When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, medical detox is crucial. Alcohol is an especially dangerous substance to detox from because it carries significant health risks. You should never try to detox from alcohol at home because it could prove to be a fatal experience.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and the duration of these symptoms depend on many different factors. The total duration of time that you’ve been addicted to alcohol plays a major role in the duration of the withdrawal symptoms.
Since everyone is different, there is no way to know how long withdrawal will last, but the entire process can be broken down into different stages. Some stages last only a few hours while others can go on for months.
Depending on the extent of the addiction, withdrawal can last for a few hours, or it can last for several months. However, the average duration of alcohol withdrawal is about one week.
The withdrawal process can last much longer if you suffer complications. Some people had to endure alcohol withdrawal for an entire year, but these cases are quite rare. One of the factors that determine how long withdrawal will last is your tolerance to alcohol.
Another factor is the total amount of time you’ve had a dependency on alcohol. The strength of the dependency is another factor. The intensity of various alcohol withdrawal symptoms is different for each individual.
The Withdrawal Timeline
If you’re a casual drinker and decide to stop drinking, you’ll probably never experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you’re very dependent on alcohol, withdrawal could be deadly without medical detoxification.
Anyone who has a severe alcohol addiction must seek medical detox. A lot of people start experiencing withdrawal symptoms just hours after their last drink. The intensity of individual symptoms can vary.
How Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Affect Your Ability to Getting Sober
Almost every single withdrawal symptom can make it very hard to get sober. Anywhere from 6 to 12 hours after your last drink, you might experience tremulousness, and this stage of withdrawal normally lasts about 24 hours.
During this stage, you might experience anxiety and feel shaky. It can cause your hands and legs to tremble. Shakiness might be accompanied by headaches, nausea, night sweats and anxiety. If you have a severe alcohol dependency, you can experience seizures as soon as six hours after your last drink.
However, you’ll be vulnerable to seizures for weeks after your last drink. Studies show that 90 percent of seizures occur within 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink. You might also experience hallucinations, which can occur during the same timeframe as seizures.
It’s possible to experience tactile, visual and auditory hallucinations. Some people feel like bugs are crawling under their skin. It’s important to be aware of protracted withdrawal, which can last as long as one year after you quit drinking.
Some of the symptoms of protracted withdrawal are impaired memory, hallucinations, inability to concentrate, fatigue, irregular breathing, depression and anxiety. Not everyone experiences severe alcohol withdrawal. A mild withdrawal might consist of feeling uneasy, headaches, upset stomach and shaking.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can put you at risk while trying to get sober because they’re very uncomfortable. Relapse occurs when you start drinking again to avoid the discomfort caused by the withdrawal symptoms.
The severity of your alcohol addiction doesn’t matter; it’s still important to seek medical detoxification. If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, call our hotline at 800-447-9081.