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How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last

Alcohol withdrawal can affect anyone who drinks frequently. Also known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome, it can last for up to one week and will vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors such as current health and the severity of the addiction. In this article, you’ll learn the specific symptoms and timeline of an alcohol withdrawal. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms and can include the following:

A condition known as delirium tremens can also develop during the withdrawal period. While rare, it causes a combination of confusion, shaking, and hallucinations. It can even be fatal. When it does occur it tends to happen in those with more severe alcohol dependence.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Most people will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms within the first 6 hours of their last drink. These symptoms typically begin as mild and might include a feeling of anxiety, difficulty sleeping, headache, or nausea. 

As time progresses, the symptoms might become more severe. Within the first 72 hours, those with severe alcohol addiction might begin to vomit, sweat, hallucinate, experience a much faster heart rate than what is normal, and potentially even have seizures. 

Physical symptoms typically last approximately one week but will vary from person to person. Severe symptoms tend to peak within 48 to 72 hours. 

What Causes Withdrawal from Alcohol Consumption?

When someone drinks regularly for an extended period of time (this can be weeks, months, or years), the body’s central nervous system becomes accustomed to having alcohol in its system. When they suddenly stop drinking, the brain interprets this as being abnormal and works hard to keep their body in a heightened state that it typically experiences when they are drinking. When this occurs, the symptoms of withdrawal begin. It takes time for the brain and body to adapt to a life without alcohol and function normally again. 

How To Prevent Alcohol Withdrawal

The best way to avoid alcohol withdrawal from occurring is by not drinking. If you drink frequently, especially over a long period of time, you will have the symptoms associated with physically withdrawing from alcohol. 

If you experience withdrawal symptoms from drinking, help is available.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Professional rehab treatment is extremely effective at helping individuals with alcohol addiction achieve lasting sobriety. The first step in addiction treatment is alcohol detox, followed by an inpatient rehab program

Alcohol detox is alcohol withdrawal treatment that allows the body to withdraw from alcohol in a safe, medically-supervised environment. Once the detox is complete, the inpatient rehab program begins. 

With our alcohol addiction recovery programs, our clients receive:

Get Help For Alcohol Addiction Today

Our team at Gloria Rehab is here to help you get your life back from alcohol use disorder and substance abuse. Our detox and inpatient rehab program offers effective evidence-based therapies for patients with a unique and individualized approach to care.

Contact us today to begin your treatment process. 

Review by: Hasmik Karapetyan, PMHNP, MSN, RN​

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