Free Expert Help is Just a Phone Call Away:
A Fresh Start is Only a Phone Call Away.
Get free confidential expert help from qualified counsellors now:

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Take?

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

The moment you stop drinking, your body starts the process of cleansing itself of the chemicals and substances associated with alcohol. This means that when you quit drinking, you could start experiencing withdrawal symptoms within as soon as two hours after the last drink. Depending on how much you used to drink and how frequently, withdrawal could take anything from 7 to 10 days to complete. If you are unlucky enough to suffer from post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), you could experience symptoms for up to a year after the last drink.

As your body has become physically dependent on the alcohol, you will need to withdraw from all alcohol products. This could include products such as mouthwash, flu medication and cough syrup. However, when withdrawal does begin, there could be severe physical consequences attached, meaning you should not go through the process without medical supervision. A doctor or registered nurse can supervise and monitor your mental and physical health throughout and administer medication when required to help relieve pain and discomfort from the withdrawal symptoms as well as help to curb the cravings.

What Is the Withdrawal Timeline?

Your withdrawal will be dependent on how heavily and frequently you drank alcohol; you could experience all, some, or only one of the following withdrawal symptoms:

First phase: 6 to 12 hours after the last drink:

  1. headaches
  2. nausea and vomiting
  3. shaking
  4. anxiety
  5. agitation.

These symptoms could persist for longer or subside quite soon. The next phase is 12 to 24 hours after the last drink:

  1.  hand tremors
  2. disorientation
  3. seizures.

The next phase is 48 hours after the last drink:

  1. high blood pressure
  2. fever and excessive perspiration
  3. hallucinations
  4. insomnia
  5. seizures
  6. DTs, or delirium tremens (in severe cases).

Once again, the entire process should be carried out under the supervision of a medical professional who can provide you with medication and other medical support for when you experience a medical crisis due to your withdrawal. Some of the symptoms may persist for several days and could vary from one minute to the next. You could have mild symptoms now and severe symptoms a small while later. Always rely on your medical professional to guide you as to when it will be safe for you to leave the facility after going through withdrawal.

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Within a few months after your last drink, you could experience sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms. This is called acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. When this happens, you should be admitted to a hospital or a specialised rehab with the facilities to deal with these symptoms. Symptoms could include seizures, temporary loss of consciousness, and/or DTs. These symptoms can be very severe and are therefore considered life threatening. You will need medical attention immediately if and when they occur. Your medical professional can monitor your health on a regular basis in a hospital and give you medication to deal with the severity of the symptoms.

There are side effects to this syndrome and you could suffer these for up to a year after taking your last drink. These side effects include:

  1. low energy
  2. trouble sleeping
  3. anxiety
  4. emotional outbursts and irritability
  5. dizziness
  6. delayed reflexes
  7. a proneness for accidents
  8. memory problems.
The cost of NOT getting alcohol rehab treatment is high so get immediate help now

Give tough love and get your oved one treatment today - call us now:

Free expert advice 24/7...
Text "Rescue" to 66777
Alcohol Rescue Blog
Top-Rated nationwide Alcohol Rehab clinics for ANY budget! Find treatment now:
Recent Feedback
A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Help You Need.
Step 1.
Call us for free.

Call our 24 hour helpline and our team of experts with provide Free Help and Advice on any Alcohol Problem. Call Now On…

0808 274 4095

Step 2.
Free expert counsellors.

When you contact us for help with an alcohol problem, our experts will assess your situation and will walk you through the full range of alcohol services both free and private explaining the features and benefits of each.

Step 3.
Receive professional treatment.

After discussing your situation our experts will provide you with a comprehensive assessment along with all of the information you need to make a treatment decision. We can then refer you to an appropriate alcohol treatment programme as soon as you are ready to get help.

Get Free Expert Help From Qualified Counsellors RIGHT Now.

were here

24 hours a day

We accept most of the major private health insurers: bottom logos