Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Broken Down into 3 Stages

Alcohol withdrawal timeline usually occurs in individuals who have been drinking heavily and then suddenly reduce or stop their alcohol consumption
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Broken Down into 3 Stages

Alcohol withdrawal timeline usually occurs in individuals who have been drinking heavily and then suddenly reduce or stop their alcohol consumption. Heavy, prolonged drinking often causes neuro- adaptation in the brain. There are physiological changes caused in the brain and central nervous systems making them become more dependent on alcohol. However, since symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome usually depend upon how much or how long an individual has been drinking, not all people experience the same kind of withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Generally, there are three phases of alcohol withdrawal timeline:

Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3
This phase begins 8 hours after a person has had his last drink. Common symptoms experienced during this phase include nausea, anxiety, abdominal pain, and insomnia.
A person enters this phase anywhere between 24- 72 hours after he has had has his last drink. Symptoms experienced during this phase include sweating, increased body temperature, confusion, irritability, an unusually elevated heart rate and sudden rise in the blood pressure levels.
(Delirium Tremens) A phase which occurs 72 hours after the last drink is perhaps one of the worst phases where a person experiences severe agitation, fever, seizures, confusion, and hallucinations.

Withdrawal Timeline for Alcohol Abuse

1st stage: Making the Decision to Stop Alcohol Abuse

Making the decision to stop alcohol abuse is the very first step of the alcohol withdrawal process. This can be a very hard decision to make for alcoholics. In most cases, it usually requires that loved ones and friends be honest and admit that there is a problem. They can do this by identifying obvious signs that strongly indicate alcoholism and consequently confront their loved one about it. It is the only way that the recovery process can start.

2nd stage: Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

Approximately eight hours after the last alcoholic drink was imbibed is when the withdrawal symptoms begin, this is especially for severe alcoholics. However, mild addicts may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms a few hours later. The most common symptoms are insomnia and nausea. Which tend to be mild.

3rd stage: Escalation of Withdrawal Symptoms

During the 3rd stage of the withdrawal timeline is when the withdrawal symptoms really begin to manifest themselves. After a day or two at most of the onset of the withdrawal symptoms is when they worsen and this is characterized by digestive problems, increased temperature and an increased heart rate.

4th stage: Height of Withdrawal Symptoms

This stage tends to be the worst for a majority of recovering alcoholics. It usually occurs after approximately 72 hours. This peak in symptoms is exhibited by delirium tremens, seizures or hallucinations. This 4th stage of withdrawal requires some medical supervision of the recovering alcoholic.

5th stage: Transition to an Alcoholism Rehabilitation Facility (Ongoing Development)

This marks the final stage in the alcoholism withdrawal timeline. It is currently an ongoing development and is set to take root soon. This stage is important because the recovery process does not just end with lack of a chemical dependence on alcoholic beverages. It requires the recovering alcoholic to commit to a rehabilitation facility that will ensure that the new state of sobriety is maintained. This stage can comprise of sober, outpatient or residential companionship programs.