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It’s no secret that in order to become sober, individuals will need to start with a detox from alcohol. This can bring on various withdrawal symptoms, but it’s a necessary component of lasting recovery. Many prospective patients and their loved ones will appreciate knowing what to expect when it comes to withdrawal. The following alcohol withdrawal timeline can explain some of the common symptoms, when they appear and how long a withdrawal typically lasts:
Technically, the alcohol withdrawal timeline begins as soon as individuals take their last sip of alcohol. That means that the first few hours of withdrawal, patients will still have alcohol actively in their systems. However, in as few as three or four hours after the last consumption of alcohol, symptoms can begin to appear.
There are a number of things that can determine how quickly alcohol withdrawal symptoms are noticeable. The severity of the alcohol addiction, however, is by far the biggest component. An individual who drinks alcohol every few hours, and has done so for decades, will likely experience withdrawal symptoms sooner than a person who consumes far less alcohol on a regular basis.
Once these initial withdrawal symptoms kick in, patients can expect some mild discomfort. Many individuals with a history of alcohol addiction may already be familiar with these first symptoms, which can include some or all of the following:
Roughly 24 hours into the alcohol withdrawal timeline, patients can expect for their symptoms to be in full swing. The symptoms already mentioned may begin to increase in severity, and this is also the stage when the risk of confusion and hallucinations can appear. It’s common for patients to hear auditory hallucinations approximately 24 to 48 hours into the withdrawal.
Around 24 hours into the withdrawal, patients in medically supervised detox facilities may take medications to alleviate any discomfort. Sedatives can also be administered to improve the duration and quality of sleep, which can suffer as patients go through a withdrawal from alcohol.
As the alcohol withdrawal timeline progresses, patients should be aware of the risk of DT. Delirium tremens, also commonly known as DT, can be a serious condition, and therefore should be dealt with in a professional detox or treatment facility. Thankfully, just 5% of patients in alcohol addiction treatment will suffer from delirium tremens.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, DT brings with it severe withdrawal symptoms involving the nervous system. Typically, these will include things like seizures, extreme confusion, the potential for violence or anger and even very realistic hallucinations.
Approximately 72 hours into the alcohol withdrawal timeline, patients will start to see some of their symptoms subside. At three days into the detox, or 72 hours, many of the physical dependencies on alcohol are broken. This means that while physical symptoms might improve significantly, emotional and psychological concerns will still be an issue.
As already mentioned, the duration and severity of an alcohol withdrawal can depend on many individual factors. However, most patients will see an end to their withdrawal symptoms approximately one week into the detox. From then on, rehab treatment can help to keep patients from relapsing over the long term.
To begin your alcohol withdrawal under proper medical care, consider Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Call 866-605-0532 today to learn more about recovering from an alcohol addiction and how professional detox and rehab can help.