Once you have decided to begin your journey to recovery, you’ll need to end your dependence on alcohol. The best way to do that is through detox. Detox will kick start your alcohol withdrawal and the related symptoms. Learn what to expect from withdrawal and how to proceed once the symptoms are gone.

Withdrawal Timeline: What to Expect

woman with headache goes through alcohol withdrawalWhile many people are concerned about withdrawal symptoms, it’s also important to get familiar with the timeline. When you detox from alcohol, you can expect withdrawal to happen in three distinct stages. The first stage of a withdrawal from alcohol begins just six or eight hours after you consume your last drink. This is when the initial mild symptoms appear. Most people are still able to function fine during this stage, although cravings may be strong. The second stage of withdrawal begins around 24 hours after the last drink of alcohol. This is when many withdrawal symptoms intensify. Medical professionals recommend that all individuals undergoing withdrawal are safely under medical supervision by this stage of the detox. The third and final stage of withdrawal is the peak or climax of symptoms. This happens around 72 hours into the detox and is the toughest part of withdrawal. Fortunately, symptoms taper off after this peak and rapidly improve from then on.

Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

There are a number of physical symptoms a withdrawal from alcohol can cause. Some of these symptoms are relatively harmless but uncomfortable, while others can be severe. Gastrointestinal distress is a normal part of withdrawal. Many patients experience nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. It’s also normal to lose your appetite for much of the detox process. During alcohol withdrawal, blood pressure and heart rate can rise rapidly. Patients may also experience rapidly fluctuating temperatures. It can feel similar to a case of the flu, but high fevers will need monitoring and treatment. Temperature issues and vomiting can cause dehydration, which may also require treatment.

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal

Some of the most worrying symptoms of withdrawal are not physical at all. Withdrawal can disrupt mental health and emotional stability as well. Anyone with an existing mental illness, whether that’s anxiety or schizophrenia, may see an uptick in symptoms during detox. Some patients also experience temporary depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts during withdrawal. It’s important for these patients to have access to emergency care and counseling throughout the recovery process.

What’s Next? What to Do After Detox is Complete

To truly fight back against alcohol addiction, detox alone won’t be enough. Once the withdrawal symptoms are gone, patients can transition to rehab. At Soledad House, women can expect treatments such as:
  • Outpatient Rehab Treatment
  • Extended Care
  • Sober Living Program
  • Aftercare Program
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Relapse Prevention Education
  • Exercise Therapy
Alcohol withdrawal is a critical part of overcoming addiction, but it’s not the full treatment plan. At Soledad House in San Diego, California, women can expect a wide range of treatment methods and comprehensive care. Call 866-314-3222 to take the next step toward health, happiness and lifelong fulfillment.