Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline and Duration

Quitting drinking isn’t an easy process. But nothing worth having is ever easy. If you prepare yourself for what’s to come and draw up an average alcohol withdrawal timeline, you’ll have an easier time getting through withdrawal yourself or watching a loved one get through withdrawal. Of course, the safest and easiest way to withdraw from alcohol is with professional assistance. Let the drug rehab placement counselors at help you find that assistance for you or your loved one.

Typical Alcohol Withdrawal Duration

When an alcoholic drinks, they’re giving into the chemically-produced cravings they’ve created in their body. In order to successfully quit drinking, alcoholics have to be willing to get through an uncomfortable period of physical and mental symptoms as their bodies attempt to heal and free themselves from addiction. The average alcohol withdrawal length is anywhere from six months to two years, with the most uncomfortable physical symptoms in the first two weeks.

The timeline breaks down as follows:

  • First 0-2 days: The alcoholic will feel cravings but may not yet experience illness. Some alcoholics experience illness right away.
  • First 0-14 days: The alcoholic begins to feel the worst of the physical symptoms, including nausea, stomach pains, headaches and shakiness. In some rare cases, alcoholics can experience dangerous seizures. For safety’s sake, alcoholics should only quit while under the watchful care of professional treatment.
  • Two weeks to six months/two years: The physical symptoms of withdrawal fade for the most part and alcoholics struggle most with emotional symptoms. The alcoholic may be irritable, moody, depressed and anxious.

The duration and the depth of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms depend on the more and longer an alcoholic drank beforehand. The alcoholic’s medical history can also affect the length, as can any previous attempts to quit. That’s why it’s so essential that the experienced drug rehab placement counselors match an alcoholic with the right form of treatment, according to their individual needs.

Shortening the Alcohol Withdrawal Length

Some forms of alcohol rehabilitation shorten the alcohol withdrawal duration considerably, but do so safely. Devoting oneself fully to rehabilitation in an inpatient program, for example, lets the alcoholic get through the worst of the symptoms with minimal chance for relapse. On the other hand, some patients simply can’t afford to leave school or work behind, so they must find treatment in outpatient programs. Nevertheless, with the support network and the rehabilitation techniques offered by outpatient programs, alcoholics can expect to get through the uncomfortable period of withdrawal at a steadier pace.

Reviewing the Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The drug rehab placement counselors at are standing by, ready to answer any questions you may have about the alcohol withdrawal timeline you can expect when you or a loved one quits drinking. We’ll also walk you through the difference in the timeline you can expect with any kind of treatment assistance you’d like to consider for yourself or for someone you love. Some treatments are more intense than others, but the payoff could be a shorter length of treatment.

Dial 877-352-6329 now to reach one of our operators. In lieu of calling, you can fill out our online form and we’ll call you.

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