One of the most important steps to conquering an alcoholism problem is detoxification. More often than not, the physical and mental dependence that people who are addicted to alcohol will build on the drug will cause them to fall into a state of alcohol withdrawal when they stop drinking. 

Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal is a dangerous condition that can lead to a number of physical and mental health problems and can even be life-threatening in some cases. That said, alcohol detox programs are in place to help those who are looking to overcome an alcohol use disorder and the effects of alcoholism. During their time in a detox program, clients will be medically supervised to ensure their safety and have their vitals monitored.

Detoxification is the first step of the addiction recovery process and allows clients to safely enter early sobriety, preparing them for the next phase of the alcohol treatment process. 

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “what even is alcohol withdrawal?”

According to the National Library of Medicine

“Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis suddenly stops drinking alcohol.”

As a person develops an alcohol use disorder, there are actually neurological changes that happen in the brain’s reward circuit. The dopamine and other pleasure-causing chemicals that alcohol and intoxication create actually cause the body and brain to function properly when the body is exposed to alcohol and function improperly when there is no alcohol in the body. 

This build-up of dependence means that when alcohol consumption ends, the body and brain are left in a dangerous state of being. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal someone who is addicted may deal with. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are dangerous, they can cause a number of problems to a person’s physical, emotional, and mental state. Some of the most common symptoms associated with alcohol include:


  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • No Appetite

More intense cases of alcohol withdrawal can bring about other, more dangerous problems such as coma, depressed breathing, and more.

Alcohol Withdrawal Seizure

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens and can cause numerous different problems such as:

  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Delirium, or severe confusion

When the situation becomes severe, it can even lead to seizures. The most common of which in alcohol withdrawal is called tonic-clonic seizures that affect the whole body and cause violent muscle contractions and loss of consciousness. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

While everyone’s situation can be different, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and complications often follow a timeline that helps you better understand what you may be in for if you or a loved one is about to go through the detox and treatment process. 

For most people, the initial symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will emerge after 8 hours without drinking, these initial symptoms can include:

  • Sweating
  • Clammy skin
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Fever

Symptoms can worsen over time and usually will peak 24 to 72 hours after the last drink before eventually subsiding after 7 to 8 days. 

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

While alcohol withdrawal will vary person-to-person based on many factors including age, drinking habits, length of time using alcohol, and more, the general consensus is that alcohol withdrawal will last a little more than a week. However, some people overcome withdrawal after only a few hours while symptoms for others can last weeks. 

Detoxing from Alcohol

While alcohol withdrawal is dangerous there are treatment options to help those dealing with the problem. An alcohol detox program is used in most alcohol recovery programs to help clients get through the first step of the treatment process in a medically supervised environment. 

It should be noted that detoxing from alcohol will be incredibly uncomfortable and the symptoms of withdrawal that you will be exposed to will be one of the worst experiences in your life, but it is important to go through it if you want to come out better on the other side. 

The ultimate goals of alcohol detox are:

  • Reduce withdrawal symptoms
  • Prevent complications of alcohol use
  • Usher the client into treatment

Let’s take a closer look at what alcohol detox is.

What is Alcohol Detox?

If you have been doing research into alcohol treatment programs, you may still be wondering “what is alcohol detox?”

Alcohol detox, or detoxification, is the first step in the treatment and is a process that involves monitoring and 

Best Way to Detox from Alcohol

The best way to detox from alcohol is to seek out a professional treatment center that offers or has partnerships with verified detox facilities that will ensure your safety and will be conducive to your long-term recovery. 

During a client’s time in an alcohol detox program, they will be monitored 24/7 while they go through the various stages of withdrawal to ensure they don’t deal with any life-threatening complications.

During this time, some clients will also receive various forms of medication-assisted treatment to help them mitigate the withdrawal symptoms and overcome the urges that are common among those who are newly sober. 

Some of the common forms of medication-assisted treatment for alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Disulifram (Antabuse)
  • Acamprosate
  • Naltrexone

Alcohol Detox at Home

You should never try and detox from alcohol at home.

Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and can lead to life-threatening symptoms. If not handled in a professional setting, it can lead to disastrous consequences. It is vital to find a detox near you to help begin your recovery journey. 

Alcohol Detox Near Me

If you are trying to find an alcohol treatment center near you that can help with alcohol detox, The District Recovery Center is just a phone call away. At The District, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch, evidence-based programming at an affordable price while working with insurance.