A Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

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Symptoms of withdrawal experienced during active alcohol abuse will be similar to those experienced once use has stopped completely. During active alcoholism, symptoms of withdrawal can begin in as little as 8 hours after the last drink. Within the common workday’s amount of time, the body begins to go into a full alert system of panic and withdrawal. Both psychological and physiological symptoms will begin to develop. In early stages of alcoholism, active withdrawal symptoms might be as subtle as sweating, shaking, nausea, headache, and an urge to take a drink. As alcoholism progresses, these immediate signs of withdrawal after the last drink increase in intensity. More complex psychological symptoms will come into play like anxiety, panic, and more severe cravings for alcohol. Vomiting, fever, and sickness can develop in the short window after use, leading to a greater desire to consume more alcohol. Desperate to avoid worsening withdrawal symptoms, it is not uncommon for men with alcohol addiction to take another drink, thus perpetuating the cycle.


Initial Detox

The peak of alcohol withdrawals occurs within the first three days of the detox experience. After 12-24 hours without alcohol, the body and the brain become innately aware of the potential that alcohol will not be returning to the body. Simultaneously, the body begins to fight against alcohol, working hard to detox, and fight for alcohol, creating symptoms of craving. Moderate symptoms of the initial detox stage can be the extent of men’s experience in alcohol withdrawal. Occurring within the first three days, these symptoms can last for up to ten days. Ongoing, the experience of PAWS, Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can bring up similar symptoms. At benchmarks of 30, 60, 90, days, 6 months, and up to 18 months, moderate symptoms can be recurring, including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sudden raise in body temperature
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Irritability
  • Changes in mood
  • High levels of stress
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings


Severe Detox

Delirium Tremens is the most advanced stage of alcohol withdrawal and the most dangerous. Only a small estimate of people, about 3-5%, going through alcohol withdrawal will experience delirium tremens. Characterized by hallucinations, men experiencing “DT’s” can see things, hear things, and feel things physically which are not there. Heightened agitation and irritability is common along with a dangerously high heart rate. Seizure and heart failure can occur without proper treatment.


Tree House Recovery offers men freedom from addiction to drugs and alcohol. By creating sustainable change, we are giving men a new way of life. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs and options for care in Portland, Oregon: (503) 850-2474

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