What is Alcohol Detox?

A detox is a period of time where the body naturally gets rid of the alcohol in it after you stop drinking. During this time, your body may react physically and mentally with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms—some of which can be deadly. Alcohol addiction recovery requires medical monitoring and supervision. The time it takes to fully recover depends on individual factors, such as the duration of abuse, your genes, mental health history, and your family history.

There are inpatient and outpatient alcohol detox programs available. Here at Gratitude Lodge, we offer inpatient detox programs, meaning you’d stay in our luxurious, welcoming rooms and have access to professionals during your recovery. Our local partners offer outpatient detox, which is available to those who have a less severe addiction and want to continue their work or school during their detox. Though detox sounds uncomfortable, it’s a necessary step to take to start a new, sober life.


What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Getting the alcohol out of your system is the first step to recovery. Detoxing in a safe, professionally staffed environment is important because your brain may have become dependent on alcohol, which can affect your brain’s chemical makeup. In severe dependency cases, suddenly ending alcohol intake could lead to fatal seizures. Here are some symptoms you may experience.

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Shakiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatal seizures
  • Delirium tremens


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How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The time it takes to detox from alcohol depends on many factors. However, in most cases, the worst physical withdrawal symptoms subside within a week. After physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms are gone, most cases are accompanied by mental withdrawal symptoms, which could last for weeks or months. In more severe cases of addiction, there may be fatal side effects if not treated properly.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

1-2 Days

The first 12 hours of withdrawal may cause insomnia, irritability, sweating, nausea, and you may feel shakiness or body tremors. After a day or two, these symptoms will worsen. With a severe addiction, hallucinations and seizures may follow.

3-5 DAYS

You could experience emotional distress and continue to feel the shakiness, confusion, and hallucination, which are symptoms of delirium tremens. On the fifth day, these symptoms may begin to subside.

6-7 DAYS

Physical withdrawal symptoms will subside, but mental withdrawal symptoms may continue for weeks or months. You could experience anxiety and nervousness, insomnia, and irritability, which is why a longer inpatient stay or outpatient treatment is recommended after detoxing.


Medications Used in Alcohol Detox

Medication is used to minimize the discomfort experienced with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some medications are also designed to subdue the desire to drink alcohol, and some of those medications purposely cause nausea to prevent urges.

  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate
  • Naltrexone
  • Benzos

What Happens After Alcohol Detox?

While alcohol detox is the first physical step towards recovery from alcoholism, there are mental steps involved in recovery after detox. Structured activities, group therapy, and individual counseling are built into your day when you stay at a residential addiction treatment facility such as Gratitude Lodge. After that, you’ll be able to transition to outpatient care, where you can stay in your own home, attend work or school, and attend therapy in the daytime or evening.

You’ll feel your withdrawal symptoms become manageable after detox with your medical therapy. Then, you can partake in group activities, learn from a set schedule, develop responsibility, and become self-sufficient again. Taking all of the steps from alcohol detox to outpatient rehabilitation is what helps establish the foundation of a lasting recovery and decreases the chance of relapse.

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Is Alcohol Detox Covered by Insurance?

We accept most PPO insurances to cover alcohol detox at Gratitude Lodge, whether you’re staying with us for as little as 7 days or more than 90 days. We accept BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Aetna, and many more. As with any insurance, the cost depends on your insurance policy deductible and your policy co-pay. Inpatient and outpatient facility costs may vary.

Some insurance may limit your care providers or may want you to contribute to the cost. Most treatment facilities can help determine if your insurance is eligible. We’re happy to see if your insurance covers treatment for you or your loved ones. When you choose Gratitude Lodge, you’re choosing to invest in a new you.

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