What to Expect When Withdrawing from Alcohol

What to Expect When Withdrawing from Alcohol

So, you’ve made the decision to stop drinking or are looking to help someone stop drinking. This is an amazing first step towards recovery from alcohol abuse or addiction. The fear that comes along with quitting alcohol is normal. People might be are scared to quit drinking because all they can think about is the alcohol withdrawal symptoms they are going to experience. Everyone experiences alcohol detox in their own way. With this being said, there are some things that you can expect when detoxing from alcohol.

Importance of Detoxing from Alcohol

The first part of treatment for an alcohol addiction is the detox stage. During this stage, the alcohol will be flushed out of the body. For most people, the symptoms of withdrawal are going to subside between 1 to 2 weeks after beginning detox. However, for some people, this can take a bit longer. This is usually dependent upon how severe your alcohol use disorder has been. After detoxing from alcohol, it is important that you consider other courses of treatment such as counseling, recovery activities, and other support options.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline: What to Expect, Stages & Duration

Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism labels 4 or more drinks in any day for a man and 3 or more drinks per day for a woman as constituting “heavy alcohol use” and warns that this amount of drinking can lead to an alcohol use disorder. The term “alcohol use disorder” is used to describe a clinical alcohol addiction. One of the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder is the development of alcohol dependence. This means that the body adapts to the presence of alcohol and cannot function normally without it. As researchers writing for a 2015 publication of the journal Drugs have explained, when someone who is dependent upon alcohol suddenly stops drinking, the nervous system becomes out of balance. This creates uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which can occur in various stages and levels of severity.