Alcohol Recovery Timeline
As someone recovers from alcohol use disorder, there are going to be a lot of changes going on throughout the body and brain. How each person experiences these changes will depend on how severe their drinking problem was.
The beginning stages of alcohol recovery can be extremely difficult and it is not recommended that someone go through it alone. Physical withdrawals from alcohol can be life threatening, causing hallucinations, tremors, and seizures. Without medical professionals to monitor your health, these serious complications could lead to death. Emotional health is also very important to monitor in the early phases of alcohol recovery. Depression, mood swings, and intense cravings are just a few things that could lead a person back to drinking. Having supportive people around you to speak with is critical in getting through these powerful feelings.
To more easily understand the alcohol recovery timeline, we have broken down the process below into several different phases.
This is the first step in the recovery process for anyone who has just stopped using alcohol. Early withdrawal symptoms may come on as quickly as six hours after consuming the last drink. Some of these include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
This phase is one of the hardest parts of the alcohol recovery timeline. It’s also one of the most dangerous. Anyone looking to detox from alcohol should seek professional help for safety. Acute withdrawal can produce life-threatening symptoms including seizures and delirium tremens. Alcohol leads to one of the most dangerous withdrawal processes.
To fully rid the body of all alcohol and toxins it can take up to two weeks. After these two weeks things should be easier, but there are still several challenges to face. The psychological effects of not drinking begin to become more prevalent at this time. Some common symptoms during this phase include:
- Fatigue/Decreased energy
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Lack of sex drive
- Poor emotional regulation
- Inability to focus
- Chronic pain
- Cravings for alcohol
The symptoms will last anywhere from a few weeks, all the way up to an entire year, depending on how severe your alcohol dependence was.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”
– Robert Collier
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