How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Posted in Treatment Information

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?Heavy or frequent drinkers will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming alcohol, because the body has become reliant upon alcohol in order to function. Alcoholics with strong addictions will experience extreme, possibly fatal withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms is determined by the length of the addiction, the frequency and amount of alcohol consumed and an individual’s biochemistry.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually set in within 5-10 hours after the last drink, but they may not present themselves until days later. Depending upon the individual, alcohol withdrawal can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks. A person does not have to be a full-blown alcoholic to experience withdrawal. Individuals who drink heavily or binge drink usually experience a milder withdrawal period or hangover, which is still a form of chemical dependence. Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or the shakes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Cravings

What Are the Dangers and Complications of Alcohol Detoxification?

More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can present themselves within 6-48 hours after an individual stops drinking. Unfortunately, these problems can progress into a condition called delirium tremens. Symptoms of delirium tremens can start out as hallucinations, fever, seizures and convulsions. After a few days the symptoms may worsen to disorientation, hyperactivity, grand mal seizures, heart attacks and stroke. When an alcoholic is ready to stop drinking, a professional, medically supervised detox is the safest and most effective option.

Professional Treatment Programs for Alcohol Detoxification and Alcoholism

A medically supervised detox program is invaluable for those trying to quit drinking. Patients will be monitored 24 hours a day to prevent any complications and to minimize the symptoms and discomforts of withdrawal. When patients attempt to detox alone, withdrawal symptoms tend to last much longer and be more severe, because the patient is ill-prepared or uneducated on how to treat their problems properly. Alcohol withdrawal is painful, frustrating and dangerous; without proper detox services and treatment a person will not likely find sobriety.

The need for detox treatment usually indicates psychological addiction. There are always underlying factors that trigger alcohol abuse and they must be dealt with in order for a person to fully. Without psychological treatment, a person will likely relapse.

Find Medically Supervised Alcohol Detoxification Programs

If you are in need of treatment for alcoholism, we are here to help. Please call our toll-free helpline now to speak with an addiction specialist who can help you find an alcohol rehab center. We are here 24 hours a day to provide information about alcohol addiction, treatment and recovery. There are many alcohol treatment centers, but not all provide quality treatment that will lead to lasting results. Your call is free and confidential. If you are ready for alcohol treatment, pick up the phone and let us help you get started today.