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How Does An Alcohol Addiction Withdrawal Look Like?

by Melissa Bell
6 minutes read

Drinking is, indeed, injurious to our health. However, as a heavy drinker, if you suddenly stop consuming alcohol, it might affect your body even more.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, in this case, getting out of your addictive persona slowly should be the right choice for you. You can definitely start working on it by yourself, though. But, if you want to get out of your routine quickly and efficiently, opt for an addiction treatment procedure instead.

However, before we talk about it, let’s delve deeper into the topic of addiction withdrawal and gain more information regarding it.

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Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Occur? 

Drinking alcohol regularly can prompt a depressive effect on your health. It, in turn, reduces the overall functionality of your brain and changes the way your nervous system works.

However, as time goes by, your nerves get a hold of this situation and start working in a progressive manner again.

Now, once you stop drinking all of a sudden, it becomes challenging for your brain to tackle it properly. Hence, it tries to stay in the keyed stage while your body tries to resort to the new norm. This, in turn, causes the issue of alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal – The Timelines

The prominence of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to severe. However, the effect of the same will also depend on your level of drinking.

In any case, here’s a timeline of how alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur –

After You Have Stopped Drinking – The First 6 Hours 

The milder symptoms will start occurring as early as six hours after you have stopped drinking. These can include –

  • Incessant shaking of hands.
  • A feeling of nausea and vomiting.
  • Headache with the symptoms of migraine.
  • Sweating profusely.
  • Not being able to sleep or experiencing insomnia.

A sense of anxiety or stress can also occur due to sudden alcohol withdrawal.

After You Have Stopped Drinking – 12 – 48 Hours 

After the time limit of 12 hours has passed, you will feel a lot worse than before. The nauseated feeling will stop at this point, and you’ll start vomiting, even if you haven’t eaten anything. You might also begin hallucinating after a while.

Besides, the issue of headaches will increase even more, especially after the 36-hour mark. Due to the hallucinations and pain, you may also start seeing something that isn’t there at all.

After You Have Stopped Drinking – 48 – 72 Hours 

DT, or delirium tremens, will usually start after the 48-hour mark. If not treated right away, it can lead to vivid delusions and hallucinations. However, this situation is pretty rare, as only 5% of people, who are suffering from alcohol withdrawal, will have them.

Aside from this, you may also experience –

  • Heavy fever alongside sweating.
  • Confusion (happens due to fever).
  • Racing heart and hypertension.

In some cases, you may also experience breathing issues, primarily due to high anxiety and stress on your body.

How Do You Diagnose Alcohol Withdrawal? 

Diagnosing alcohol withdrawal is pretty easy, as its symptoms are incredibly prominent. However, the diagnosis of the disorder will depend on two other aspects as well.

While talking to you, the doctor will ask about your drinking history at the beginning. Aside from this, they’ll also want to know how recently you have stopped. You may also have to tell them if you have gone through a similar condition before or not.

Aside from this, they might also question you about your symptoms and their overall severity. You’ll also have to go through a physical exam to check if any other underlying condition is causing this problem for you or not.

The doctor will curate your treatment procedure depending on your answers. Hence, make sure to tell them everything truthfully and elaborately.

Treating Alcohol Withdrawal – A Guide 

Treating alcohol withdrawal can be pretty tricky, as it depends on the level of addiction of the patient. In any case, if you don’t have a severe condition, you probably will not require anything more than a supportive environment. It might include –

  • Staying in a quiet place for a certain period.
  • Endorsing soft or mild lighting throughout the room.
  • Following a healthy diet structure with loads of fluids and vegetables.
  • Contacting only a limited number of people.
  • Maintaining a supportive and positive environment.

Nonetheless, if you want to undergo professional treatment, you may have to choose from the following options:

  • Inpatient Treatment: In this case, you will have to stay in an addiction treatment center or facility for a prolonged period. For example, if your condition is too severe, you will need to keep it for around nine months to cure your issue. You won’t be able to meet with someone from your family or take anything from your house. Depending on your condition, you might have to follow other restrictions as well.
  • Outpatient Treatment: In an outpatient procedure, you don’t have to stay for a prolonged period in the center. Instead, you can undergo the same for a certain amount of time and, then, get to your house again. Besides, you will also be able to take your mobile or laptop before getting out of your home. Nonetheless, the facility will not allow you to use them if there’s no immediate need.

Final Thoughts 

Treating alcohol withdrawal is, in essence, a short-term fix to your addiction. Hence, if you want to address the core problem, you’ll need to opt for an addiction relief facility.

Depending on your health condition, they will suggest and curate your treatment plan from scratch. However, while treating your withdrawal symptoms, it will be ideal for you to talk about the addiction treatment altogether.

They can offer you some valuable insights on the subject and may ask you to live a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, you will be cured of your problem soon!

In any case, now, we will be finishing our article. If you still have any queries regarding anything, make sure to let us know in the comment section below.

We’ll try to help you out as much as we can.

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