What Is the Timeline for Alcohol Withdrawal? | Detox and

Stage 3: 24-48 Hours Post Drinking.



Shakes – As mentioned, when the brain begins to function on overdrive without the depressant effects of alcohol to counterbalance this hyperactivity, the brain has trouble working normally causing malfunctions in nerve cell activity, leading to shakes and tremors.


Four Phases Of Alcohol Withdrawal.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? Timeline and More

In most cases, alcohol detox takes a week for the alcohol to exit the body entirely, but as mentioned above, withdrawal is different for everyone. There are some who get through it without any issues, and there are others who feel the ripple effects for months after.

Extreme Sweating – The body begins to overheat when alcohol is no longer in the system. Sweating is your body’s attempt to cool down and protect the organs. Sweating through your sheets is expected, which is why keeping fluid levels high is so important to the doctors who are monitoring the process.

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Headaches – Typically caused by dehydration and loss of body fluid. Insomnia – Alcohol tends to alter the way a person sleeps, skipping the initial phases of sleep and dropping straight to REM it helps someone fall asleep, but doesn’t produce healthy sleep. In this stage, the mind may want to sleep, but be incapable, either from restlessness or other symptoms.




Eventually, the CNS adapts to the alcohol’s presence, and it becomes it’s new normal. The body works on overdrive to fight the depressant effect of the alcohol and to keep neurotransmitters firing clearly. When alcohol suddenly is no longer present, the brain basically overheats causing symptoms of withdrawal to set in.


Symptoms of stage one begin setting in roughly at hour six, which is why many alcoholics have to start drinking the moment they wake up. Since the symptoms are so severe, many wrongly assume that the first stage is the most dangerous, but in reality, that is the third phase. Stage 1 symptoms include, but are not limited to: