Alcohol Withdrawal

The Cause And Timeline Of Alcohol Withdrawal

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Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may well be unwanted but not as unwanted as the problems that alcoholism and a life of dependence upon drink offers.

Anyone who feels they cannot get through the day without a drink, or those who begin a session and do not know when to stop need to face up to the fact that professional rehabilitation treatment is needed. It is the only way to come to terms with a problem that will gradually deepen and could very well lead to an unwanted early grave.

The cause of alcohol withdrawal:

When alcohol is consumed it enters the liver and is broken down by an enzyme. This is the process that keeps you healthy by getting rid of alcohol from your system through urine. Any of the alcohol which is not metabolised gets absorbed by other parts of your body such as the brain.

The feelings of happiness and relaxation alcohol create are due to its impact on the brain. This is all well and good if alcohol is consumed in moderation, but excessive amounts of alcohol around the brain are what causes symptoms of drunkenness. Those who are regularly get drunk or drink chronically find that they build a tolerance to alcohol. This means the more you have, the more you need to produce the required feelings.

Suddenly ceasing alcohol means that the brain neurotransmitters which have been suppressed during constant drinking are no longer inhibited by alcohol. The resultant reaction is known as hyperexcitability and is the reason withdrawal symptoms are felt.

Withdrawal symptoms are manageable:

It is important to understand that withdrawal from alcohol gives side effects that vary from person to person. The thoughts of painful withdrawal symptoms make many hesitant to stop drinking, but if this is the case then speak with a specialist on alcohol addiction treatment as they can provide prescription medications that will help relieve any pain.

While withdrawal symptoms can occur as quickly as 2 hours from last drink they usually begin 6+ hours after that last drink and they will peak between 24-48 hours. This is the period when the most uncomfortable symptoms will be felt. They include:

  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Profuse sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Feverish feelings

Timeline for common alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

A typical withdrawal process will complete itself as follows. All timings are from the last alcoholic drink taken.

6-12 Hours:

  • Increasing agitation
  • Increasing anxiety
  • Varying degrees of headache
  • Body shaking
  • Nauseous feelings and physical vomiting

12-24 Hours:

  • Feelings of disorientation
  • Noticeable hand tremors
  • Seizures in different parts of the body

48 Hours:

  • Seizures continue
  • Insomnia or troubled, short spells of sleep
  • Rising blood pressure
  • Hallucinations that can be a mixture of tactile, auditory or visual experiences
  • A high fever and profuse sweating

From this point withdrawal symptoms will gradually reduce.

Alcohol Withdrawal must be followed by treatment:

It is not enough to think that simply withdrawing from alcohol will solve your drinking problems. To achieve long-term sobriety, it is a must that after withdrawal a person opts for either outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation treatment.

Overcoming alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the withdrawal process should be seen as the first step to healing. Couple this with qualified treatment and you have the ideal springboard to a life of continued sobriety.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Rehabilitation Assessment.

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