Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to detox or withdraw from, which is why medically monitored detox is recommended. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe and may vary in duration depending on the severity of the person’s drinking habit. If you’re a long-time drinker and want to quit, then you may be wondering, how long does alcohol withdrawal last? Understanding this process, what it entails, and the safest way to go about it is crucial in staying safe and achieving your goal of quitting alcohol.
You could say that alcohol withdrawal is the result of alcohol’s effect on your central nervous system (CNS). As a depressant, alcohol slows down activity in the brain, producing a calming and sedative effect, often referred to as a “buzz.” When you drink alcohol heavily for long periods, your central nervous system adjusts to this constant flow of alcohol. The brain then adjusts to keep itself more awake and to maintain nerve communication when you drink. When your alcohol levels suddenly drop, your CNS remains in this high-energy state, which is alcohol withdrawal.
How long alcohol withdrawal lasts varies from person to person. Normally, the more alcohol the person drinks, the more severe their symptoms will be. So, exactly how long after the last drink does alcohol withdrawal begin? Below are the stages of the alcohol withdrawal timeline and the symptoms that may occur while detoxing from alcohol.
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system to produce a relaxing and euphoric effect. However, because the body works to balance itself, alcohol will also signal the brain to excite or stimulate the central nervous system. When you stop drinking, you’re taking away alcohol from existing and new receptors that your CNS made to balance itself. As a result, this system remains on hyperdrive.
Anxiety, irritability, nausea, tremors, and rapid heart rate are the most common signs of alcohol withdrawal. In more severe cases, such as those involving alcoholism, DT can occur, producing symptoms like hallucinations, high body temperature, illusions, and paranoia. The alcohol withdrawal recovery timeline can be lengthy and painful if the detoxification process is not done under medical supervision. Fortunately, Texas rehab offers detox as well as alcohol addiction treatment to help our patients safely withdraw from alcohol and manage their cravings.