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How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

a woman struggles through her alcohol withdrawal symptoms

One of the most common and dangerous aspects of alcohol use disorder is withdrawal. This condition occurs when individuals who have been drinking heavily for a prolonged period suddenly stop or significantly reduce their alcohol intake. Alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe, with symptoms that can be uncomfortable at best and life-threatening at worst.

If you or a loved one needs alcohol addiction treatment, Evoke Wellness Ohio can help. Supervised alcohol detox can help you overcome withdrawal symptoms and prepare you to make the most out of treatment. Call 866.430.9267 or contact us online today for information about our alcohol detox center in Ohio.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is a set of symptoms that occur when people who are dependent on alcohol stop drinking or drastically reduce their intake. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and typically occur within 6-24 hours after the last drink. The severity of symptoms depends on factors such as how much and how frequently a person drinks, as well as their overall health.

Some common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Shaky hands
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

However, in severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can cause more serious symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs). These severe symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

The duration of alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person and can depend on several factors, such as:

  • Amount and frequency of alcohol consumption
  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Previous experiences with withdrawal

 In general, the duration of alcohol withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

The first stage of alcohol withdrawal typically begins within 6-24 hours after the last drink and may include symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and irritability. These symptoms can intensify within the first 48 hours and may be accompanied by more severe symptoms such as fever, increased heart rate, and hallucinations.

After this initial stage, the acute phase of alcohol withdrawal typically lasts for about 5-7 days. During this time, individuals may experience intense physical and psychological symptoms, including tremors, seizures, confusion, and mood swings. This is considered the most critical stage of alcohol withdrawal and often requires medical supervision to ensure safety.

After the acute phase, some individuals may experience a longer period of post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) that can last for weeks or even months. These symptoms may include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. It is important for individuals to have a support system and attend therapy or support groups during this time to prevent relapse.

Effects of Alcohol On the Body

Alcohol affects various systems in the body, including the brain, liver, heart, and immune system. Long-term alcohol use can lead to serious health consequences, such as liver damage, heart disease, and increased risk of certain types of cancer.

One reason for these effects is that alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, meaning it slows down brain activity. This can result in changes in mood, behavior, and even motor skills. It also affects the brain’s reward system, leading to a feeling of pleasure or relaxation after consuming alcohol.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also damage the liver by causing inflammation and scarring. This can eventually lead to conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, long-term alcohol use weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses.

Contact Evoke Wellness Ohio to Access Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment Today

It is essential to seek medical attention and detox during alcohol withdrawal as there are potential risks of serious complications such as delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, medical professionals can provide medications and support to ease the symptoms of withdrawal, increase safety and comfort, and prepare you for the next phases of treatment. Call 866.430.9267 or contact Evoke Wellness Ohio online today to learn how we can help.