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The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

alcoholismThe Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol can be a harmless addition to a social event, or it can be a dangerous habit that can spiral out of control.

When drinking becomes routine, the body becomes dependent on the substance and more problems ensue. Though taking that first step to get help at an alcohol treatment center is difficult, the journey is just beginning.

How Long Is the Alcohol Detox Timeline?

Our partial hospitalization program in Chicago works with clients who are struggling to overcome their drinking, and we are familiar with the alcohol withdrawal symptoms that patients experience during this process.

Like all drugs, alcohol affects people differently, and the alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline can vary drastically depending on the person, the alcohol use, and the length of the alcohol abuse. In the most extreme situations and not done properly, alcohol withdrawal may even be life-threatening.

A Few Hours

For consistent drinkers, the alcohol withdrawal timeline can begin just a few hours after drinking ceases. These initial symptoms often include headaches, nausea, anxiety, tremors, sweating, and vomiting. [1] Some people may also experience insomnia. While uncomfortable, these symptoms are common and are the body’s way of removing the toxins from its system.

A Full Day

More serious withdrawal symptoms may begin during this time and can last up to 4 days depending on the circumstances. It is likely that the addict may experience increased heart rate and blood pressure. Sweating is likely to become worse as well. Sometimes the addict may even become severely confused and disoriented. In the worst cases, these symptoms may include hallucinations, seizures, stroke, heart attack, and problems regulating breathing or circulation. [2] Because of the possible severe symptoms during the alcohol withdrawal timeline, it is recommended that an alcoholic seek professional help during this time to stay safe and receive proper medical treatment if necessary.


Once these symptoms pass, you are not entirely home free. While these symptoms will pass, alcoholics can experience alcohol cravings for years, especially if they are surrounded by places and people that remind them of their drinking.

Do not wait. You do not need to go about your recovery alone. Heavy drinking is often associated with poor mental health, but with our dual diagnosis treatment, we can also help you attack these problems at the same time.

Whether you are concerned about your loved one’s drinking habits or you are ready to stop drinking yourself, our substance abuse treatment programs in Chicago are here to help you on this journey.

Alcohol abuse is a dangerous habit, but with some professional support, it can be stopped. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to begin.



  1. WebMD – What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
  2. Medical News Today – Signs of alcohol withdrawal symptoms
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
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