How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol?

NP’s alcohol detox centers Port St Lucie, Florida staff knows alcohol is a psychoactive substance that depresses the central nervous system. Despite its legality in most places, it is the cause of a staggering three million deaths every year. Alcohol consumption starts to become alcohol abuse when:

  • You are struggling to function without alcohol (alcohol dependence)
  • You regularly drink more than 14 units per week
  • You experience health problems caused by alcohol
  • Your mood changes frequently, including irritability and mood swings

Alcohol use disorder affects over 6% of the USA’s adult population but with only less than 10% receiving treatment, it is an ongoing issue. The future health implications that long term heavy drinking can have are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Alcohol Detox Port St Lucie Explains, “What is Alcohol Withdrawal?”

NP’s alcohol detox Port St Lucie medical team felt the need to educate on alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol is typically used to gain feelings of relaxation and euphoria. This occurs due to the increase of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes the calming feelings when alcohol is consumed. Unfortunately, when you drink alcohol it also decreases the neurotransmitter, glutamate, responsible for creating excitability.

When alcohol use becomes heavier, the increase of GABA becomes more and more difficult to obtain, leaving individuals in a constant battle to get that euphoric, relaxed feeling and remove that excitable feeling that the increase of glutamate is producing.

When you stop drinking alcohol, these two neurotransmitters are not being impacted but your body still overproduces glutamate and underproduces GABA. This neural imbalance leaves those on an alcohol detox with excitatory symptoms like increased heart rates and sleep disturbances. Depending on how much of a heavy drinker you are, these excitatory symptoms may have a more severe form like confusion, seizures, hallucinations. These are symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Our alcohol detox centers Port St Lucie team knows that dependent on the symptoms and their severity, the treatment process will vary. a medical professional will assess the individual’s needs and decide on either a pharmaceutical, psychological or combined therapy approach.

If someone is experiencing milder withdrawal symptoms, they may be okay to withdraw at home. This is not always the case if someone is experiencing moderate to severe alcohol detox symptoms as these can be extremely dangerous. A doctor may prescribe medications to moderate withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Benzodiazepines. Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) to reduce the likelihood of seizures, a severe form or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to note the risk of dependency of these drugs, therefore they should be taken with caution.
  • Nutritional Support. Nutrients like thiamine, folic acid and magnesium can be prescribed by doctors to aid withdrawal symptoms and to repair the nutritional loss that is caused by drinking alcohol. This is also used to avoid developing a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff’s syndrome.
  • Neuroleptic medications. Doctors can prescribe these to help depress the nervous system, reducing the likelihood of seizures or agitation.
  • Beta-Blockers. These medications are used to reduce withdrawal symptoms like high blood pressure. Propranolol is one example of a beta-blocker.

Treatment After Alcohol Detox

Once those experiencing withdrawal symptoms have improved, doctors might then prescribe medication that will reduce alcohol cravings. Certain drugs used in alcohol addiction treatment may include:

  • Naltrexone (ReVia). This can be used to inhibit alcohol cravings and maintain a person’s abstinence from alcohol by blocking the opioid receptors in the body (responsible for the feel-good experience when taking drugs).
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse). This drug is prescribed due to its abilities to reduce alcohol cravings and produce a sick feeling if a person were to drink alcohol.

Alongside pharmaceuticals, additional alcohol addiction treatment is vital to avoid relapses and a healthy recovery. Therapeutic interventions are important to get to the root of the issue and improve the psychological wellbeing of the individual. Some therapies that are used to help overcome substance abuse are:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Support Groups

Home Alcohol Detox vs. Impatient Medical Detox Port St Lucie Program

Detoxing from alcohol can be difficult and potentially unsuccessful if not under medical supervision. Obviously, not everyone can access medical detoxes due to factors like family commitments, it is still recommended to have assisted treatment. The risks of attempting to withdraw from alcohol alone at home are mentioned below.

  • Delirium Tremens – experiencing this could lead to life threatening implications and possibly death
  • Relapse – without any support or medication to assist with cravings, there is a higher chance of going for another drink
  • Self-Harm – there is a higher risk of harming oneself if unattended and feeling emotions like anxiety and depression.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Due to the body’s natural response to maintain balance, when alcohol depresses the nervous system, the brain signals excitatory neurotransmitters to be released. Consequently, the withdrawal symptoms can be over-stimulating.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to more severe forms, dependent on multiple factors like when your last drink was and the severity of substance abuse. Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be difficult but the longer it is avoided, the less the chance of experiencing severe, life threatening symptoms.

Mild Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Tremors

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

In severe cases, you may experience delirium tremens (DTs) or alcohol withdrawal delirium, medical professionals associate DTs with the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Extreme agitation
  • High body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Medical professionals consider a multitude of factors to determine what symptoms an individual may experience and the severity.

It is very rare to experience DTs, however there are some risk factors that may increase your chance of developing this serious health condition.

Risk Factors for Experiencing Delirium Tremens

  • History of DTs
  • Low sodium/potassium levels
  • History of seizures with alcohol withdrawal
  • Dehydration
  • Other substance abuse
  • Age

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Explained By NP’s Alcohol Detox Port St Lucie Team

Our alcohol detox Port St Lucie, Florida team often gets asked, “How long does it take to withdraw from alcohol?” Well, there are typically four stages to alcohol withdrawal, according to a recent study, this is the general consensus for the alcohol detox timeline.

Stage One (6 to 12 Hours)

Within 6 to 12 hours after your last drink, minor symptoms like trembling hands and anxiety will usually occur. However, seizures can be apparent in heavy drinkers.

Stage Two (12 to 24 Hours)

This is where the mild symptoms tend to continue and if you have acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms, they will most likely peak here.

Stage Three (24 to 72 Hours)

During this period, individuals may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. This is where the delirium tremens may occur, which may present in high heart rate, seizures and other detox symptoms. Severe symptoms are experienced by only around an estimate of 3-5% of individuals, but if they are apparent then medical supervision is advised.

Stage Four (After 72 Hours)

At this stage, symptoms of withdrawal should start to calm down and after a week, symptoms usually disappear. In rare cases, those with moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms (including increased heart rate and hallucinations) can last up to a month.

Call NP Alcohol Detox Centers Port St Lucie Florida for Help

Our alcohol detox centers Port St Lucie staff knows that alcohol use disorder is difficult to overcome and potentially life threatening, with the right detox process, you can maintain a healthy life without relapsing. We know that alcohol withdrawal can be mentally and physically demanding but with the professional care at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, we can provide a person-centered approach that will tailor treatment specific to your needs.

We are aware of the struggle of withdrawing from alcohol, however our alcohol detox process offers a strong network of support alongside your journey. Addiction usually coincides with other mental health disorders, which is why why we offer a dual diagnosis treatment to combat everything that may trigger relapses in the future. Call us now at (772) 281-5466. We can get you in today.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine