Is There Any Way to Speed Up The Alcohol Withdrawal Process?

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive condition that involves the development of tolerance, physical dependency, and psychological dependence on alcohol. According to the National Library of Medicine, “about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).”[1]

Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction have a hard time quitting drinking despite facing an array of negative consequences. One of the main reasons people have such a hard time stopping their alcohol consumption is the withdrawal symptoms they experience upon quitting.

The most effective and safest way to overcome an alcohol use disorder is to attend a professional detox program. Unfortunately, the thought of having to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms often prevents people from getting the help they need.

With that being said, individuals need to be aware of how long it takes to detox from alcohol, if it is possible to speed up the withdrawal process, and how to cope with symptoms of withdrawal.

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Alcohol?

How long it takes to detox from alcohol depends on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:

  • Age, weight, and gender
  • Overall physical health
  • How fast their metabolism is
  • How heavily they drank alcohol
  • How long they were addicted to alcohol

While the length of detox is different for everyone, there is a general timeline that outlines the typical withdrawal process. The National Library of Medicine explains that alcohol withdrawal usually begins 8 hours after an individual’s last drink, however, it can take up to a few days in some cases.[2]

People tend to experience their most severe side effects within 24 to 72 hours of their last drink. Generally, after the symptoms peak, they will begin to improve sometime between 4 to 7 days. However, the symptoms can persist for several weeks based on the individual’s personal health factors and history of substance use.

Can I Speed Up The Alcohol Withdrawal Process?

First, it is important to understand exactly what the withdrawal process is. When an individual is addicted to alcohol, their body is accustomed to the presence of the substance. Once that substance is not being consumed regularly, the body begins to panic, causing symptoms of withdrawal to occur.

The withdrawal process is necessary for an individual to overcome alcoholism. While there is no way to speed up the withdrawal process, there are ways to soothe its symptoms. This is why individuals are instructed to detox at a medical facility rather than attempting to go through withdrawals on their own.

Tips for Coping With Alcohol Withdrawal

The best way to cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is by going to an alcohol detox center. In these programs, patients are provided with 24/7 medical attention, medications to manage their symptoms, and around-the-clock support from their peers or mental health professionals.

Monitoring of Vitals

During alcohol detox, nurses and doctors will monitor their patients’ vital signs consistently. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become severe, checking an individual’s body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate ensure that they are medically sound.

People who suffer from an alcohol use disorder commonly struggle with a deficiency in folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A.[3] Additionally, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as vomiting and diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration. Part of the medical staff’s job is to ensure that patients receive the vitamins and hydration they need to recover.

Medication Management

While there isn’t a way to make alcohol detox go faster, attending a medical detox program will ensure that the symptoms are not uncomfortable or life-threatening.

During a medical detox program for alcohol, patients will be provided with medications that soothe their symptoms of withdrawal and prevent them from experiencing cravings for alcohol. Some of these medications include:[4]

  • Gabapentin
  • Baclofen
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta Blockers
  • Carbamazepine

Around the Clock Support

Lastly, coping with the emotional effects of alcohol withdrawal can be difficult. Because some of the symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, depression, and even hallucinations, receiving psychological support is extremely important.

During a professional detox program, patients have 24/7 access to licensed mental health professionals. Additionally, they will be surrounded by other patients who are going through similar issues. The combination of peer support and professional mental health counseling is effective in helping individuals cope with the effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Eat Balanced and Nutritious Meals

Whether someone is detoxing in a medical facility or detoxing on their own, one way to cope with the withdrawal process and even possibly speed it up is to eat balanced and nutritious meals. Drug and alcohol abuse depletes the body’s nutrients that it needs to function efficiently, so it’s important to replenish the nutrients the body needs quickly to promote healing. Staying away from caffeine, sugars, and processed foods and choosing fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins, instead, can help tremendously.

Drink Plenty of Water

Although staying hydrated cannot speed up the alcohol withdrawal process, it can help people feel better, be more energized, and stay safe. People who are detoxing from alcohol should do their best to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

Safe Alcohol Detox With Charlotte Detox Center

While there is no way to speed up the withdrawal process, attending a professional detox facility provides you with safety, medical treatment to provide symptom relief, and round-the-clock support.

At Charlotte Detox Center, we ensure that every patient gets their needs met by having a small patient-to-staff ratio. Additionally, our experienced and qualified team of clinicians, doctors, counselors, and recovery coaches are passionate about creating a safe and comfortable environment for people to heal.

If you or a loved one suffer from alcoholism and would like to begin a new way of life, contact Charlotte Detox Center today.

References:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/alcoholusedisorderaud.html
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000764.htm
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3544907/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606320/

Medically Reviewed: April 25, 2022

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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