The Stages and Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

Familiarize yourself with the side effects of alcohol withdrawal so that you can prepare yourself or a loved one for the first phase of alcohol addiction recovery. It’s also possible that you can identify these side effects in yourself or in someone who has begun recovery on their own—in which case, it’s essential that you contact immediately. Alcohol withdrawal is a necessary but sometimes dangerous part of recovery. Let the placement counselors match you or your loved one with effective and safe treatment as soon as possible.

The Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

There are two primary stages of alcohol withdrawal, although every addict experiences these stages just a bit differently. Some professionals refer to these stages as “acute alcohol withdrawal” and “post acute alcohol withdrawal.”

Acute alcohol withdrawal: The first two weeks after an addict stops drinking. This stage may begin immediately after they stop drinking or may not start for up to two days. During this time, the alcoholic experiences the bulk of their physical symptoms and are at the greatest risk for dangerous complications of recovery.

Post acute alcohol withdrawal: Follows acute withdrawal. Lasts between six months and two years total. The alcoholic experiences fewer physical withdrawal effects of alcohol and more emotional ones. The longer an alcoholic struggled with addiction prior to quitting and the more an alcoholic drank on a regular basis, the longer this second stage is bound to last. An alcoholic’s other health complications can lengthen the duration of the second stage as well.

Whenever an alcoholic relapses and drinks again, it’s possible that the entire cycle will start over again. That’s why it’s so important that an alcoholic or their loved ones contact in order to arrange effective professional treatment.

The Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

Not all addicts experience the same effects of alcohol withdrawal. Nevertheless, knowing the common ones can help prepare you or your loved one. The physical side effects from alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Body tremors
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty keeping balance

The less physical side effects of withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to keep regular sleeping cycle
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Slight loss of memory

Through all stages of withdrawal, but especially early on in the process, the alcoholic may suffer from cravings. They may even feel temporary relief of symptoms if they give in to cravings and drink again. However, relapses will only make it more difficult to completely remove addiction from the body. And alcoholism causes damage to the body far worse than the uncomfortable side effects of withdrawal.

Getting Through Withdrawal Effects of Alcohol

Before getting overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with the side effects of alcohol withdrawal or seeing your loved one deal with them, contact Our expert referral counselors know how to analyze an individual addict’s recovery needs and find that ideal program for their recovery. Safe, supervised recovery is the best way to deal with withdrawal—and we can make sure you or your loved one gets it as soon as possible.

Call us now by dialing 855-473-4227. We can also contact you first if you prefer. Just complete our “request a call back” form at our website.


Additional Resources: