The First 48 hours of Alcohol Detox in Sacramento

Alcohol addiction can take a heavy toll on the body, causing a number of physiological changes. Consequently, the process of weaning your body off of alcohol is both mentally and physically stressful. For people undergoing alcohol detox in Sacramento at Diamond House Detox or any program, the first 48 hours tend to be the most intense.

What to Expect in Alcohol Detox

While every person’s detox experience is different, here is a general description of what you can expect in the first few days:

  • Acute withdrawal onset within 6-8 hours. How quickly you experience withdrawal symptoms varies greatly, depending on your consumption history and other factors. However, people generally begin experiencing the effects of detox in less than 12 hours after their last drink.
  • Seizures and tremors. Most people experience some degree of uncontrollable shaking and/or seizures within the first 48 hours of detox. They may also have hallucinations. This is sometimes referred to as “delirium tremens” or “the DTs.”
  • Intense cravings. Because a person’s body “needs” the alcohol they’ve been using for so long, they tend to experience an overwhelming desire to have a drink, often to the point of feeling they will die without one.
  • Other physiological and psychological symptoms. People going through detox may experience tachycardia (rapid heart rate), profuse sweating, increased blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty properly regulating their body temperature.

While alcohol detox is not rarely life-threatening, some of the side effects—like those affecting the heart—can potentially be quite serious. That’s why ongoing professional supervision during the detox phase of alcohol addiction treatment is critical.

Following detox is what is known as early abstinence. In this period, anxiety, depression, and disturbed sleep are common. The symptoms of early abstinence may last for three to six weeks. The final stage of recovery is called protracted abstinence, and while a person seems to be in a much “better place,” they are still grappling with anxiety and depression to some degree, and can easily relapse.

Getting Free of Alcohol’s Grip

Keep in mind that detox is only the initial step in beating an alcohol addiction. However, making it through detox is a significant accomplishment and one you should be proud to achieve. If you have questions about alcohol detox in Sacramento, please call us at (800) 205-6107. We’re happy to answer your questions and provide you with all the information you need to decide how you want to move forward.

Content reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on August 14th, 2017.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet