Interested in Alcohol Addiction Treatment? A Look at the Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal

Do you have a drinking addiction? Is it interfering with your daily life? If so, you need to take the necessary steps to overcome your battle with alcohol. However, don’t try to handle your condition by yourself. You need medical intervention and support.

When entering a treatment and recovery program, you’ll first need to go through detox. The timeline for your withdrawal will depend on the extent you use alcohol, your age, medical history, current health, and lifestyle. Recovery treatments are customized to treat each patient’s individual needs.

When Withdrawal Symptoms Begin to Emerge

While the time you spend in detox will typically span one to two weeks, you may experience withdrawal symptoms for a longer time. After taking your last drink, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms after about 8 hours. 

Some people, who drink more heavily, may experience symptoms sooner, while others may not experience any effects until 12 or 14 hours have elapsed.

The First 3 Days of Detox in an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Facility

During your first three days of detox and from that point onward, trained medical personnel will monitor your progress 24/7. You may experience flu-like symptoms, such as nausea and fever and restlessness, and insomnia during this time. 

Patients who drink heavily often have tremors. In response, medical personnel can control the tremors with adjunct medicines to increase the safety and effectiveness of the therapy. It is imperative to undergo alcohol addiction treatment at a well-staffed and recognized treatment site.

Symptoms Often Experienced after 4 to 7 Days

After 4 to 7 days, some patients may experience agitation, disorientation, paranoia, or autonomic instability. Autonomic instability results from autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunctioning. This part of the nervous system regulates respiration, digestion, body temperature, and heart rate.

Delirium Tremens – Treating the Symptoms

If you have drank excessively before withdrawal, delirium tremens (DTs) typically emerge after 4 to 7 days. Medical personnel treats DTs, also called alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), with drugs such as benzodiazepines. 

The drugs are used to calm the nervous system, while the administration of intravenous vitamins and minerals aids in restoring the patient’s electrolyte balance.

DT Withdrawal Symptoms

DTs may include symptoms, such as:

  • Shaking hands and feet
  • Muscular tremors
  • Chest pains
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Heavy sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Quickened heartbeat
  • Excessive hyperactivity
  • Extreme sleepiness

People who experience this type of withdrawal have drunk, on average, about 4 pints of wine, 7 pints of beer, or 1 pint of hard liquor daily before entering detox—about 10% of the people who go through alcohol detox experience these symptoms.

Symptoms that Appear After Two Weeks

If withdrawal symptoms continue after two weeks, the patient often experiences nervousness, mood swings, depression, nightmares, sleep problems, or shakes. 

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) – 2 Months to 1 Year

If withdrawal symptoms prevail after two months or as long as a year or more, patients experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome. This protracted withdrawal may involve symptoms that include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleeping disorders

The Road to a Successful Recovery Begins with Detox

The above timelines vary depending on the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed and your overall health. To stay on track for recovery, it’s essential to know what to expect. You can get the care required to experience successful results by entering a rehab facility.

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