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Alcohol withdrawal refers to the set of symptoms you could experience if you suffer from alcohol dependence and suddenly reduce or stop drinking. Withdrawing from alcohol can be dangerous and life-threatening — especially for those who have been drinking heavily for a long period of time. Alcohol withdrawal can be safely treated at drug rehab using alcohol detox, which helps you stop drinking with a reduced risk for serious complications.

Why Can Alcohol Withdrawal Be Dangerous?

Alcohol acts on brain neurotransmitters that play a role in numerous bodily functions such as sleep, memory, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and many more. As you start drinking higher amounts of alcohol and become physically dependent, the brain and body come to rely on alcohol to carry out these functions. When you suddenly stop drinking after becoming dependent, the body can react violently and lead to life-threatening complications including seizures, significant illness, and death.

What are Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 8 hours of the last drink. Symptoms can range in severity based on how long you’ve been drinking, the amount you’ve been drinking, and the status of your overall health.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fever.
  • Tremors.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Fatigue.
  • Mood swings and irritability.
  • Nightmares.
  • Insomnia.
  • Agitation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Severe confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Seizures.

What Happens During Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox helps you safely withdraw from alcohol and minimizes your symptoms so you face a reduced risk for complications like seizures. Most alcohol and drug detox treatments take place at an inpatient drug rehab center where recovery is overseen by trained medical staff around the clock. Medications may be used to treat certain symptoms and to reduce alcohol cravings so you can work toward achieving long-term abstinence.

In most instances, patients going through alcohol detox are treated in quiet rooms with low lighting and minimal stimulation to offer the most comfortable recovery possible. Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 24 to 72 hours, but may last longer for some individuals. On average, alcohol withdrawal lasts between 2 and 10 days.

What Happens After Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol detox only treats physical dependence on alcohol — meaning other therapies are often needed to help you recover from the effects of addiction. After alcohol detox, many patients transition to alcohol rehab programs to receive counseling, behavioral therapy, support group therapy, and many other evidence-based treatments that address the root causes of addiction. Dual diagnosis therapy is also available for those who suffer lingering symptoms of anxiety and depression after quitting drinking.

Alcohol rehab programs can take place in outpatient or inpatient settings, though inpatient rehab is recommended for those recovering from a long-term addiction. Inpatient rehab offers nutrition therapy to help patients strengthen their immune systems, along with recreational therapies like hiking and yoga that improve endurance and overall health.

Addiction Recovery Centers offer medical detox and a range of drug rehab programs that can be individualized to help each and every patient recover from alcohol and drug use disorders. Call us today at 855-910-5918 to begin the treatment process.