What Is The Prognosis For Alcohol Withdrawal
People having experienced alcohol withdrawal may suffer from sleep problems or minor signs of an overactive nervous system, such as fastened heartbeat, agitation, or sweats, for a few months.
Half of people manage to stay abstinent from alcohol for a year. Chances of relapse can be decreased by undergoing long-term treatment of the underlying alcohol use disorder in a specialized treatment facility.
How To Safely Get Through Alcohol Withdrawal
Its 100% possible to get through alcohol withdrawal safely with the right medical care. There are many effective treatments available to get you through withdrawal and recover from alcohol altogether. Seeking treatment is always a much safer option than trying to go through alcohol withdrawal on your own. A healthcare provider can tell you whether you can go through withdrawal at home or if you should get medical treatment. As always, ask your doctor before attempting withdrawal.
Here are some of the most commonly used treatments to help people get through alcohol withdrawal and further recovery from alcohol addiction.
Timeline Of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The severity of alcohol withdrawal is categorized into three stages. The symptoms of these stages range from mild to severe. Not all patients progress through all of the stages of alcohol withdrawal.
The exact timeline for alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person. It’s based on several factors, including how long, how much, and how regularly you have been drinking alcohol.
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How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last
These headaches and other symptoms will usually increase by day 3 of alcohol withdrawal when the individual is hitting the peak of acute withdrawal and starting day 4 will usually begin to subside in intensity and continue to slowly subside over the course of the first few weeks of sobriety. Alcohol withdrawal usually lasts about 7-14 days, however, for those that experience protracted withdrawal, prolonged withdrawal, and PAWS, the anxiety and headaches could take months or even a year to fully subside.
What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is an addictive substance many people who drink excessively become physically and psychologically dependent on it. When you remove alcohol from your system after a period of heavy drinking, your mind and body are thrown temporarily off balancesometimes to an extreme degree. This is known as alcohol withdrawal, and its effects can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening.
Since alcohol is a depressant, eliminating it generally has the opposite effect: Your system becomes overstimulated and goes into overdrive1. Many symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have their roots in thisparticularly anxiety, which is among the most common consequences of giving up drinking.
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The Importance Of Professional Help
If you or a loved one are attempting to self-detox or experiencing withdrawal symptoms, its important to reach out and get medical attention. If Delirium Tremens is present, death can become a very likely outcome. A kindling effect can also occur if withdrawal is not addressed immediately, which can lead to rapidly worsening withdrawal symptoms later.
The safest way to address alcohol abuse, as well as detox, is to consult with a medical professional or seek professional treatment. When speaking with your medical professional about how to detox from alcohol, they will tell you its the first step of a comprehensive rehab program. If you are facing withdrawal symptoms, you should address the root of the problem by getting professional help or undergoing inpatient treatment.
Sobriety from alcohol can be a hard path to begin, but by having the resources and education in place, you can find your way to lasting recovery.
What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
Excessive drinking excites and irritates the nervous system. If you drink daily, your body becomes dependent on alcohol over time. When this happens, your central nervous system can no longer adapt easily to the lack of alcohol. If you suddenly stop drinking or significantly reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it can cause AWS.
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The Downside Of Sobriety
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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Outlook For Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
Most people with AWS fully recover. If youre otherwise healthy and can stop drinking and get treatment, the outlook is usually good. However, sleep disturbances, irritability, and fatigue may continue for months.
If AWS has advanced to delirium tremens, it can be fatal. If you begin experiencing severe symptoms of AWS, its important to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chances are of preventing life threatening complications.
How To Deal With The Depression After Giving Up Alcohol
Depression is not something that can be cured overnight. Remember that alcohol withdrawal can cause depression which means you will just need to wait for your body to adjust. And if it lasts longer, you will need to take time to understand its root causes and address them. It could very well be that you were depressed before you started drinking, and were self-medicating with alcohol.
However, there are steps you can take to alleviate the depression that comes after quitting alcohol.
It may seem a cliche, but the old advice of eat well, sleep sufficiently, and exercise plenty are some of the simplest and best things you can do. If you take care of yourself, you will feel better about yourself.
Take time to do things that you enjoy, such as read a good book, and make sure to treat yourself occasionally. They can make a huge difference and relieve stress, which often triggers depression.
One of the signs of depression is losing interest in the things you once enjoyed, so you may not feel motivated to do anything at all. However, now is more important than ever to try. Try to tag along a friend if you can, so youll be less likely to quit.
It can help to keep a full schedule. Not only will it help distract you, but being productive will also raise your self-esteem. Without taking on too much, organise your day so you feel accomplished at the end of the day.
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Quitting Alcohol Timeline And Body Repair After Quitting Drinking
This is going to be the article I once searched for when I wanted to know more about the quitting alcohol timeline, what I could expect in terms of alcohol withdrawal, and what steps I could take to begin the process of body repair after quitting drinking.
I would alternate between my bed and my couch, trying to distract myself from the shakes, nausea, and cold sweats. How long would these miserable symptoms last? I read some articles that said the alcohol withdrawal timeline only lasted for three days, and others that told me that my symptoms would last for months.
I was beyond frustrated, because I didnt just want to know how long my symptoms would last. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do to actively manage them. Ultimately, I wanted to know how to build my health back from scratch.
That was years ago, and Ive spent a lot of time compiling the answers to these questions for anyone who happens to find themselves in my former shoes.
We will begin with some dark subjects. But we will proceed all the way to the light at the end of the tunnel. Understanding your condition is a crucial first step towards beating alcoholism forever.
Alcohol And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There is no real evidence that alcohol use is a contributing factor in CFS, but it can almost certainly make things worse. Those who are dealing with the condition may be tempted to self medicate with alcohol, but this is almost certain to exacerbate the symptoms. This is because alcohol is a type of drug known as a depressant this means that it slows down mental functioning. Alcohol abuse can also lead to physical and psychological dependence on this drug. It is not necessary for the individual to become an alcoholic before they begin to be physically and mentally damaged by this type of substance abuse.
If you have tried and failed to cut back on your drinking or have avoided trying because dont believe you would be able to then it is possible that alcohol is contributing to more than just your ongoing fatigue.
Call American Addiction Centers today at to learn about your treatment options. Drinking is rarely the root of the problem itself, but one piece to the puzzle. We can give you the treatment and tools to get a new lease on life.
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Increase In Temperature Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Alcohol withdrawal is a form of stress on the body. Since the central nervous system is dependent on alcohol, detox can come as a shock. Its normal for patients in withdrawal to see their body temperature rise, the blood pressure increase and their heart rate pick up.
Nausea in combination with an increase in body temperature means lots of sweating if individuals dont focus on adequate liquid replacement. Many withdrawal patients experience dehydration, which can sometimes be severe. Fortunately, patients in a medical facility have access to electrolytes as well as IVs with a saline solution, both of which can combat dehydration.
The increases to heart rate and blood pressure are generally temporary. In most cases, patients wont be impacted by these symptoms beyond the few days of detox. However, some patients with preexisting cardiac conditions may encounter problems. In rare cases, heart attacks or even strokes are possible.
Finding The Right Alcohol Addiction Treatment
If at-home treatment fails or symptoms worsen more quickly medical intervention, either through a physicians office, urgent care, or the emergency room, may be required. A physician will prescribe medication such as benzodiazepines , anticonvulsants , and more to better manage the withdrawal process and reduce the risk for further complications.
Whether the management of the withdrawal happens at home or in a hospital will likely be related to both the severity of the symptoms, the individuals overall health, and the presence of a support system for the individual. Because the symptoms can progress, the individual must have a support system to help manage the symptoms and continue abstinence from alcohol. Often those experiencing AWS are not in optimum health. Regular alcohol consumption can lead to nutritional deficiencies and chronic medical conditions. The individuals health status will impact the ability of the individual to manage the symptoms at home.
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Factors That Influence Alcohol Withdrawal
There are many factors that will influence the difficulty of alcohol withdrawal as well as how long it lasts. Various factors that play an important role in withdrawal include: the time span over which you used alcohol, amount you typically consume, tolerance, whether you have an addiction, how quickly you withdraw, as well as other individual factors.
Our Addiction Treatment Programs
Treatment for AWS is focused on managing the symptoms to prevent further health complications, including seizures, delirium tremens , and death. These more severe withdrawal complications are not as common as some of the less severe symptoms. However, failure to successfully manage AWS or repeated cases of AWS in the same individual greatly increases the risk. Additionally, successful management of the symptoms associated with AWS enables the individual to focus on creating and maintaining an alcohol-free lifestyle. This change will require additional treatment that is more focused on the psychological and emotional aspects of remaining alcohol-free on a long-term basis.
At Compas Detox, we have designed several addiction treatment programs to correspond to the degree of dependency an individual experiences. Our programs include:
- Inpatient treatment
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What Triggers Alcohol Withdrawal
Why people go through withdrawal when they stop drinking is due to the way alcohol affects the brain. Withdrawal from any drug happens because your body has become physically dependent on the substance. For example, if you suddenly quit drinking coffee after drinking 10 cups a day, you might get a headache.
In the case of alcohol, this happens because its a central nervous system depressant, and it changes the way your brain works. Specifically, drinking alcohol causes your brain to produce more GABA and less glutamate .
To make up for this, your brain starts producing less GABA and more glutamate to balance things out. When you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, your brain cant catch up, and you feel the effects of these unbalanced neurotransmitters. This is what leads to withdrawal symptoms like jumpiness, tremors, and anxiety.
Whether or not you go through withdrawal when you stop drinking depends on many different factors. These include how much you usually drink, how long youve been drinking, and any other health conditions you have. In general, if youve been drinking heavily over a long period of time, youre more likely to experience withdrawal when you stop.
What Happens During Alcohol Withdrawal & Detox
Alcohol stays in your system for a certain amount of time based on your body weight, metabolism, and how many drinks youve had. Once you stop drinking, expect to experience certain symptoms, particularly if you are a chronic drinker.
We surveyed 2,136 American adults who either wanted to stop drinking alcohol or had already tried to . Of those surveyed, 1,559 had detoxed before. We asked them about their alcohol use, reasons for drinking, alcohol-related outcomes, health and more.
Respondents withdrawal symptoms lasted for an average of 4.83 days. For 95% of respondents, withdrawal symptoms lasted between 28 days. This range stayed the same whether they were using home remedies for alcohol withdrawal or detoxing at a medical facility.
Respondents who had detoxed from alcohol reported experiencing the following withdrawal symptoms:
- 1 in 2 respondents reported irritability
- 1 in 2 reported fatigue
- 1 in 2 reported sweating
- 1 in 2 reported stress or anxiety
- 1 in 3 reported hand tremors
- 1 in 4 reported nausea or vomiting
- 1 in 4 reported mood swings
- 1 in 5 reported rapid heart rate
- 1 in 8 reported hallucinations
- 1 in 10 reported Delirium tremens
- 1 in 12 reported seizures
Across the board, heavy alcohol users reported withdrawal symptoms more than average. Heavy drinkers more than doubled their risk for hallucinations during detox, being 2.39 times more likely than other alcohol users to experience them. Compared to others during detox, heavy drinkers were:
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Explained
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be defined as a type of tiredness that is not relieved by rest and that is not caused by other medical conditions. The symptoms of this condition can make it difficult for people to take care of their responsibilities and engage in activities they enjoy. The individual just feels tired all the time and this can take much of the pleasure out of life. Chronic fatigue syndrome is also sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis .
Why Should You Visit A Rehab Facility To Withdraw From Alcohol
Whether or not you believe that you can pull off alcohol withdrawal without risking your health, there are certain instances when you must visit an alcoholics rehab facility before you try withdrawing from alcohol. Treatment for alcohol abuse is a preferable way to cope with severe withdrawal. You must never try to go cold turkey on your own in the following circumstances:
- There is no one at home to monitor your symptoms.
- You have a history of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- You suffer from heart, lung, or liver diseases.
- You have an existing mental condition.
- You are more than 60 years old.
Make sure that you do not waste this chance because every failed shot at withdrawal makes the next attempt more difficult to pull off successfully. Ensure your health and safety by learning all you can about alcohol withdrawal timeline and symptoms. But most importantly, remind yourself that there is no shame in asking for help if withdrawal symptoms worsen or if you are not sure if you can manage the challenges of this process by yourself.
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