Tag Archives: alcohol detox

Q&A — How long does alcohol detox last, and what can I do to relieve the symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal without medical help can, and frequently does, result in some or all of the following complications:

  • extreme anxiety
  • disorientation
  • hallucinations
  • sleep disorders
  • hand tremors
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • seizures
  • blood pressure spikes
  • and racing pulse.

Delirium tremens (DTs) — physical and visual hallucinations accompanied by terror reactions may also occur. In the worst cases, untreated alcohol withdrawal syndrome can result in death related to high blood pressure (stroke) and seizures.

Because of the possibility of severe medical consequences, along with the fact that they can turn up unexpectedly at any time during detox (even in people who have self-detoxed without incident before), self-detox for alcohol and similar-acting drugs such as benzodiazepines is not recommended.

To answer your question more directly, acute withdrawal onset is usually between 8 and 20 hours after you stop drinking, and can last for up to five days. There is really nothing you can do unless you have access to certain drugs. Even then, it is dangerous if not medically monitored.

I suggest you investigate the resources in your area to learn what facilities are available to you for a medically-conducted detox.  Your local mental health association or society would be a useful place to start.