Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

A sudden cessation of alcohol consumption for a heavy drinker or alcoholic often results in a person experiencing alcohol withdrawal. This is a painful condition both mentally and physically, and can be life-threatening depending on the severity of symptoms. For a person with a heavy drinking habit, what should be expected during alcohol withdrawal and how long will the symptoms last?

The first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually appear around six hours after the last drink is consumed. These can be mild or severe depending on your level of physical dependence, and include heightened anxiety, nausea, headaches, sweating, insomnia, and uncontrollable tremors in the hands. While these symptoms are not life-threatening, they are certainly debilitating and would interfere with your ability to function normally in your professional and personal life. These symptoms gradually lessen over the course of a week, and most people report no symptoms after five to seven days.

The more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal occur anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after the last drink is consumed. While these symptoms are not experienced by the majority of those going through alcohol withdrawal, they can be life threatening and are a signal you should seek professional medical assistance with your detox from alcohol. These symptoms include an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, extreme sweating, fever, and confusion. If you find you are experiencing these symptoms in the hours and days after you stop drinking, seek medical attention immediately as you are at risk of developing delirium tremens (DTs), a condition which occurs anywhere from two to three days after you stop drinking and can easily lead to death.

Alcohol withdrawal is an uncomfortable experience to say the least, but it is a necessary step to achieve sobriety. While you may choose to go it alone and detox yourself at home, you should be careful and closely monitor your symptoms, as any indication that you may be at risk for DTs should prompt you to seek medical assistance with your detox process. At Evolutions, our protocols for alcohol withdrawal are designed to make the process as painless and comfortable as possible, and we have spared no expense when designing and furnishing our medical detox unit in order to provide as much comfort and serenity as possible to our clients. If you are finding detoxing yourself at home to be too much to handle, call our Admissions Counselors at 833-818-3031 and let us help you get through alcohol withdrawal so you may begin your journey in recovery!