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The Timeline and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

A man struggling with alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home

Did you know one of the main reasons why people don’t seek treatment for alcohol addiction is the fear of withdrawal? When you stop drinking alcohol, your body goes through a process called detoxification. Think of it as your body’s way of hitting the reset button. During that time, your body can go through a variety of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild discomfort to severe pain.

It’s often said that by knowing what to expect, you give yourself a sense of security about what’s to come. That’s why we’re going to break down the timeline of alcohol withdrawal, the symptoms you can expect and more.

The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The Start of Withdrawal – 6 Hours After Drinking

If you have a history of alcohol abuse, it takes your body about six hours to realize you’ve stopped drinking. At this point, the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal start to emerge. It’s common to experience anxiety, stress, stomach pains, restlessness and trouble falling or staying asleep. These symptoms can be so severe that some people immediately start drinking again to manage them.
During the early stages of alcohol withdrawal, you may have high blood pressure, increased heart rate, sweating and dilated pupils. These symptoms are part of the reason why professional detox services are so valuable. Without medical professionals present, it’s difficult to know when your health and safety are at risk.

24 Hours After Your Last Drink

Once you’ve reached 24 hours, many of your withdrawal symptoms will be psychological. Among these symptoms may be hallucinations. Hallucinations are reported to be at their most intense between the first and third day of alcohol withdrawal, with many people experiencing increased stress and anxiety from their deliriums. The good news is, professional detox services like those found at Footprints Beachside Recovery can help you manage these symptoms.

48 to 72 Hours After Your Last Drink

Between the two- and three-day mark is when the most dangerous of alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur. Seizures, psychosis and delirium tremens can occur for people experiencing more severe withdrawal. Aside from causing full body tremors, delirium tremens can also prompt confusion, irregular heart rate and severe shaking. The possible risk of developing delirium tremens is why professional detox is one of the safest ways to break free from alcohol addiction.
Alcohol addiction treatment centers like Footprints Beachside Recovery can use medicine to help manage withdrawal symptoms. Delirium tremens can last up to two weeks and is very dangerous without medical supervision.

Over 72 Hours After Your Last Drink

The good news is that alcohol withdrawal symptoms will start to subside after seven days. After the seven-day mark, it is very rare for new symptoms to develop unless you have delirium tremens your alcohol withdrawal is milder, you may even see your symptoms go away after five days.

While alcohol withdrawal symptoms are typically no longer an issue at this stage, cravings are. Attending alcohol addiction treatment after detox can help you learn how to manage your cravings and lower your risk of relapse.

Find Professional Alcohol Detox at Footprints Beachside Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we know how challenging alcohol addiction can be. We’ve been through it ourselves, which is why we are dedicated to doing everything in our power to help you reach lasting recovery.

Our professional detox program will give you a safe and comfortable environment to break free from alcohol. We have medical professionals who will monitor you through the detox process, ensuring your safety and providing you with peace of mind as you recover.

If you’re looking to break free from the grip of alcohol addiction, we’re here to support you. Contact our admissions team today to get started.