomnia, slight tremors, and upset stomach
  • By 24 hours: same symptoms as early withdrawal symptoms plus visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
  • 24 to 72 hours: previously experienced symptoms begin to peak and level off, seizures, seizure prophylaxis, withdrawal delirium (DTs)

After Detox: Finding Effective Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

Understanding the alcohol detox timeline, withdrawal symptoms, detox, and treatment options, maintaining sobriety is a lifelong 12-step process. Living a sober life brings many challenges, and undergoing a solid treatment plan with qualified professionals at the helm, is just the beginning. After detox and achieving a medically stable state, aftercare is essential. Inpatient or intensive outpatient programs, including a solid support system, must follow. Relapse is highly probable without a recovery program to provide the tools needed to continue sobriety. 

Finding a treatment center offering all possible solutions to an alcohol use disorder provides the most effective success rate for future sobriety. Individual therapy, group or 12-step meetings, lifestyle skills training, and new holistic therapies cover the basis for well-rounded treatment plans. In addition, a clear understanding of the alcohol detox timeline can help the support system engage with treatment plans. Recovery is a lifelong struggle.

Safely Detox From Alcohol in Atlanta, G

Alcohol detox is terrifying. If you are experiencing the downfalls of alcoholism or someone you love needs help with alcohol addiction, we are here to help you. The Retreat of Atlanta understands the alcohol detox timeline and the desperation involved with alcoholism. We offer professional treatment teams familiar with alcohol use disorder. We can help design your detox and treatment plan. Contact our admissions page today and begin your journey to lasting recovery.

Can You Reverse the Effects of Alcohol?

Can You Reverse the Effects of Alcohol?

Are you wondering if you can reverse the effects and damage caused by alcohol? Whether the usage of alcohol is safe for human health is a complete mystery to lots of individuals. It is true that the usages of alcohol are seen throughout different fields such as medical institutes, religious and cultural events, and other social activities. However, excessive use or abuse of alcohol can lead to brain damage, physical and emotional damage as well as legal issues for a person. The thing is that some of these problems may not arise immediately for the person if he is still young. But according to a survey, the earlier someone starts drinking, the more they are at risk of facing alcohol damage at their later age.

It is true that the usages of alcohol are seen throughout different fields such as medical institutes, religious and cultural events, and other social activities. However, excessive use or abuse of alcohol can lead to some health and legal issues for a person. The thing is that some of these problems may not arise immediately for the person if he is still young. But according to a survey, the earlier someone starts drinking, the more they are at risk of facing alcohol damage at their later age.

Risks of Long-Term Alcohol Abuse

There is a reason why alcohol is prohibited for people under the age of 21. Excessive usage of alcohol has a number of serious risks. It is a necessity for anyone to know about this stuff beforehand. In that way, you can have an idea of what you are getting into or doing. Below, here are some health issues that can be caused by alcoholism:

  • Brain Damage
  • Ulcers
  • Changes in the neural ways of one’s brain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Damage to the brain’s neurons in several or all areas
  • Liver Issues
  • Preventing brain from working properly
  • Problems in the cardiovascular area
  • The chance of seizure, dementia, brain cancer, and stroke increases.

According to SAMHSA, among many substance uses, alcohol abuse is the most common disorder among people. Unfortunately, most of them do so without knowing the risks. But if you are already doing it and want to reverse the effects of alcohol, there are ways.

Reverse Alcohol Damage on the Brain and Body

By taking the proper steps, you can reverse almost all the damages and changes to your health done by alcohol abuse. But it will take time for the complete recovery. The first steps in all these are to stay sober for 5 to 7 years, as that is how long it takes for your body to recover. Unfortunately, some alterations in the brain are irreversible. These damages depend on how long you have been drinking. But some other factors also work here. Your dietary habits, the amount of physical exercise you perform, your family history, and even genetic factors are vital things that determine the impairment to your body. So, the best thing to do is never to pick up the habit again.

Keep in mind that most of the recovery from the damages happens within only the first year of sobriety. Apparently, most of this recovery happens automatically. All you got to do is to stop yourself from drinking during these times.

There are some health issues where the problem isn’t directly related to alcoholism, but it indirectly causes them. One of them will be the Wenick Korsakoff condition. It may still be present when you are performing sobriety. As it comes from not having enough nutrition, you need to take care of your dietary habits to get rid of the problem.


Heart-Related Problems Caused by Alcoholism

There are several problems that can arise with the habit of drinking alcohol. The worrisome factor is that many of these issues may not be irreversible if the habit has been going on for too long. Moreover, if you had a heart problem before your drinking habit started, it may damage the cardiovascular system even more.

AHA states that these heart issues are common in alcoholic individuals-

  • Arrhythmias
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
  • Increase of cholesterol level

If you have already got these issues, you should seek professional help. Learn what diet will be the best for you in the scenario and follow that. Note that you can get an idea of how much recovery you will get from the heart problems after quitting drinking. Be careful of your diet, sleep schedule, and exercise, and see how much you recover after one year. Thus you can understand your potential for recovery.


How Long to Reverse Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Most reverse effects of quitting alcohol start in the first year. Your body heals itself in several months. However, being sober from 5-7 years is a good length of time for full psychological and physical recovery. Alcohol abuse affects the brain significantly and that’s why patience is your best friend that can help you get your life back without and eliminate the lingering effects of alcohol.

How to Recover From Alcohol Abuse?

To recover from alcohol abuse, firstly, you must stay sober for the whole recovery period. You have to be sure that no external factors affect your cravings for alcohol after you have quit it. To reverse skin damage, you need to drink a lot of water. It is also necessary to go for a healthy diet, enough exercise, and get proper rest. Since different people may face different issues, you should get professional help, explain everything, and follow their instructions. You must face the truth that some of the damages may be impossible to recover and stay patient.

Begin to Undo the Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Fortunately, the addiction to alcohol is not as severe as some of the other substances. As a result, during your brain recovery period, you won’t face too much craving as those other addictions. But no matter what happens, you must remain sober during the reverse alcoholism timeline. Reversing alcohol damage takes a long time, so you must stay away from any external causes that may provoke you to drink again.

If you or a loved one are in need of help for alcohol addiction, contact our team of professionals today.

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Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Illness

Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Although many of us think of alcoholism as “just a bad habit,” it is proven to be a chronic physical disease as well as a mental disorder. This fact puts alcohol addiction in a new light and helps to find better ways to treat it. Here we have discussed why alcohol abuse is a chronic disease with the mention of trusted sources:


Consumption of alcohol at uncontrollable excessive levels is considered alcoholism. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction find it hard to manage their drinking. Alcoholism can be in mild to severe stages and the difficulties of treating it relate to the severity.

Over 14.5 million people in the US suffer from alcohol use disorder. Here are the signs of alcoholism as a disease:

  • Drinking more than a regular person and consuming alcohol regularly
  • Feeling uncomfortable and hungover when you stop drinking
  • Short-term memory losses and blackouts
  • Drinking alcohol alone and hiding it from everyone else in your life
  • Distancing yourself from your family and loved ones
  • Having mood swings
  • Drinking alcohol over other daily tasks and responsibility

Alcoholism is a major issue in the US and it affects people personally and socially. Many of us have a tendency of blaming this issue on addicted people but it should be realized that it is a mental and physical issue.

Definition of Chronic Disease

Before understanding alcoholism as a chronic disease, we must understand the definition of chronic diseases and what differs them from regular diseases. The simplest definition is diseased which doesn’t just go away and lasts three months or more. It is complicated to cure these diseases with medicines only.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that six out of ten people in the US suffer from at least one chronic disease. This number is huge and is caused by various factors. CDC’s research also shows that chronic diseases are the top reason for disability and even death in the United States.

In short, chronic diseases are conditions that are hard to cure with only medication, and these conditions may last for a long time. However, with proper medication and lifestyle, it can be managed and even treated. Progressive alcoholism sounds familiar with the definition of chronic disease as it starts as something harmless and ends up being a life-changing problem that becomes complicated to control and even harder to cure.

The Facts

Chronic diseases and alcoholism share similar symptoms. The following information from George Washington University Medical Center gives an in-depth understanding of the relation:

  • Chronic diseases have genetic components and so does alcoholism.
  • Alcoholism and chronic diseases can be managed and cured with medication and behavioral changes.
  • Addiction to alcohol and chronic diseases have common symptom control and relapse pattern.

Why is Alcoholism a Chronic Disease

There are enough reasons why alcoholism is considered a chronic disease. Some of them are:

Genetics: Genetics is a reason for alcohol use disorder amongst 40-60% of the people with alcoholism. Just like diabetes and heart diseases that can run in a family, alcoholism can be affected by genetics. So, if you have an ancestor or family member who has alcohol addiction, you may be prone to alcoholism and more like to develop it compared to others.

Environmental Factors: Like diabetes, along with genetics, environmental factors play a big role in alcohol addiction. The availability of alcohol, the acceptance of alcohol usage in your family or friend group, and many other similar factors let you develop an addiction.

Relapse: Like other chronic diseases, relapse is possible during the treatment of alcoholism. Proper treatment and management are essential for treating it, otherwise, relapse can make it worse.

No Definite Cure: Just like most other chronic diseases, alcoholism does not have a cure. It has to be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. You cannot just stop using alcohol right away because it may cause many withdrawal symptoms.


Since alcoholism is such a complicated chronic disease, treating it can be hard. That’s why it requires medication and lifestyle changes. It is best to be under supervision during the treatment of alcohol use disorder. In case you are suffering or you know someone who is addicted, you can get help from Retreat of Atlanta or a quality rehab facility in your state to find the best treatment.


Is alcoholism a disease?

According to The American Psychiatric Association, alcoholism is considered a disease. It is also called the modern disease theory of alcoholism. Alcoholism is often a result of genetics and the environment. AMA also counts alcoholism as a disease under both medical and psychiatric sections. Some can develop alcoholism without any genetic involvement. Such addiction can also start from the availability of liquor and mental conditions.

Is alcoholism curable?

The chronicity of diseases makes them harder to cure. Alcoholism, being a chronic disease, can also be complicated to resolve. However, it is not impossible. If you have an alcohol addiction and want to quit suddenly, it may cause issues like anxiety, mood swings, high blood pressure, etc. That’s why slow detoxification with the help of certified individuals or rehab is the best way to treat alcohol addiction.

Is alcoholism considered a mental illness?

Along with physical dependence on alcohol, alcoholism becomes a mental illness and develops psychological dependence. Moreover, American Medical Association counts alcoholism as a disease under both medical and psychiatric sections. Adding to that, some mental illnesses can facilitate addiction and even be the reason to begin the addiction.


Being a chronic disease, treating alcoholism could be a hard and complicated process. That’s why if you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, know that it will take time and a lot of effort to recover. However, it is best to start the process of recovery and detoxification as soon as you can!

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Is Alcohol Detox Dangerous To Do By Yourself

Is Alcohol Detox Dangerous To Do By Yourself

Is alcohol detox dangerous to do by yourself? Many people decide that it may be beneficial for them to detox at home. Unfortunately, this decision is usually made because they feel that the challenging situation that they find themselves in is much easier to address at home.

While there may be hope and some success stories, alcohol detoxing at home can have serious health risks if the individual is not aware of the alcohol withdrawal effects as well as the risks that accompany alcohol withdrawal if not managed properly.

In this article, we will discuss what alcohol withdrawal is, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and the potential risks of detoxing without professional assistance.

Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Explained

Alcohol withdrawal can be described as a set of dangerous symptoms that start after the brain has realized that the body is lacking alcohol from its system after long-term dependency.

In other words, the body has become physically dependent on alcohol and has reached a state of alcohol dependence. This means that the body requires alcohol for it to feel and function normally. 

Once this happens withdrawal symptoms start to occur. This is a natural process in which the body works hard to try and remove toxins from the system to reach a new state of normal.

Common Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often mimic the symptoms that a person would experience during detox drugs such as cocaine and heroin. During this process, the body starts to react to the detoxification by opposing the intoxicating effects of the alcohol. 


When people are intoxicated, they tend to feel relaxed and calm. Unfortunately, once the withdrawal process has begun a person starts to experience various adverse symptoms.


These symptoms can include but are not limited to the following

  • Increased Perspiration
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Insomnia
  • Intense Dreams and Nightmares When Sleeping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Restlessness and Anxiety
  • Poor or No Appetite
  • Memory Problems
  • Sensitivity to Stimuli Such as Light and Sound

In severe cases that are left untreated by medical professionals’ symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Failure
  • Death

The Safest Ways in Which to Detox at Home

Despite the risks, the most common reason for individuals to want to detox from home is that they feel they would have a better level of comfort in their own home and can remain anonymous without having to endure any financial obligation.


If you feel that you must detox from home, then there are several things you need to do to make your journey as safe and as bearable as possible.

#1 Remove the Problem

Make sure that you have no alcohol in your home. This includes alcoholic beverages, cough syrups, and any other alcohol-based solutions. This is one of the most critical steps because as soon as a person starts to experience the discomfort from the withdrawal symptoms, the temptation to feel normal again could take over and alcohol will be sought out and consumed.

#2 Take Leave

You are going to have to take a leave of absence from any obligations or work that you may have. The time for recovery has to be your main focus to succeed.

#3 Do Not Be Alone

When you are detoxing from alcohol at home you mustn’t be alone. A friend or family member should ideally stay with and monitor you during the detoxification process. This will help to keep you safe and stop you from pursuing alcohol to ease the symptoms. 


If your symptoms get too severe you will also need to have another person around that can get you medical assistance as soon as possible.

The Typical Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Eight to Twelve Hours After the Last Drink

These symptoms are initially relatively mild and may include a slight headache together with some anxiety, tremors, and an upset stomach.

After One Day

After just one day some individuals may already start to experience hallucinations.

One to Three Days

One to three days after withdrawal the individual may start to experience seizures. This requires close monitoring as well as seizure prophylaxis. Delirium may also start to occur.

The Risks of At-Home Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Detoxing from home can be serious and could potentially have life-threatening risks. It is due to this fact that alcohol detox is normally better treated and managed by a medical professional or rehabilitation center. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be very severe depending on how long your body has been addicted to the substance.

Individuals who experience these symptoms often have the symptoms for weeks and without medication, the management of these symptoms can be extremely difficult thus causing the individual to turn back to alcohol.

To manage these symptoms a professional at a rehabilitation center will assess the reaction of your body to the detoxification process and administer medication to minimize any severe and life-threatening side effects.

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal symptoms medication can sometimes mean all the difference between a successful and unsuccessful detox.

Medications used during alcohol withdrawal management can include:

  • Sedation Medications
  • Anticonvulsants for Seizures
  • Antipsychotics to Help with Hallucinations
  • Blood Pressure Medcications

Why You Should Choose Professional Alcohol Detox Treatment

Each patient is different, and a professional can know whether or not detox should only include observation and monitoring or whether medical intervention needs to be put into place to prevent life-threatening situations.


During care at The Retreat of Atlanta, you or a loved one can create a customized treatment plan. You will also have regular meetings with our multidisciplinary team, which includes licensed clinical therapists, mental health technicians, and nursing staff that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our focus is to create a safe, comfortable, and stable environment in which to help our patients during their withdrawal process.

The Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

The Elevation Stage

The patient must be assessed by a medical professional. In most cases, blood tests, mental and physical screening will all be considered to ensure that the correct treatment is administered.


During this part of the process, acute symptoms of the withdrawal process are monitored, and medication is usually given to patients if needed to reduce any distress or discomfort.


The process of the alcohol detox program is relatively short, so patients must be moved to the next stage of care. This can be via inpatient or outpatient treatment programs all depending on the needs of each individual. Long-term maintenance and aftercare are needed to ensure long-lasting sobriety.


At the Retreat of Atlanta, our goal is to place you in the best facility possible so that you can heal and attain long-term sobriety. Our mission is to assist anyone who approaches us to find the best rehabilitation center for them to recover from their addiction.

The Reality

If you are a person who is trying to detox from alcohol you would think that in theory, if you gradually reduce your alcohol intake over some time that this would allow the body to adjust to the detoxification without any side effects.

Sadly, in reality, this theory is rarely the case as addiction tolerance and physical dependence makes people want to drink more over time. This is especially true if the person trying to detox s doing so from home.

The best way to make a success of your detoxification journey is to allow yourself to be treated in a professional, safe, and supportive environment.

At The Retreat of Atlanta, our team is here to represent you and help you to overcome the many challenges or roadblocks that can be encountered during the early days of recovery. 

Dealing with these problems alone can be overwhelming. Let our teamwork with you on all the legal, financial, technical, and other issues so that you don’t have to.


At The Retreat of Atlanta, we will assist you to thrive during your early recovery days.

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We want to help as many people recover from the disease of addiction as possible. We are here 24 hours a day to help you detox from drugs and alcohol, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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