People who become dependent upon alcohol face a great challenge when they finally make the decision to get sober. Over time, their bodies and brains have become accustomed to drinking in order to feel and function properly. When alcohol usage suddenly stops or decreases by half, “following chronic and heavy use”, users are likely to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms as their bodies attempt to regain balance. During 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 the detox ends.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
About eight hours after your last drink of alcohol, you might start to experience the first withdrawal symptoms. These are typically very mild and can include shakiness, sweating, and loss of appetite. In fact, many heavy drinkers are already familiar with these symptoms. While your body may be experiencing these mild symptoms, you may also notice changes in your behavior and mood. 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. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening as your withdrawal timeline increases.
The severity of each person’s withdrawal varies, and is based on:
- Frequency and volume of drinking
- Family history of addiction
- Childhood traumas
- Presence of any underlying mental disorders
- Medical history
Pushing past these cravings is imperative as a relapse will restart the entire process. While symptoms vary from person to person, the alcohol withdrawal timeline is generally a three-stage process.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Deciding to end your addiction to alcohol is the first and often hardest step in your alcohol withdrawal timeline. 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. Below are the stages of alcohol withdrawal you may be facing:
Stage 1: The first stage of withdrawal is generally mild and occurs within about eight hours after the last drink. Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, nausea and/or vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. Some people also experience depression, loss of appetite, and extreme fatigue.
Stage 2: This is where things can become more intense, and usually begins 24–72 hours after the last drink. Symptoms can include elevated blood pressure, body temperature, and respiration, irregular heartbeat, mental fogginess, sweating, and increased mood swings.
Stage 3: Individuals may experience delirium tremens or DTs. If they develop, individuals will usually feel the effects 72 hours after their last drink. Symptoms of this final and most difficult phase can include hallucinations, seizures, fever, severe confusion, and irritability.
Once alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin, they’ll typically dissolve within five to seven days after the last drink. Because these symptoms can sometimes be life-threatening, supervised medical detox is generally the best option. Trained and experienced medical staff will handle any possible complications that could arise during detox. Altogether, medically supervised detox is the safest route for removing harmful toxins from the body and preparing individuals for sober living.
What Comes After the Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Getting familiar with the alcohol withdrawal timeline can show you what to expect on your journey. 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.
Addiction treatment definitely doesn’t end after withdrawal. True recovery means attending a rehab program for addiction treatment and addiction therapy services to continue their sobriety.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Asheville, NC
You don’t have to let alcohol addiction control you or your future anymore. If you or a loved one is battling an alcohol addiction, our facility Crest View Recovery Center can help, our specialist will support you as you work towards sobriety.
To get started on your new, substance-free life, call Crest View Recovery Center today at 866-986-1371 or get more information on our admissions process. Start living the life of health and happiness that you deserve.