Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal

Published On: April 23, 2015

The duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms arising during detoxification depends on many different factors. The most influential factor is addiction severity and duration. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last for several months. However, some addicts may experience withdrawal symptoms for as little as a day or two. The below Timeline is intended as a guideline and events occurring during detoxification vary from person to person.

The Timeline intends to give a rough idea of what to expect during each stage of the detoxification journey.

We split the Timeline into handy chunks starting with the first 5 to 10 hours after alcohol was last consumed. The Timeline travels up to 15 days after alcohol was last consumed.

Stage # 1: 10 hours after alcohol was consumed

As little as five hours after alcohol was consumed alcoholics suffer ‘the shakes’. This is scary for even the seasoned alcoholic. Family members are likely to express concern and you are recommended to seek professional help. You may experience heightened blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, confusion and nightmares.

Stage # 2: 24 hours after alcohol was consumed

It’s now been one complete day since you last drank alcohol. Hallucinations occur in 30% of people. Hallucinations tend to be auditory as well as visual. Those who have suffered from alcoholism for prolonged periods are more at risk of experience hallucinations. Hallucinations are not life-threatening however they are distressing for you and your family.

Sufferers experience a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, insomnia, confusion, nightmares and seizures.

Stage # 3: 48 hours after alcohol was consumed

Two full days have now passed since alcohol was last consumed. Seizures are likely to occur.  Seizures are particularly risky for those suffering from high blood pressure. Cardiac arrest becomes a concern. Seizures affect the entire body and loss of consciousness may occur. Hallucinations become more vivid.

Stage # 4: 72 hours after alcohol was consumed

72 hours is when withdrawal symptoms peak. Chronic alcoholics may develop a condition known as delirium tremors. Vivid hallucinations occur followed by confusion and panic attack. The risk of coma and death become a real possibility. Survivors describe seeing tiny objects such as bugs crawling over the body or coins falling from the sky. Sufferers are unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

How to detox correctly

Chronic alcoholics are recommended to receive detoxification treatment in a residential centre. Patients receive 24-hour a day observation from a team of medical experts. Withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored. A number of prescription drugs may be offered to ease symptoms. Prescription drugs could include antidepressants and tranquillisers. Tranquillisers are necessary when delirium tremens is diagnosed.

Call Rehab 4 Alcoholism for fast help

Rehab 4 Alcoholism offers safe and secure detox programmes throughout the United Kingdom. Centres are typically residential in nature and offer a diverse range of treatment plans depending on the severity of addiction and personal wishes of patients. Please call Rehab 4 Alcoholism today on 0800 111 4108

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