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Signs of Alcohol Detox: What Withdrawal Is Like

When you have one glass of wine with dinner on occasion, alcohol is mostly harmless. When you have a bottle of wine before bed every night, you’ve got a problem.

For those people who take their drinking too far, there can be serious consequences. Consistent drinking can lead to addiction, and once your body becomes dependent on alcohol, you will begin to experience the dreaded symptoms and signs of alcohol detox.

As providers of Christ-centered addiction treatment in Pompano, we see signs of alcohol withdrawal every day in people whose drinking has gotten out of hand. While there is no avoiding this negative consequence, they are now taking steps to stop their drinking.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is a condition or set of symptoms that occur when a heavy, long-term drinker suddenly quits or cuts back. If you drink alcohol heavily for weeks, months, or years, you may have experienced withdrawals in the past. The symptoms and signs of alcohol detox are the results of the brain’s reaction to a sudden lack of alcohol.

Alcohol has what professionals refer to as a depressive effect on the central nervous system (CNS). Specifically, drinking affects a neurotransmitter called GABA. Otherwise referred to as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, alcohol stimulates GABA, which in turn reduces nerve activity in the brain. The result is common drinking symptoms like relaxation, calmness, sleepiness, and impairment.

The more heavily and more often a person drinks, the more reliant the brain becomes on alcohol to stimulate GABA. As a result, when a heavy drinker or alcoholic suddenly stops drinking or cuts down on their quantities, they may experience the body’s reaction to this sudden surge of nerve activity, otherwise known as withdrawal.

What Are the Symptoms of Withdrawal From Alcohol?

There are many signs of alcohol withdrawal, and these symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on how much and how long the person has been drinking. From the early signs of alcohol detox to the later and often more severe symptoms, alcohol withdrawal can take a toll on the mind, body, and soul. At our Christian drug rehab, we want you to be able to recognize these issues so that you know when you need to get professional help.

Some of the first signs of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritation
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sleep troubles
  • Slight confusion
  • Sweating

These symptoms usually occur within the first few hours after drinking has stopped. After 24 hours and beyond, an alcoholic may experience other symptoms. Some later signs of alcohol withdrawal that may persist and occur more severely include:

  • Cravings
  • Delirium tremens
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • High fever
  • Insomnia
  • Intense sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures

If this sounds like you, then our Florida alcohol rehab may be able to help.

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The alcoholism withdrawal symptoms timeline can range from mild to severe, depending on how much the person drank and for how long. As you can imagine, the more heavy and severe the person’s drinking, the worse their symptoms will be.

6 hours after the last drink: Generally, mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms will kick in as soon as six hours after the person’s last drink. These symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Shaky hands
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

12 - 48 hours after the last drink: More intense symptoms will kick in gradually. At this stage of alcohol withdrawal, the individual may begin to experience hallucinations and seizures.

48 - 72 hours after you stop drinking: Delirium tremens (DTs) is also a common and highly severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms of detox tend to peak around the three-day mark and may include seizures, vivid hallucinations, and delusions. Other signs of alcohol detox common in this stage include:

  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Heavy sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Racing heart

Finding Alcohol Detox Near Me

Everyone is a little different, and the severity and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary from person to person. Factors like age, health history, genetics, body mass, tolerance, amount of alcohol consumed, and severity of alcoholism can all play a role in the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that someone will experience.

Although Jesus may have turned water into wine, heavy drinking is not healthy. If you experience any of these alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should look into getting professional help. Fortunately, our faith-based recovery programs are designed to heal your mind, body, and soul in recovery. To learn more about our Florida alcohol detox and addiction treatment program, call Faith in Recovery today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information, and we’ll reach out to you.

Related Reading:

Alcohol Binge Drinking Effects

High-Functioning Alcoholic: Signs and Symptoms