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What Are the Stages of Withdrawal?

a person holds their head and a glass of water possibly wondering What are the stages of withdrawal

Millions of Americans are affected by substance use disorders each year. Getting clean is the best way to address this national health concern, but there are significant barriers to choosing sobriety. The severity and scope of withdrawal symptoms can be a significant roadblock to a person choosing to quit. However, choosing to enter recovery is always better than continuing to be addicted. The key is to get through alcohol withdrawal safely and comfortably, then the real work of healing can begin.

Entering an alcohol detox and rehab program is the best choice for most people, regardless of how long they’ve been drinking alcohol. If you have been struggling with alcohol addiction, an addiction treatment center will have the resources and expertise to guide you through withdrawal. The Northpoint Colorado treatment center in Loveland, Colorado, offers a comprehensive alcohol detox and rehab program. If you’re interested in learning more, call us at 970.579.4569 today.

What Are the Four Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms often present in four distinct stages. However, not all people will experience all stages when they go through withdrawal. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary drastically from one person to the next. What is known is that several factors can affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms:

  • A person’s age
  • Length of time using alcohol
  • How much alcohol a person uses
  • Underlying physical or mental health conditions
  • Other substance use disorders at the same time

Generally, heavy drinkers will experience more intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Stage One – Minor Withdrawal Symptoms

Minor alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically appear six to 12 hours after taking your last drink. However, some people report that they experienced these symptoms as soon as two hours after their last drink. These withdrawal symptoms are generally light and not dangerous, but they may still be uncomfortable. Symptoms at this stage may include:

  • Tremors of the hands or extremities
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia

Stage Two – Major Withdrawal Symptoms

Major alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to appear between 10 to 72 hours after taking your last drink. These symptoms are much more distressing than minor alcohol withdrawal symptoms and can affect a person’s ability to function normally. Symptoms at this stage may include:

  • Visual hallucinations
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Whole-body tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Elevated blood pressure

Stage Three – Withdrawal Seizure Symptoms

Withdrawal seizure symptoms can appear six to 48 hours after a person’s last use of alcohol. Few people reach this stage of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but those who have gone through detox before are at increased risk of experiencing seizure symptoms. Withdrawal seizures are a serious medical concern and may indicate that a person is more likely to experience stage four alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Stage Four – Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is a severe and potentially life-threatening stage of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can usually manifest between 48 to 96 hours after a person’s last use of alcohol. Monitoring for delirium tremens is one of the main benefits of professional alcohol detox and rehab. It is vital to administer medical treatment as soon as possible for patients that experience this stage of alcohol withdrawal.

Begin Alcohol Detox and Rehab at Northpoint Colorado

Starting on the road to recovery can be an intimidating first step, especially if you know that going through detox and withdrawal symptoms is a necessary part of the journey. However, getting professional help at our alcohol detox and rehab program at Northpoint Colorado can make the experience much safer and more comfortable.

Our range of inpatient treatment options allows us to support your journey to recovery without disrupting your life. Getting treatment for alcohol addiction is always the right choice. You can learn more about our treatment options by calling us at 970.579.4569.