If you want to end an addiction to alcohol, detox will be part of the process. During an alcohol detox, you’ll face challenges with withdrawal. The alcohol withdrawal timeline isn’t the same for every individual, but knowing what to expect can help you through it. Get familiar with alcohol withdrawal, the symptoms and what comes after detox ends.
Deciding to Begin Withdrawal
First, deciding to end your addiction to alcohol is a huge step. This is often the hardest step of all. Unlike certain illegal drugs, alcohol is widely consumed and socially accepted. This makes it easier to justify heavy drinking, and it can sometimes prevent people from getting the help they need.
Initial Withdrawal Symptoms
About eight hours after your last drink of alcohol, you might start to experience the first withdrawal symptoms of your detox. These are typically very mild. In fact, many heavy drinkers are already familiar with these symptoms. They might appear after a day of work without drinking or even in the morning after a night of sleep.
These initial and mild symptoms tend to be nausea, abdominal pain and anxiety. Furthermore, it is normal to start experiencing strong cravings for alcohol at this stage of withdrawal. Pushing past these cravings is imperative as a relapse will restart the entire process.
Peak of Alcohol Withdrawal
The initially mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms may worsen and intensify with time. Around 24 hours after ceasing alcohol consumption, most individuals will feel like they have a bad case of the flu. After 72 hours, individuals will hit their peak of discomfort.
During the peak of alcohol withdrawal, common symptoms may include a high body temperature, a fast heart rate and high blood pressure. Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping are also common. While rare, it’s also possible that individuals experience severe withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations, seizures and cardiac problems. The severe nature of these symptoms means that anyone attempting withdrawal should only do so in a medically supervised environment.
Tapering of Symptoms
The alcohol withdrawal timeline won’t actually last long. After the peak of symptoms, they begin to taper off and disappear altogether. For many individuals, the entire process lasts less than one week.
The week-long withdrawal is sometimes referred to as acute withdrawal. Fortunately, many individuals have the resources and support to deal with these issues if and when they occur.
What Comes After the Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Addiction treatment definitely doesn’t end after withdrawal. True recovery means attending a rehab program, such as our treatment at Crest View Recovery Center. At CVRC, individuals can access the addiction treatment and addiction therapy services they need for ongoing sobriety. Some of these strategies include:
- Trauma therapy
- Reality-based therapy
- Family therapy for addiction recovery
- 12 step group therapy
- Individual counseling
Getting familiar with the alcohol withdrawal timeline can show you what to expect on your journey. At Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina, you can find help and support as you work toward sobriety. Call 866.327.2505 to start living the life of health and happiness that you deserve.