If you or someone you care about may be dealing with alcohol use disorder, please take this brief, 5-minute self-test (AUD). The examination consists of 11 questions, all of which may be answered with a simple yes or no, and is meant to be used as a guide for gauging the likelihood and severity of AUD. No personal information is required to take the test or obtain the result.
The Duration and Intensity of Alcohol Withdrawal
Many variables influence the physical changes that occur when an alcoholic person stops drinking. The intensity of acute alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person based on their degree of physiological alcohol dependency.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are typically three distinct phases of withdrawal. Among them are:
Headache, sleeplessness, anxiety, hand tremors, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and heart palpitations are all possible in the first (mild) stage.
The symptoms of stage 2 (moderate) may include those of stage 1 (mild), as well as elevated blood pressure or heart rate, disorientation, mild heat, and fast irregular breathing.
Severe stage 3 symptoms include all of the intermediate stage 3 symptoms plus visual or auditory hallucinations, convulsions, disorientation, and concentration deficits.
Schedule for Alcohol Detoxification
Some patients might quickly go from Stage 2 to Stage 3 if they do not get treatment from a healthcare practitioner.
Several factors (such as the typical amount and duration of heavy drinking, the presence of coexisting physical and mental health issues, etc.) influence how long it takes for withdrawal symptoms to subside after stopping alcohol use, but a general timeline for alcohol detox could look something like this:
Early withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, moderate anxiety, sleeplessness, minor tremors, and stomach discomfort, might appear 6-12 hours after the last drink.
After 24 hours, some individuals may start to have sensory hallucinations.
Symptoms may have peaked and begun to level off or diminish within 24 to 72 hours. Careful observation and seizure prophylaxis may be necessary for the first 24–48 hours post–abstinence, whereas withdrawal delirium (i.e., DTs) may emerge 48–72 hours post–abstinence. It is important to read more about these symptoms.