Even if you have only been drinking heavily for a few weeks, if you suddenly stop, the withdrawal effects can sometimes be life-threatening. The longer you drink heavily on a consistent basis, the greater the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be. Knowing what the alcohol withdrawal timeline is and what you can expect may help you to be better able to anticipate what may be headed your way. You don’t even have to stop drinking to experience withdrawal symptoms!
The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Starts 2 Hours After Your Last Drink
The first alcohol withdrawal symptoms to appear are generally mild anxiety and some shakiness of the limbs. Some people may also begin to experience a mild form of paranoia without alcohol as well and this can all happen within the first two hours. Some people can skip this step and immediately proceed to more severe withdrawal symptoms, such as:
• Erratic Heartbeats
Others may experience mild symptoms within the first couple hours and then quickly proceed toward more severe symptoms. For this reason, if any withdrawal symptoms are noticed, even just very mild ones, it is important to seek medical treatment right away in case you suffer a fast progression of symptoms.
Here’s What Can Happen After Just 12 Hours of Alcohol Withdrawal
For those who have been drinking excessively, a new set of withdrawal symptoms can appear after just 12 hours and will compliment other withdrawal symptoms that have already become evident. Sweating, insomnia, and migraine-like headaches can all make an appearance on the alcohol withdrawal timeline here and last for up to 2 days. Some people can even experience hallucinations that are visual, tactile, or auditory as well.
Most Symptoms Reach Their Peak at the 5 Day Mark
Whatever alcohol withdrawal symptoms have made their appearance will generally reach their peak of intensity within 5 days. For mild to moderate cases, your doctor may recommend that you just get some rest and have someone check-in with you periodically. Depending on bothersome symptoms, medications may be prescribed on a temporary basis to control them, especially with physical tremors. For moderate to severe cases of withdrawal, your doctor may recommend that you check into an outpatient observation center to help you get through these withdrawal symptoms.
Your Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Will Remain Ongoing
Alcohol is a very addictive substance because it helps people feel better no matter what their circumstances may be. Because of this, counseling and therapy sessions, including group sessions, are made available on an ongoing basis so that if you need a meeting, you can go to a meeting. A common program is provided by Alcoholics Anonymous with their 12 step program to make the choice to not drink.
Alcohol addiction is very real and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be deadly if experienced in an unsupervised environment. If you have been drinking heavily and have made the decision to quit, it is advisable to seek your doctor’s advice and find professional care if it becomes needed.