The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are directly connected to the extent of alcohol use. People who drink occasionally may not experience many symptoms, while people who drink heavily will notice more intense symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, but they are easy to track. For most people, the symptoms follow a predictable pattern the moment you stop drinking.
While symptoms vary from person to person, here are five symptoms that may occur during alcohol withdrawal:
The first thing you may notice after you stop consuming alcohol is tremors. These typically start five to 10 hours after you stop drinking, and are often the reason people relapse early after their decision to quit the habit.
The trembling typically peaks between 24 to 48 hours. To help you manage tremors and avoid relapse, consider enrolling in a short-term alcohol detox program.
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2. Uncomfortable Physical Symptoms
In addition to tremors, many people experience additional physical symptoms on the first day or two after they stop drinking. These may include:
- increased blood pressure
- rapid breathing
- vivid dreams
Although you may experience peak physical symptoms within the first few days or withdrawal, they can last for several weeks.
3. Alcohol Hallucinations
In cases of a severe alcohol use disorder, you may experience alcohol withdrawal hallucinations. This is a period of hallucination where you hear, see, or feel things that are not really happening. It’s possible that hallucinations may occur after a period of intense binge drinking.
Alcohol hallucinations are disturbing to the people who experience them. However, hallucinations are a rare complication of long-term and chronic alcohol abuse.
If your brain has adjusted to heavy drinking, you may experience seizures as it readjusts to life without alcohol. Not all people will experience seizures, but they can begin as early as six hours after your last drink. The risk for seizures peaks at about 24 hours.
If you do experience seizures, be prepared to have more than one. The seizure period can last several hours. Getting prompt medical attention during this time is important.
5. Delirium Tremens
Delirium tremens may happen two to three days after you stop drinking, although it can take longer to reach this point. This is one of the most dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
During delirium tremens, you may experience changes in your breathing and temperature control. Your heart may race or your blood pressure may jump dangerously high. You may experience feelings of hot or cold, unexpected sweating, and more hallucinations.
This symptom of withdrawal can reduce the flow of blood to your brain, which leads to disorientation, confusion, changes in emotions, sleep problems, and even loss of consciousness. This severe form of alcohol withdrawal requires medical intervention to ensure you stay safe.
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal can be quite serious. The physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal are potentially dangerous, and you can have serious physical consequences if you’re not properly supervised during this time.
Professional alcohol detox in a supervised setting can reduce this risk and help you get through this process safely.
Alcohol Detox Programs
At Turning Point, we offer inpatient rehab that starts with intensive detox. During your stay, we will support your medical needs and monitor your withdrawal symptoms so you can get through this uncomfortable process safely.
Once you complete detox, we have a personalized rehab program that will address your unique addiction struggle using evidence-based therapies.
If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, don’t try the detox process alone. Reclaim your life and health with help from Turning Point and our professional detox program.