What Do Drinking Withdrawal Symptoms Feel Like?

Unlike most addictive drugs, alcohol is widely and easily accessible to anyone aged 21 and over. Many people take alcohol frequently regardless of its adverse effects when taken in copious and uncontrolled amounts. According to statistics, two out of five Americans are fond of binge drinking, and it often results in alcoholism. Once you develop some dependency on alcohol, it takes a toll on you physically and mentally.

A significant number of alcoholics turn to professional addiction treatment in a bid to stop the dependency habit. When you suddenly stop feeding your body with alcohol, you start to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from mild to life-threatening, all dependent on the quantity of alcohol you take and the length of addiction. Here’s what to expect during the withdrawal period.

What is alcohol withdrawal syndrome?

After downing your last glass of alcohol, your body will crave more after a few hours as per your drinking habit. When you suddenly stop feeding your body what it wants the most, you will begin to experience the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. People who cut down the frequency and intake of alcohol significantly may also experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms manifest as a combination of emotional and physical symptoms ranging from mild, severe to life-threatening.

What are these symptoms like?

Drinking withdrawal symptoms may appear anywhere from six hours to twenty-four hours after putting down your last glass. In the most severe cases, the symptoms can occur as early as two to three hours after your last drink. Depending on the level of alcohol addiction, the symptoms become worse by the hours. Here’s an expected timeline of what to expect during alcohol withdrawal.

Six to twelve hours after alcohol intake

Also known as mild symptoms, they may include anxiety, headaches, sweating, shaky hands, nausea, insomnia, vomiting, and agitation. These symptoms are easily manageable and can be contained at home, although experts recommend medical monitoring during detox.

Twelve to twenty-four hours after alcohol intake

Here, you will experience more serious symptoms, such as hallucinations. Many people report seeing, hearing, and feeling things that aren’t even there. You may experience hand tremors, seizures, and disorientation during this period. Medical assistance and stabilization are critical once you begin showing these symptoms.

Forty-eight to seventy-two hours after alcohol intake

Drinking withdrawal symptoms tend to spike at around this time and are commonly referred to as delirium tremens (DT). Some people complain of persisting milder symptoms during this period. Delirium tremens symptoms are categorized as highly severe. According to experts, only about 5% of patients experience Delirium tremens symptoms. Those that experience these symptoms exhibit:

  • Confusion and hallucinations.
  • High fever.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Fast heartbeats.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Insomnia.

Due to the severity of these symptoms that show during delirium tremens, medics recommend intensive medical stabilization and monitoring in a hospital or detox setting. This increases your chances of escaping a relapse.

What’s the difference between alcohol withdrawal syndrome and a hangover?

Although commonly misunderstood, a hangover isn’t in any way a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. However, they may share some similarities, but they aren’t the same condition. There’s a thin line between a hangover and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. While a hangover occurs after you drink too much alcohol at one particular time, alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when you suddenly stop drinking after developing some dependency on it.

Both drinking withdrawal syndrome and hangovers share symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and nausea coming from the irritation of the stomach lining caused by alcohol intake. Nonetheless, while a hangover has a lot to physical symptoms, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are more of a mental symptom. The continued use of alcohol molds the central nervous system and brain to function in a particular way.

Does the feeling get better?

After about three to five days, drinking withdrawal symptoms tend to reduce. Some people may experience these symptoms for the next few weeks in mild measures. Professionals discourage detoxing at home as it may prove a challenge, predicting if you will develop life-threatening symptoms. It’s also important to note that the severity and persistence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms are impacted by the quantity of alcohol consumed, frequency of drinking, medical history, the length of time used in developing the habit, current health, and mental conditions.

The sooner you are committed to reversing this alcohol dependency habit, the higher your chances of recovering and not relapsing. Talk to us today at 833-762-3764 to get connected to a professional who will lead you through the entire journey to full recovery from alcohol addiction.