Alcohol Withdrawal Duration & Timeline: Statistics, Risks & Health Complications

Your brain eventually stops producing certain chemicals that it receives from alcohol, becoming dependent on the drug. That’s why when you quit drinking, it takes time for your body to adjust. This is what causes withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, irregular heartbeat and hallucinations.

how long does it take to detox from alcohol

Alcohol stays in your system for varying amounts of time based on your body weight, metabolism and how many drinks you’ve had. Once you stop drinking, you can expect to experience certain symptoms, especially if you are a chronic drinker. Just like a broken bone or infection needs time to heal, so does an overworked liver. While this depends on the amount of alcohol you have had over the years, your liver can see partial healing within two to three weeks, but this will depend on your health history. “Nutrition optimization is actually the most evidence-based and most important intervention aside from stopping drinking,” points out Dr. Lindenmeyer. This is because, for a lot of people who experience some kind of liver dysfunction, it makes them at risk of not getting enough proteins, calories or vitamins.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Although delirium tremens is unlikely, roughly 30% of those who get it will also develop Aspiration Pneumonia. A medically-assisted withdrawal helps prevent serious complications, keeps track of a patient’s health condition, and relieves any painful effects. Withdrawal symptoms can begin to surface in as early as two hours after your last drink.

Is 3 days without alcohol enough?

Even if you only have one or two drinks a day, your liver can't cope and can't repair itself, but you don't have to become a 'tea-totaller' to fix it. Your liver needs at least 48 hours without alcohol to repair itself. Cutting back your daily intake won't help your liver.

If necessary, they can also provide support and guidance during the detox process, which can be challenging and difficult. These include how long you have been drinking, how much you drink, what you drink, and if you also abuse other drugs. Tonic-clonic seizures are common in cases of severe alcohol withdrawal, sober house and they cause both stiffening and jerking or twitching phases of muscle movement. This type of seizure can cause abnormal sensations, nausea, vertigo, loss of consciousness and impaired breathing. While a person goes through alcohol detox, they can develop several symptoms of withdrawal.

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Receiving additional treatment outside of detoxing, such as inpatient or outpatient treatment, is important if you want the best chance of recovery. During treatment, you will learn more skills that can help you manage future situations that may arise. If you experience hallucinations or a seizure, it’s crucial that you call 911 or go to the nearest ER, as these can be life-threatening.

  • Detoxing from home can be risky, especially if dangerous symptoms like delirium tremens develop.
  • “For patients who are left with cirrhosis after severe injury to the liver from alcohol, even one drink of alcohol is toxic to the liver,” cautions Dr. Lindenmeyer.
  • The start of alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be longer and less obvious in these situations.
  • Extended symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances and mood changes, can last for months.