7 day alcohol detox is a treatment program offered at many alcohol rehab facilities. The detox program helps alcoholics manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Managing withdrawal symptoms is particularly important for chronic and long-term drinkers. After they’ve stopped drinking, they may face severe symptoms that could be deadly.
The 7-day alcohol detox is the first part of getting sober. The detox program helps physically rid the body of toxins. Once a patient has successfully detoxed at a treatment facility, they should seek additional care. This might include therapy and counseling. Some patients may want to continue taking medications to curb cravings. It all depends on their situation.
A medical professional will assess each situation to determine what the best course of action may be. If you’re interested in the 7 day alcohol detox, here’s all that you need to know about it.
The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
The 7 day alcohol detox coincides with the alcohol withdrawal timeline. It takes about seven days for physical withdrawal symptoms to subside. The psychological signs, however, can take much longer to disappear. Some alcoholics may find that they experience cravings years after they’ve had their last drink.
The alcohol withdrawal timeline is relatively simple. It can be separated into three distinct stages. While the length of each stage will usually differ from patient to patient, most patients follow this withdrawal timeline reasonably closely. The three stages include:
- Stage 1. This stage usually kicks in about 8 hours after an alcoholic has his or her last drink. The most common symptoms that appear during this stage include anxiety, nausea and abdominal pain. The symptoms start off mild and will worsen.
- Stage 2. This stage usually kicks in about 24 to 72 hours after a patient has gone cold turkey. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawals in this stage include high blood pressure and unusual heart rate. Some addicts may also experience confusion.
- Stage 3. This stage usually kicks in about 72 hours after an individual has quit drinking. The symptoms that are most likely to appear include fever, seizures, and agitation.
All in all, the symptoms tend to subside after seven days. The 7 day alcohol detox program will manage and ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms during this period of time.
Each patient will experience a different withdrawal timeline. The timeline depends on their biological makeup, the length of the alcohol abuse, the amount of alcohol consumed and more. The detox timeline perfectly matches with the withdrawal timeline.
Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawals
Quitting alcohol cold turkey is never wise for those attempting an at-home detox. It’s also advised to seek help from an alcohol rehab program. This is because alcohol addiction can turn deadly quickly.
It’s difficult for the body to get used to the lack of alcohol once it has become dependent. The entire system gets overstimulated, which results in a plethora of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Addiction treatment keeps severe withdrawal symptoms away. It also lessens the intensity of some of the less life-threatening symptoms.
The intensity and type of withdrawals from alcohol will vary with each patient. It depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the length of the alcohol abuse. Some of the most common symptoms that could become deadly include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Digestive discomfort
- Delirium tremens
- Hallucinations and psychosis
- High blood pressure and heart palpitations, or high heart rate
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Tremors and seizures
Delirium tremens is particularly nasty. This symptom has a mortality rate of 5% and 25%. Those who do not seek treatment options from alcohol rehab are more susceptible to its dangers. Unfortunately, this symptom is quite common. About 1 in 20 recovering alcoholics will experience it when quitting.
Wet Brain And A Vitamin B1 Deficiency
Another common medical condition that can arise when detoxing from alcohol includes wet brain syndrome. Wet brain syndrome is better known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. The syndrome stems from a lack of thiamine or vitamin B1.
Alcoholics are lacking a significant amount of thiamine in their body. As a result, the detox process will also monitor each patient’s vitamin levels. If the levels drop below a specific threshold, the patients will receive supplements.
The Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can be separated into two parts: Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Wernicke’s encephalopathy appears first. When this happens, the patient will have lesions in his or her brain. The symptoms involved with Wernicke’s encephalopathy can be difficult to detect.
If it is not treated early on, the syndrome worsens. This is when Korsakoff’s psychosis will begin to emerge. At this point, the patient will experience significant memory loss. The brain damage will also lead to cognitive impairment. Korsakoff’s psychosis is irreversible. The damages are permanent.
Alcoholics who seek a 7 day alcohol detox program will need an MRI assessment to look for wet brain. Throughout their recovery, their vitamin levels will be looked over. The healthcare providers will prescribe supplements to keep patient’s in tip-top shape. Health insurance often covers the cost of these supplements.
Types of Medications Used for Alcohol Detox
Other than supplements, the detox program also relies on medications. These prescription drugs will attach to the receptors in the brain. They help manage withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common medicines used for alcohol detox include:
- Acamprosate. This prescription drug attaches to neurons that are affected by alcohol abuse. It’s taken three times a day and prevents alcohol from attaching to the receptors. If alcoholics were to drink, they wouldn’t feel any alcohol effects at all.
- Benzodiazepine. This medication treats severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Anticonvulsants. This medicine helps prevent seizures. It’ll make the recovery process a lot more comfortable.
- Naltrexone. Also known as Vivitrol, this intramuscular injection blocks cravings. The active ingredients attach to opioid receptors.
- Disulfiram. This prescription drug is used in aversion therapy. Basically, patients will feel ill if they consume alcohol while on this medication. This drug helps many alcoholics stay away from alcohol.
There are many different types of medications used to treat alcoholism. While some patients only need one kind of medication in their detox treatment, others may require a combination of them. The treatment plan will vary from patient to patient. It all depends on how each patient is reacting to the prescription drugs.
Most of these prescription medications are easy to wean off of. They are non-addictive. As a result, patients won’t develop a dependence on the drugs.