How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

If you have a history of alcohol consumption and suddenly stop drinking, you will probably experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, ranging from headaches and anxiety to life-threatening conditions such as seizures.

HOW LONG WILL I EXPERIENCE ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?

Withdrawal symptoms typically begin 6–8 hours after the last drink and often peak about 24–28 hours, but they may last for days or weeks. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on personal factors, including

  • The duration and severity of alcohol abuse
  • The number of past attempts to detox

Heavy drinkers may experience what is called protracted withdrawal syndrome and may still feel mild withdrawal symptoms for months after detox. Signs and symptoms include

  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Cravings to drink

This is why individuals with a history of heavy drinking are strongly recommended to attend a rehabilitation program after detox. The physical symptoms of withdrawal can persist for weeks after they have “gotten clean,” and the psychological cravings may last for even longer. Unless the underlying issues of addiction are explored, your are at a constant risk for relapse.