Alcohol Withdrawal FAQ: When Does It Start? How Long Will It Last?

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Alcohol is something you either love or something you hate. One usual explanation is that alcohol can relax you, making you more confident around other people. If this is something you like to feel, you want to keep coming back to it, eventually making you drink more. When you decide to stop drinking, you experience alcohol withdrawal -something no one enjoys.

Drinking moderately is excellent for your heart and circulatory system. It may even protect you from other health risks. Drinking heavily, on the other hand, can cause preventable death in most countries. In the United States alone, half of the fatal traffic accidents are due to intoxicated drivers. On the other hand, heavy drinking could damage your heart and liver or possibly harm an unborn child. It can contribute to your depression and violence, destroy relationships, and even increase your chances of having some form of cancer.

Pros And Cons of Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can have some positive points to it, this includes:

  • When done moderately, it reduces your risk of developing and dying due to heart disease;
  • If done right, it decreases your chances of ischemic stroke;
  • Could lessen your risk of diabetes

Since most things have two sides to them, alcohol has some downsides too. Some already mentioned above:

  • Excessive drinking can increase your chances of certain cancers like that of the liver, mouth, throat, and esophagus;
  • Sudden death due to cardiovascular disease;
  • Pancreatitis, stroke, heart failure
  • Stroke, high blood pressure
  • Severe injury, brain damage, and even death
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Defined

If you are a heavy drinker who suddenly stopped or cut back on your alcohol intake significantly from your usual amount, this is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome or AWS might give you a combination of physical and emotional symptoms like mild anxiety, nausea, and fatigue. Other symptoms of AWS include severe hallucinations and seizures.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 If you are not a heavy drinker or you only drink once in a while, you will not have withdrawal symptoms when you stop. However, if you went through one before, chances are you can go through them again once you call it ba-bye beer!

alcohol withdrawal seizure

Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal             

Alcohol has a depressive effect on your system. It slows down the functions of your brain, which changes the way the nerves drive their messages back and forth from your brain to your body. Over a certain period of time, your central nervous system adjusts to the fact that you are drinking alcohol all the time. During this time, your body is working hard to keep your brain functioning properly. When suddenly your alcohol consumption changes, it sends your body, brain neurotransmitters, and your blood into a state of shock.

Your brain neurotransmitters are heavily suppressed when you are drinking alcohol. And when you reduce or stop your alcohol consumption, glutamate hastily surges and hits sensitive neurotransmitters, which harm your body and your brain.

When Does Alcohol Withdrawal Start

Thinking about how your possible alcohol withdrawal timeline looks like? These alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. It all depends on how much you drank and for how long you have been drinking. Let’s break these stages of alcohol withdrawal below:

6 hours post-drinking:

Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start 6 hours after you stop drinking. It includes headache, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, sweating, anxiety, and insomnia.

12-48 hours post-drinking:

You can get more serious symptoms including, hallucinations and seizures.

48-72 hours post-drinking:

At this point, DTs or delirium tremens start to set in. These are symptoms counting vivid hallucinations and delusions. Of course, not everyone has these symptoms. You can have a fever, racing heart, heavy sweating, confusion, and high blood pressure.

Visit a doctor, and they could determine if you are going through alcohol withdrawal. They’ll ask you a couple of questions about your drinking history and recommend possible medication and treatment. If you are having DTs or delirium tremens (seizures) at a certain point of your withdrawal, don’t even hesitate for one second to get the help that you need.

Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Seizures

If you have experienced alcohol withdrawal seizures (or seizures for whatever reason,) there is a chance that you could have had it due to alcohol abuse. Certain medications may not prevent seizures that are caused by alcohol withdrawal.

Delirium tremens or DTs are possibly the worst part of alcohol withdrawal. This usually happens three to five days post-drinking. Quite honestly, DTs are life-threatening. Its symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Heavy sweating
  • Uncontrolled tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat or heart racing
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe and abrupt mental and nervous system changes
  • Serious confusion, disorientation, or hallucinations
  • Coma, or even death

All these symptoms give you an idea of how complex the relationship between alcohol and seizures is. It is usually associated with epilepsy. It makes you question how many epileptic people have it because of alcohol dependency. With this in mind, check out all your options for alcohol withdrawal treatment and consider which ones could work for you.

alcohol withdrawal timeline

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Since alcohol withdrawal is painful and dangerous, no one should go through it alone. Here at Restore Health and Wellness Center, we provide high-quality treatment programs for your alcoholism. We offer medically-supervised detox to safely cleanse your body from all the bad toxins brought about by your bad habit.

High-quality detox programs allow us to constantly monitor your vital signs and give necessary medications to minimize your discomfort from alcohol withdrawal.

At Restore Health and Wellness Center, traditional and evidence-based treatments are incorporated and practiced to create a more holistic approach to every patient’s therapy. We assure our patients of a more sustainable and long-term recovery solution to your rehabilitation process.

Visit our alcohol rehab center in Simi Valley, CA, at 6918 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303. 24/7 Admissions (818) 722-9019. On-Site Contact (818) 806-3914.


Insurance can cover up to 100% of treatment

We Accept Most Major Insurance Companies. We accept other forms of payment to make treatment affordable for yourself or a loved one