It also discusses various treatment options for alcohol withdrawal and how you can get help. AWS is more common in adults, but children and teenagers who drink excessively may also experience the symptoms. You’re also at risk for AWS if you’ve previously had withdrawal symptoms or needed medical detox for a drinking problem. While you may be able to manage mild symptoms on your own or with the support of family and friends based on your doctor’s recommendations, more severe symptoms usually require medical treatment. Alcohol withdrawal is widespread among people with alcohol use disorders who decide to stop drinking or reduce their intake. Still, if you’re experiencing alcohol withdrawal, it’s essential to have your symptoms evaluated by a medical professional.

what are the stages of alcohol withdrawal

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last? Symptoms and Treatment

By this time, people are often beginning to feel better and notice more energy. “I feel great! A few cravings every day, but I tell myself how bad it was to detox cold turkey, and how good I feel now. I am actually getting things done in my life that I was putting off because I was always drunk.” Some nagging symptoms might linger, but the benefits far outweigh the negative after nine days. “The recent nine months’ sobriety [has] done great good for my body. That said, I hope never to forget how much damage I felt in four days of drink.” “Lightheaded, dizzy, no sleep, pale, weak, and it feels like electric shocks shoot through my body every so often. Crazy anxiety.” “Feeling better. Best night's sleep in some time. Weird dreams but not too nasty and scary. Feel a little weak, but I did avoid food for about four days. Very reflective still.”

Why Is Alcohol Addictive? Physical and Psychological Factors

If you are concerned about potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms, talk to your doctor. A doctor can evaluate your overall health and alcohol abuse history to help you determine how likely it is that you’ll experience symptoms. The prognosis often depends on the severity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Mortality is also greater in patients who progress to delirium tremens. Stage two starts after 24 hours have passed from the last time you took a drink of alcohol.

  • If a physician determines that you’re at risk for severe withdrawal, it’s important that you get the appropriate care so that you can be monitored and evaluated during your withdrawal.
  • Some long-term drinkers can also develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to brain damage.

Alcohol Withdrawal Stages and Severity

what are the stages of alcohol withdrawal

However, sleep disturbances, irritability, and fatigue may continue for months. If your home environment is not supportive for staying sober, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to connect you with shelter programs for people recovering from alcohol addiction.

  • Symptoms that have associations with this condition can be mild, severe, or in some cases, life threatening.
  • More studies are necessary to better understand this condition and how certain factors may affect the timeline and severity of symptoms.
  • If your doctor thinks you might be going through alcohol withdrawal, they'll ask you questions about your drinking history and how recently you stopped.
  • Alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), commonly known as delirium tremens (DT), is the most serious symptom of alcohol withdrawal.

Counseling in Alcoholism Treatment

  • If you consistently consume significant amounts of alcohol, your CNS gets used to this effect.
  • “The physical symptoms aren't so bad, but my mind seems to be trying to figure out how I can have just one drink. I have plans to get some yard work done, so that will keep me busy.”
  • Withdrawal symptoms are common for people with alcohol use disorder who stop drinking, but many respond well to treatment.
  • As your brain grows accustomed to higher blood alcohol concentration levels, it starts to rely on alcohol to function properly.
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS can cause a range of symptoms, from mild anxiety and fatigue to severe hallucinations and seizures. In extreme cases, it can be life threatening.
  • The purpose of this review is to increase the awareness of the early clinical manifestations of AWS and the appropriate identification and management of this important condition in a neurological setting.