How Long Does Withdrawal from Alcohol Last?

Did you know that alcohol is the most dangerous drug to detoxify from? Yup—it’s true. And it’s kind of funny that alcohol is not considered a drug, yet it is the only ‘drug’ that is socially acceptable to use, even if it can be a dangerous and addictive substance. And it’s the most dangerous to stop using.

It’s important to not attempt withdrawal from alcohol “cold turkey,” because even if you feel strong enough to handle it—the symptoms can be deadly.

Here are just some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:

  • nausea
  • sweating profusely
  • dizziness and anxiety
  • depression (this can also occur weeks after ceasing use)

More seriously, symptoms might include:

  • Delirium Tremens: A period of serious delusions, confusion, and spikes in body temperature and blood pressure, which can lead to seizure or stroke. Delirium tremens is also sometimes characterized by uncontollable tremors, which can cause an addict to shake and move parts of their body, which can also lead to a seizure. Someone with delirium tremens may also experience hallucinations, such as the feeling of crawling bugs. The popular “pink elephants are also believed to be a common symptom of DT’s.
  • Increased heartrate
  • Massive depression
  • Other withdrawal symptoms such as fever, sweating, shaking, and even death.

Often, a benzodiazepine is used in the recovery process to deal with these kinds of symptoms, such as Ativan—it helps with overcoming these symptoms mentioned . A good rehabilitation program will provide detox alongside at least several weeks of recovery. It’s not just detox that creates sobriety, it’s an integrated program that provides detox alongside therapy, maintenance medication, and other rehab techniques.

When it comes down to it, withdrawal from alcohol should never be completed on your own, unless your addiction is not terribly severe. However, consulting with a medical professional before beginning recovery is a great way of assuring you’ve taken the most effective route toward sobriety.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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