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Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: Timeline and Signs of Danger

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: Timeline and Signs of Danger

Janice Rosenthal, owner of Garden of Essences and aromatherapy expert, suggests using organic essential oils to soothe your experience. Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin about six hours after your last drink. A person who has a long history of heavy drinking could have a seizure six hours after stopping drinking.

  1. Recovery from alcohol addiction generally follows the stages of abstinence, withdrawal, repair, and growth.
  2. The prognosis (outlook) for someone with alcohol withdrawal depends greatly on its severity.
  3. However, try not to have too many firm expectations, as symptoms can continue for multiple weeks in some people.
  4. They can help you determine the best and safest action for your needs.

These conditions include gastrointestinal bleeding, infection, intracranial hemorrhage (acute bleeding in the brain), and liver failure. Inpatient treatment, or staying at a hospital or care facility, may be necessary for someone meth withdrawal with moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Inpatient treatment allows healthcare professionals to monitor you for DT or hallucinations, monitor your vitals, and administer fluids or medicine intravenously if needed.

Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s typical for withdrawal symptoms to begin within hours to a day or two after you have your last drink. Symptoms are often at their worst around 24 to 72 hours after you stop drinking. There are several mild to moderate psychological and physical symptoms you might experience when you stop drinking.

Gradually Taper Your Alcohol Intake

But anything more than a drink or so a day has the opposite effect, especially if you abuse or are addicted to alcohol. Women’s sex drive might drop, and their vagina might get drier. You should start by determining how much alcohol you drink per day in terms of standard drinks. Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems discusses the risks does alcohol thin your blood of detoxing at home and the benefits of detoxing from alcohol and other drugs in a safe environment. It can be helpful to make a plan ahead of time for how to handle a relapse. For example, some people choose to write a list of reasons why they want to stop drinking alcohol, and revisit the list to remind themselves after a relapse.

Most people tend to notice a reduction in symptoms within 5–7 days. Eating healthier helps your body heal from the effects of alcohol. It also ensures your body has proper nutrition to maintain stamina during the stress it will go through during detox.

How To Detox from Alcohol Safely

While a person goes through alcohol detox, they can develop several symptoms of withdrawal. Gradually tapering your alcohol use helps ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce alcohol cravings. Tapering increases the length of the detox process, but it might be better for you in the long run. Ask friends or family to check on you throughout the detox process. Aside from providing emotional support, they can also call medical professionals if something goes wrong. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be painful and potentially life-threatening, so it’s important to have people you can rely on.

Residential treatment programs

Outpatient care, also called ambulatory care, might include medication-assisted withdrawal to make the process easier. If you’re detoxing from opioids, you might get methadone or buprenorphine. If you’re quitting alcohol, you might get anti-seizure medication or benzodiazepines to help with the withdrawal, and naltrexone or other medications to help you stop drinking. You should certainly go to the emergency room (ER) anytime you’re having serious withdrawal symptoms like difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, or seizures. But, heading to the ER to detox isn’t necessarily the best plan.

A person should seek help if they notice that they or someone they love has symptoms of alcohol use disorder. Seeking help can be challenging for the person who is struggling with addiction. Loved ones and friends can help by letting the person know that they are not alone in their struggle.

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