Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal syndrome, also known as the discontinuation syndrome, occurs as a result of the dependence on a particular substance. The individual suffers from a withdrawal syndrome when he abruptly withdraws from or cuts off a significant dosage of the drug he is addicted to. Tolerance and withdrawal both show symptoms that signify the physical dependence on a drug.
The term tolerance indicates the idea that the amount of drug intake should be increased, or the drug or alcohol needs to be taken more often than it was taken previously. Without this increase in the dosage or the number of times, the same results cannot be achieved that were once reached by a lower dosage. Development of tolerance causes an individual to increase the amount of drug or alcohol significantly with time. This increased amount of intake can harm an individual physically who has not yet developed tolerance.
When taken over an extended period of time, the human body adjusts to the presence of a drug or alcohol, but when the level of drug decreases below the required amount, the balance within the system is lost. The loss of a sense of balance results in physical symptoms that are not pleasurable.
Alcohol withdrawal proceeds in a way that is more serious as compared to withdrawal from other drugs. This is because of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. When a chronic abuser of alcohol abruptly ceases intake, he has to face a number of situations that are potentially hazardous for him.
Alcohol withdrawal has three stages:
- The first stage begins after 8 hours of the previous drink. It is characterized by anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and abdominal pain.
- The second stage begins within 24-72 hours after the last drink. It is characterized by high blood pressure, increased body temperature, unusual heart rate and confusion.
- The third stage begins 72+ hours after drinking. The symptoms include hallucinations, fever, seizures and agitation.
All of these symptoms decrease within 5-7 days.
There are multiple factors involved in the withdrawal from any drug or alcohol, or e liquid. There is a defined overall general pattern of alcohol withdrawal but individuals may experience variations depending upon their own system. The intensity of the symptoms and the duration of withdrawal also vary depending on several factors. The factors are mentioned as under:
- The length and the amount of alcohol that the individual used before he stopped the alcohol abuse. Those who used to take large amounts of alcohol regularly for long durations are most likely to experience symptoms that are intense and long lasting.
- The method of discontinuation is another determining factor. Cutting off the use of alcohol immediately results in severe symptoms that can be long lasting. On the other hand, cutting down the usage slowly and reducing drinking over a period of time will not result in an intense withdrawal. The mentioned method is effective only with close medical supervision without which it can be extremely hazardous. Therefore, individuals who reach for medical assistance are more likely to undergo symptoms that are not intense enough.
- Physiology and psychology of an individual also play a major role in the intensity and length of the withdrawal syndrome because of alcohol.
Remember, excessive amounts of alcohol consumed and binge drinking is considered hazardous. The person may also get in trouble if they are arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol. It is advised to contact an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney if you or someone you know is facing charges for driving under the influence.