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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, Causes, & Treatments

Alcohol withdrawal is a severe illness that occurs during changes in alcohol-drinking behavior. If you are drinking heavily for a long time, for example, months and years, and you stop drinking it all at once, you will face symptoms disturbing your overall physical and mental mechanism. This disruption is called alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most severe disorders this condition begets are headaches, insomnia, anxiety, tremors and shakes, gastrointestinal disturbances, hallucinations, and heart palpitations. This blog will touch upon the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, timeline, causes, & treatments to get the complete scenario and the possible treatment processes to deal with this issue. So let’s get started! 

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms:

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms are a condition that comes to be when someone is physically and mentally dependent on alcohol and stops it completely. It is identified with physical disturbance and mental disorders in the body. For example, a person who has been drinking alcohol for a long time suddenly stops using it. It will spawn problems in the person’s body, which cannot work properly in the sober state. As a result, the person will feel highly uncomfortable, desperate, gloomy, and unable to concentrate on the daily tasks. 

Various syndromes, such as rapid abnormal breathing, hyperthermia, fatigue, mood changes, and stomach disturbances, will occur in the body after alcohol withdrawal. All of these conditions fall on the list of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Now let’s divulge the process and the timeline that this condition follows.  

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline:  

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline is different from person to person. Various factors generate these symptoms in different individuals. These factors include the quantity of alcohol, duration of drinking of alcohol, co-morbidity issues, and mental conditions of an individual. In general, the first symptoms start taking place within seven to nine hours when he stops drinking alcohol. A person starts feeling headaches, mild anxiety, and small shakes in the early stages. Then follows insomnia and hallucinations. This situation keeps developing, and a person goes from one stage to another, worsening conditions in which problems with breathing, tremors, and increased heart palpitations start happening. 

As the twenty hours pass, the inflicted person begins to experience visual, auditory, and tactile illusions. As more time passes, these symptoms climax and begin to level off. Within forty-eight hours, the seizure risk is at the highest level, which tips the balance ultimately. This stage requires close patient monitoring; an expert seizure prophylaxis can only manage and deal with the issues. Now that we have gone through the timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, let’s discuss the causes of this condition.  

  • Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol use disorder is the beginning of this entire process. Causes of alcohol withdrawal are various, but the primary factors start arising due to the changes in brain activity. These changes are related to the prolonged consumption of alcohol and its excessive use. It upended the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters responsible for cortical computation and different stimulus features. As a result, the entire nervous system becomes upset, and the body’s function starts collapsing.

In addition to this, alcohol drinking keeps the brain in sedated conditions, which leads to decreased anxiety conditions. Alcohol withdrawal disrupts this peaceful condition, and the brain starts working at a hyper-aroused level. As a result, the brain’s adaptation and tolerance levels crash entirely. As a result, the complete and severe cycle of alcohol withdrawal symptoms starts taking place.     

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal treatment goes through many phases, with detox being the first stage. It helps an alcoholic addict to navigate the complex process of alcohol withdrawal treatment. In addition to this, there are inpatient and outpatient treatments in which the alcoholic requires to live in different environments to address the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In inpatient treatment, the person has to live at a facility for a specific period where he gets round-the-clock support and intensive therapies in groups and at individual levels to cope with the issues effectively. While in an outpatient, treatment includes getting therapy sessions at home. In addition, it helps the person to practice the lessons which are taught in the inpatient treatment process.  

Furthermore, the general assessments and evaluations of Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms cannot make out its effects and frequency. Physicians find it challenging to tell anything about it. People who experience mild symptoms can deal with the issues without going through any serious treatment process. Those experiencing severe problems must take inpatient treatment, including complete management and support at every level. In addition, there is cognitive behavioral therapy and participation with mutual groups, which are other post-detox resources. 

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Medications

There are certain medications also which are used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These medications help deal with certain complications and stop withdrawal reactions from taking a severe form. These medications help stabilize the nervous system, which strikes a balance between physical and mental responses and stimuli. Alcohol withdrawal also causes dehydration, so the patient is given fluids and electrolytes drinks to maintain a complete balance. A complete dietary chart is given to maintain a balanced food intake and mitigate the malnourishment effects on the body. 


Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms can cause severe physical and mental complications for an individual who has suffered an elongated alcohol use disorder. This symptom is common in people who are using excessive amounts of alcohol. But this symptom and the physical and mental disorder can be managed and resolved if the affected person follows a restricted schedule and takes the proper treatment. The severing effects can easily be diluted and leveled off if the appropriate guidance and support are taken from the professionals on time.  

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