Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when a person has developed a dependency on this substance. It happens when a person consumes alcohol on a frequent basis or binge drinks irregularly but over a period of time. When this happens, the body becomes dependent on alcohol. As a result, the brain’s chemistry changes, causing pain and irritability when alcohol isn’t present. Recognizing these symptoms is essential, but getting help for them is even more important.
What Are Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
The withdrawal symptoms range from one person to the next, but some common phases of withdrawal are likely to occur. If you are going through it, you’ll notice physical, mental, and emotional changes in your body that range from mild to severe.
Stage 1 of Withdrawal
During the initial withdrawal stage, a person is likely to feel anxious and irritable. They may have trouble sleeping. They feel stomach pain, nausea, and general discomfort. For many, this stage begins as soon as 8 hours after their last drink. Many people will feel so uncomfortable that they turn to alcohol to soothe their feelings.
Stage 2 of Withdrawal
In this stage, the body begins to react more significantly. Blood pressure increases as does the body’s temperature. Often, there are irregular heartbeats, sometimes too fast, and sometimes too slow. This limits oxygen to the brain and organs. Some will experience confusion as a result. This stage generally starts at about 24 hours to 72 hours after that last drink.
Stage 3 of Withdrawal
The alcohol withdrawal symptoms continue in the 2 to 4-day range after the last drink. They may become very intense with hallucinations and fevers. Some people have seizures. Others experience extreme agitation. Aggression is possible. This phase is the most painful of the stages, and it can take a long time to work through on your own.
Most people will no longer have the intensity of symptoms by about a week after that last drink.
Why You Need Help for Withdrawal
These alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be difficult for most people. For some people, they can also be deadly. If you have a seizure, for example, this can cut off the airflow to your brain. You could strike your head during it, leading to irreversible brain damage. Hallucinations can turn into delirium for some people as well, creating intense confusion.
The better solution is to enter into a drug and alcohol detox program. There, your alcohol withdrawal symptoms are managed more evenly. Medications are given to help you with the pain and discomfort. Additionally, you’ll have access to medical professionals if there is an emergency situation.
Seeking Help for Withdrawal Is Critical for Many
These symptoms indicate addiction and dependence. As a result, most people should receive alcohol addiction treatment in a formal manner if they feel any of these withdrawal symptoms. Doing so can help you to stay sober long term while also helping you to address the underlying cause of your addiction. Seeking out help like this, in the form of detox management or therapy, allows you to enter on a path of recovery and long-term sobriety.