Walking Through the Alcohol Recovery Timeline

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alcohol recovery timeline

Kudos are definitely in order for anyone who makes the life-changing decision to get sober. When you first embark on the recovery journey, though, it may feel a bit overwhelming. There is planning to do and plenty of decisions to make before you can even enter rehab. With this in mind, it helps to have a general understanding of what to expect in the alcohol recovery timeline.

Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal Timeline

Recovery is launched by alcohol cessation, or the decision to stop drinking. It may be tempting to handle this all on your own, but going it alone is never recommended. This is one time when you must rely on the expertise of detox experts that can provide needed support. Alcohol detox can sometimes be unpredictable, so it should always be monitored.

During alcohol detox, the withdrawal symptoms are signs of the body’s attempt to adjust to the absence of alcohol. The process follows a predictable pattern and usually takes about one week for the primary symptoms to cycle through. The detox timeline is as follows:

Days 1-2: The withdrawal symptoms begin to emerge about 6-12 hours after the last drink. The symptoms during this stage include shaking, nausea and vomiting, sweating, headache, agitation, and increased heart rate.

Days 3-4: This is the stage when symptoms peak. They may include fever, irritability, confusion, anxiety, insomnia, increase in blood pressure, and intense shaking. For a small number of people, this is the period that you may have acute symptoms, called the DTs. The DTs are considered a health emergency and involve seizures, high fever, high blood pressure, psychosis, and severe confusion.

Days 5-7: During this final stage, the symptoms gradually become less severe and many will resolve completely. However, there are often some lingering symptoms that may persist for weeks after detox is complete.

Alcohol Rehab Timeline

After finishing the detox, you will transition to the rehab stage of the alcohol recovery timeline. It is in rehab that you learn how to live your life without alcohol. This is a process that can take from one to six months or longer, depending on how severe the alcoholism is. For the best recovery results, a minimum of three months of rehab is advised.

Therapy. During rehab, you are introduced to many types of therapy. Some of these are formal types of therapy, such as psychotherapy sessions. These are meetings either with a therapist alone or group sessions with peers and an addiction counselor leading the group. Evidence-based therapies used in these sessions include CBT, DBT, CM, and MET.

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Holistic. There are also holistic therapies. Some are experiential, such as art therapy or psychodrama. Others are activities that promote relaxation and help you manage stress in recovery.

12-step program. Besides these therapies, you will also learn about the 12-step program, and may even attend 12-step meetings. This is a program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, and has been shown to help people overcome their alcohol addiction.

Wellness. To assist you in rebuilding your health and strength, you will receive nutritional counseling to learn about a healthy diet. You will also engage in physical exercise, including playing golf.

How Your Life Will Change for the Better in Alcohol Recovery

It may be hard to imagine when you are just preparing to enter rehab, but life in recovery is pretty awesome. You may dread the idea of living a sober lifestyle, thinking how boring it will be. While this is common, you will soon see that it is the opposite of reality. Living a sober life is anything but boring.

Consider the ways your life will improve:

  • You’ll look good. Alcohol is very aging to the skin. When you quit drinking you will notice an improvement in the overall appearance of your skin. As collagen is restored, your skin will become tauter and less ruddy.
  • You’ll lose some pounds. Alcoholism can lead to weight gain and bloating. An unhealthy diet coupled with calorie-rich high alcohol consumption can lead to extra fat, liver distention, and water retention. In recovery, you will lose weight and look trimmer.
  • You’ll feel good. Once your system is free from the toxins in alcohol your organs will begin the repair process. As you restore health and wellness, you will feel more energetic and focused.
  • You’ll get better sleep. Because alcohol disrupts the third and fourth phases of the sleep cycle, it causes sleep disturbance. In sobriety, you will notice you are sleeping more soundly.
  • You’ll be happier. The impact of alcohol on the brain creates emotional instability, and the consequences of alcoholism enhance feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety. In recovery, you’ll notice you have a more positive outlook on life, along with a renewed sense of purpose.

What You Won’t Miss About Drinking

Coupled with the benefits of being sober are all the things you no longer have to deal with. These might include:

  1. Feeling terrible every day. You’ll no longer wake up feeling nauseous, and the tremors will be gone.
  2. Feeling hopeless. Alcoholism can rob you of everything you value. This makes you feel hopeless and full of despair.
  3. Feeling depressed and anxious. The more you drank to numb the symptoms of depression or anxiety, the worse the symptoms got.
  4. Having low self-esteem. Alcoholism is debilitating. It impairs you to the point you no longer are able to contribute to work or home life like before.
  5. Looking bad. The alcohol abuse caused physical changes, such as a bloated belly and face, and red, glassy eyes.
  6. Letting down your loved ones. One of the worst things about alcoholism is how you end up repeatedly letting down your family and friends.
  7. Being dishonest. In active addiction, you could not be trusted. No one could take you at your word because of all the times you deceived your loved ones.

It is a great day when you decide to change your life for the better. Embrace your new life in recovery.

Golf Drug Rehab Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Golf Drug Rehab is a leading treatment program for those struggling with alcoholism that features golf therapy. Let us put you on a realistic alcohol recovery timeline and guide you through the recovery process. Call our team today at (877) 958-5320.

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