What Factors Affect the Alcohol Detox Duration for Different People?

There should not be much pushback on the notion alcoholism affects everyone differently. It’s true. Each alcohol addiction sufferer’s circumstances are unique to the individual. The root causes of the addiction can differ as well as the way a person’s addiction manifests itself into certain behaviors.

Given the uniqueness of each individual’s drinking problem, addiction treatment professionals have to be ready to address a wide range of issues. They need access to multiple addiction treatment options they can customize to fit each client’s circumstances.

The addiction treatment process has changed a great deal over the years. As recently as 15 years ago, the addiction treatment community would use a cookie-cutter approach to treatment. What they eventually realized with this approach was that the uniqueness of every case left too many clients vulnerable to chronic relapses. That would account for 70% relapse rates that date as recently as 10 years ago. Good news: With the inclusion of evidence-based and holistic treatment options, the relapse percentages are falling.

In the sections below, the discussion is going to focus on the detox process, including the factors that often affect how long the detox process takes for each client.

What Factors Affect the Alcohol Detox Duration for Different People?

The addiction treatment community designs detox programs with one goal in mind. That would be to help clients get past their withdrawal symptoms and residual cravings for alcohol with a minimum of suffering. Suffering refers to the pain and discomfort a lot of alcohol addiction treatment clients experience when their bodies are denied alcohol. Here’s a few of the withdrawal symptom of which we speak:

  • Increases in anxiety, agitation and depression
  • Shaky hands and body tremors (the DTs)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Racing heart and a dangerous increase in blood pressure

The detox process starts with the rehab’s administrative staff performing an interview. The purpose of the interview is to get details about the client’s alcohol problem. The answers to the interviewer’s questions will be used to determine whether or not a medically monitored detox program is necessary.

As far as detox programs are concerned, several factors will usually go into determining just how long each client can expect to go through the detox process. The most relevant factors include:

  • The length of the client’s drinking problem
  • The frequency with which the client drinks
  • The amount of alcohol consumed per drinking session

Let’s analyze in more depth.

The Length of the Client’s Drinking Problem

Alcoholism is one of the few addiction diseases where addiction suffers can go on for years. If someone has been drinking for a long time, even years, their body has likely acquired a significant dependence on alcohol. In such cases, the detox process will likely take longer than it would for someone who has only been addicted to alcohol for a few months.

The Frequency With Which the Client Drinks

In most cases, people with a drinking problem will drink every day. With that said, there are “binge drinkers” who don’t drink every day but drink to excess when they do drink. The addiction treatment community would still classify the people in this group as alcohol addiction sufferers. The higher the frequency of drinking, the more time it will likely take the individual to detox.

The Amount of Alcohol Consumed Per Drinking Session

A person whose body has developed a strong dependence on alcohol could have the ability to ingest large quantities of alcohol in one sitting without getting materially sick. That’s quite dangerous to the human body. A person who drinks large quantities of alcohol, especially grain alcohol, will typically need more time to detox.

Generally, a medically monitored detox program will last five to seven days. If the client’s addiction is severe, they might need to spend time (several weeks) in a program that allows the client to wean off alcohol at a much slower and safer pace.

If you are suffering from a significant drinking problem, your focus needs to be on getting yourself help as soon as possible. We can help you recover from your drinking problem. It will be up to us to determine the proper course of treatment, which might include a detox program. To get yourself started towards the road to recovery, you can call one of our representatives at 302-842-2390. Our representatives are available 24 hours a day.

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