How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?, Signs & Symptoms, Timeline, Alcohol Detox & Treatment
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)?
Alcohol addiction is a life-threatening condition that can lead to a constant health crisis and may even be fatal. Thus, immediate professional help is the only way to avoid harm to yourself or a loved one. Safe and comfortable alcohol detox is attainable if you seek professional help rather than detox by yourself and face harmful withdrawal symptoms. The question is, how long does alcohol withdrawal last and what are the symptoms?
Heavy drinkers who suddenly decrease their alcohol consumption or abstain completely may experience the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Signs and symptoms of AWS can include, among others, mild to moderate tremors, irritability, anxiety, or agitation. The most severe manifestations of withdrawal include delirium tremens, hallucinations, and seizures. These manifestations result from alcohol-induced imbalances in the brain chemistry that cause excessive neuronal activity if the alcohol is withheld.
Management of AWS includes a thorough assessment of the severity of the patient’s symptoms and of any complicating conditions as well as treatment of the withdrawal symptoms with pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches. Treatment can occur in inpatient rehab. Recognition and treatment of withdrawal can represent a first step in the patient’s recovery process.
There are two significant signs of alcohol addiction: tolerance and withdrawal. Alcohol addiction is a dangerous condition because it can ultimately become life-threatening. So, alcohol detox allows the body to eliminate all alcohol in the body and return to its usual functioning. An individual who has been struggling with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder (alcohol addiction) has a significant likelihood of developing withdrawal symptoms and could benefit from the help of a detox program.
Signs Of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may vary significantly from one person to another but may include any of the following physical and psychological symptoms.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
- Shaky hands
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Appetite loss
- Pale skin
Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
- Feeling depressed
- Mood swings
- Inability to think clearly
- Extreme agitation
- Hallucinations (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
With the help of a team of experts, withdrawal symptoms may be alleviated. However, the withdrawal symptoms that you may suffer from without help include:
- Physical tremors
- Alcohol cravings
- Increased agitation and anxiety
- Increased blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Fever, sweating, and extreme headaches
- Increased heartbeat
Alcohol detox should not be administered lightly because the withdrawal may involve a lоt оf аgоnу аnd раіn. For instance that if detox is done without medical detox supervision, the untrеаtеd аnd unmanaged ѕуmрtоmѕ саn bе lіfе-thrеаtеnіng. To emphasize, the treatment process should not be hurried as each person’s symptoms subside at their rate because other complications may arise that need to be addressed. Generally, inpatient alcohol detox ranges from 3-7 days before transitioning into inpatient treatment.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
How long does alcohol withdrawal last? According to a 2013 literature review in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal,  the following are general guidelines about when you can expect to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin about six hours after your last drink. A person who has a long history of heavy drinking could have a seizure six hours after stopping drinking.
12 To 24 Hours
A small percentage of people going through alcohol withdrawal have hallucinations at this point. They may hear or see things that aren’t there. While this symptom can be scary, doctors don’t consider it a serious complication.
24 To 48 Hours
Minor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this time. These symptoms may include headache, tremors, and stomach upset. If a person goes through only minor withdrawal, their symptoms usually peak at 18 to 24 hours and start to decrease after four to five days.
48 Hours To 72 Hours
Some people experience a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that doctors call delirium tremens (DTs) or alcohol withdrawal delirium. A person with this condition can have a very high heart rate, seizures, or a high body temperature.
This is the time when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst. In rare cases, moderate withdrawal symptoms can last for a month. These include rapid heart rate and illusions (seeing things that aren’t there).
What Happens During Alcohol Withdrawal & Detox?
Multiple approaches can be taken to treat alcohol detox. This can vary from a medicalized approach to a more alternative approach. With a holistic view of addiction treatment, our detox facilities provide various therapies from one end to the other. This allows us to provide each client with the best treatment possible.
Medically Assisted Detox
There are medication-based options ready for clients who face severe detox symptoms or are simply open to a more medicalized approach to managing their comfort. Benzodiazepines and sedatives are examples of 2 types of medications sometimes applicable to help relax the brain and body when at the peak of detox. In addition, naltrexone is one of a few medications that can help restrain the cravings accompanied by alcohol detox.
Additionally, prescription medications are not the only means of helpful medical interventions during detox. For instance, heavy sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and further complications. Also, the use of an IV drip can quickly resolve this issue and help keep fluid levels up. Additionally, detox facilities typically provide nutritional supplements because they carry numerous benefits for a healing body.
Yoga, Massage, and Acupuncture are a few of the alternative therapies at We Level Up TX. These are evidence-based methods that have been shown to improve detox faster and provide much-needed comfort for individuals in withdrawal. Not only do these therapies help with alcohol detox, but they also support overall health and wellbeing. Many clients take these practices with them into their everyday life because they promote preserving sobriety.
As any withdrawal symptoms subside and a patient’s detox stay ends, the last detox stage is aftercare. Again, an individualized treatment plan is developed to help give support, education, and therapy for relapse prevention.
Some of the immediate symptoms one can expect to experience during detox might be anxiety, insomnia, nausea, agitation; muscle aches and pains, heavy perspiration, among others. In fact, these symptoms can range but require staff and regime for comfort.
Safe & Comfortable Detox
Suboxone, Benzodiazepine, Methadone, Naltrexone, Acamprosate, or Disfulfiram are FDA-approved medicines that may be used for a specific timeframe to treat more severe and devastating withdrawal symptoms.
Personalized Comfortable Alcohol Detox
Because each client is different and requires unique, comprehensive care according to their situation, our staff of well-trained physicians and nurses first begin the client relationship with a detailed one-on-one assessment.
There are an estimated 17 million adults and adolescents with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Sadly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that only 1 of every ten seek or receive any treatment. Part of the reason for such dismal numbers is that most individuals aren’t aware that they have a drinking problem. 
Alcoholism is a severe and debilitating disease that will progressively get worse the longer it goes untreated. Exhibiting even one of these behaviors can be indicative of potentially dangerous alcohol addiction. An alcohol rehabilitation center can help mitigate the unpleasant withdrawal effects and help with behavioral therapy for this chronic relapsing brain disorder.
Drug and alcohol rehab centers serve several functions related to addiction treatment and recovery. Recovery starts with getting sober and is a part of your life indefinitely. And then, after you stop drinking or using, you still have a lifelong challenge of staying clean and sober. So, you will need a solid commitment. Providing therapy, education, and support for recovery after treatment is just as crucial for a treatment center, if not more so than helping you get sober. The major of programming at any rehab center is focusing on building skills and habits that encourage long-term sobriety.
How Alcohol Detox Helps
How to detox from alcohol? Alcohol detox can be dangerous, mainly if it is done without the help of a professional. Delirium tremens and other withdrawal symptoms that may afflict the detoxing patient are hazardous and may even be fatal. Delirium tremens usually start two to five days after the last drink. Shaking, confusion, high blood pressure, fever, and hallucinations are some symptoms.
Therefore, it is advisable to detox in a rehab center to access qualified professionals who can manage comfortable alcohol detox and withdrawal complexities. The medically managed detox processes allow the body to process the alcohol in the system. And, it gently unaccustomed the body to its dependence on substances such as alcohol. Basically, it is the first stage of alcohol treatment and one you should seek before your addiction gets more damaging.
How long does alcohol withdrawal last? The symptoms may seem to get worse through the alcohol detox process. That is why they need constant care and attention to help manage the symptoms with detox. Remember, alcohol addiction treatment is within your reach to ensure your recovery starts on a comfortable and safe step. And, you have us, you may contact We Level Up TX for further details of getting addiction treatment.