When you decide to stop drinking for good, you’re in for a lot more than a bad hangover. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be painful and dangerous. Each individual’s alcohol detox timeline depends on their usage and body composition.
But this timeline is what you generally can expect.
Phase One: 6 to 12 Hours After the Last Drink
If you’re a heavy drinker, you’ve probably already been through this phase before. Six to twelve hours after their last drink, heavy alcohol users can experience nausea, a headache, and anxiety. There even may be some sweating or body aches.
Phase Two: Twelve Hours to Two Days After the Last Drink
After twelve hours, the symptoms begin to escalate. This is when alcohol detox can become dangerous, if not medically managed. You may experience an irregular heartbeat, racing pulse, or even seizure or heart attack. For heavy users, it’s best to enter a medically managed detox to make it through this phase alive.
Phase Three: Three to Four Days After the Last Drink
The effects of alcohol detox become worst three to four days after your last drink. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms during this stage can include blood pressure spikes and even death. More minor symptoms during this period include hallucinations, fever, heavy sweating, and insomnia.
Phase Four: Days Five Through Seven
After day four, alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. Still, this is one of the most crucial stages of alcohol detox – the time when you can begin to address the underlying issues that may have caused you to drink in the first place. With a clear mind and clean body, you might decide to enter residential treatment to build a recovery that lasts.