Rehab 4 Addiction

How long does alcohol withdrawal last, this probably depends on how desensitised the receptors in your brain have become, resulting in a slight or heavy dependence.

Once you have built up a certain level of tolerance and physical dependence it is important not to stop drinking suddenly, as a fast withdrawal can result in unpleasant and dangerous symptoms. Really severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are known as delirium tremens (DTs).

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, and a rapid withdrawal from alcohol leads to stimulation of the CNS.

Importance of Assisted Detoxification for Alcohol

When you undergo detoxification it involves ridding your body of alcohol while managing the dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you try to detox at home without medical intervention it will be potentially lethal, and some physical symptoms are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pains and Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue and Fever
  • Vivid Dreams
  • Shivering
  • Decreased appetite

Psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Mood swings, Depression
  • Anxiety and Insomnia
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Craving for alcohol.

Everyone going through withdrawal will have a slightly different experience. The severity of the withdrawal will depend on your personal history and your general health.

The duration of the symptoms will vary, and symptoms begin within 8 hours of your last drink and are usually worst during the first 48 hours, and then will start to improve, as your body adjusts, the process will take 3-7 days.

How Alcohol Withdrawal is Treated

When you attend a Detox Center the withdrawal from alcohol is medically managed, and during this process, all traces of alcohol are removed from your body.

The Medical Center staff are able to prescribe and offer interventions to help to manage the symptoms of withdrawal and will assist you in reaching a lasting recovery.

After you are free of alcohol toxicity you will be able to move to the next stage of recovery where you develop skills and ideas that will assist you to live a more healthy productive life.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

Once you have passed through the post-acute withdrawal phase, you will feel better physically, but your brain chemistry is still adjusting, and this stage can last for two years, during this time you are still at risk of relapse.

To receive the support that you need it is recommended that you follow-up detoxification with an addiction treatment programme. This will further equip you to avoid drinking in the future. A lot of this therapy is group therapy, addressing the sources of addictive behaviour.

Steps in Confronting Alcohol Addiction

  • The first step is to admit that you have a problem and drinking is having a negative effect on your life
  • Cutting back on alcohol usually won’t work in the long term
  • See your GP or Doctor and ask them about treatment options
  • Talk to your family, you are going to need support
  • If you can financially afford Detox, it is the best option

Alcohol use disorder is considered a brain disorder, as alcohol acts on the receptors in the brain and sets up a craving for more alcohol.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last, Treatments Used in Rehab

  • Research-based treatments are used
  • A multidisciplinary team of addiction specialists is on hand to guide and monitor your treatment
  • High staff to patient ratios in Detox and Rehabilitation centres
  • The team provides high quality and compassionate care to adults struggling with addiction
  • Treatments provided are evidence-based and provided by fully trained staff

Alcoholism can strike people of any age, and it sometimes starts when the person is a teenager resulting in years of battling with addiction.

A study by Columbia University indicates a study of young drinkers accounts for 11.4% of all alcohol consumed in the USA. Unfortunately, the age of commencing drinking is getting younger.

Often this is when alcoholism starts, and impairment from alcohol affects many young people. So if drinking is causing a problem in your life or various ongoing problems, it is time to do something about it.

Alcohol Dependence and alcohol abuse are strongly linked to mental health disorders. Drinking can start in the social setting, and in some people progress to stages where alcoholism develops.

This usually happens in stages:

  1. Early Stage Alcoholism: Where the person starts to experience some negative consequences of their alcohol use. Hangovers, violence, or maybe blackouts. They tend to drink more to achieve the same effect as alcohol.
  2. Middle Stage: This is a stage where their life often becomes chaotic, and we all know people that this has happened to, they tend to lose control. By now they are drinking more and more and starting earlier in the day. At this stage, they may experience anxiety and depression.
  3. End-Stage: When the person reaches this stage, they no longer have control over their lives, often experiencing job losses, divorce, and other relationship breakdowns. At this stage, they have to drink as they are so dependent on the alcohol that if they don’t drink they experience side effects

So, we have established that there are three stages in alcoholism. Early, Chronic, and End-Stage, so it is better to recognise the problem early when you have the best chances of being treated and made well again.

People who experience alcohol abuse come from all walks of life, and no two experiences are the same. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are highly educated or haven’t moved past primary school, it seems to be a disorder or disease that can affect anyone.

We have a short quiz that you can take to see if alcoholism affects you, and this is a good idea as the results are totally private.


If you feel that your drinking is getting out of control, the good news is that there is so much help available. The best help is linked to good education programmes that help you fully understand addiction and how to live with and control it in the future, leading you to a better and healthier life.  Contact us if you require advice about booking into a detox clinic in the UK.


Boris is our editor-in-chief at Rehab 4 Addiction. Boris is an addiction expert with more than 20 years in the field.  His expertise covers a broad of topics relating to addiction, rehab and recovery. Boris is an addiction therapist and assists in the alcohol detox and rehab process. Boris has been featured on a variety of websites, including the BBC, Verywell Mind and Healthline.