Living with alcohol use disorder is not an easy way to live, but quitting drinking is not the easiest thing either. Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms are a serious and uncomfortable part of early recovery for people who drink heavily. Oftentimes people with late-stage alcohol use disorder struggle to quit because they want to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable if you want to overcome drinking. Thankfully, there are ways to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more manageable. What are acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and how can you find help for them?
What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
When someone drinks heavily for a long period, their body becomes dependent on the alcohol. If they decide to reduce their intake or stop entirely, they experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from mild to severe depending on numerous factors, such as:
- Amount of alcohol consumed
- Length of time they drank for
- Use of other substances
- Pre-existing medical conditions
Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be mildly uncomfortable in simple cases or life-threatening in extreme cases. It’s best to seek treatment when withdrawal symptoms start to avoid the possibility of complications.
When Do Withdrawal Symptoms Start?
Many people wonder, “When do withdrawal symptoms start?” The amount of time between a person’s last drink and the start of withdrawal symptoms depends on how much they drank. People who drink heavily may experience the first symptoms within a few hours after their last drink.1 It may take between 12 and 24 hours for those with less severe drinking habits.
Examples of Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Some examples of acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:2
- Increased pulse
- Hand tremors
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tactile, visual, or auditory hallucinations
- Delirium tremens
- Grand mal seizures
How to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom
Some people are tempted to manage their alcohol withdrawal symptoms on their own. While mild symptoms are usually manageable without medical care, more extreme cases can be life-threatening. Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms last for a few days and are most dangerous within the first 24 to 72 hours. Residual physical and psychological symptoms may last up to a few weeks.
It’s safest to seek professional medical help when deciding to stop drinking, particularly for heavy drinkers. Detox services at substance abuse treatment programs are often the first step when someone is ready to stop using alcohol. Detox involves medical supervision during the few days of sobriety and usually includes medication management to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Silver Pines offers comprehensive, caring detox services for anyone who wants to relinquish the control that alcohol has over their lives. If you want to learn more about our programs for yourself or a loved one, reach out to us at 866-345-2147 or submit an online contact form. You can speak with an admissions specialist who will outline your options and help you determine the best program for your needs.