Symptoms, Risks, and
B L O G | H A V E N H O U S E R E C O V E R Y C E N T E R
Part of alcohol addiction treatment is
detox, which is a process of removing
traces of a toxic substance in the body.
Every time one drinks alcohol, it goes
directly to the liver.
Unfortunately, for patients who drink
more often, the liver never truly clears
the body of alcohol because there’s
always more coming.
Detox happens over time, and as the
levels of alcohol become progressively
lower, alcohol withdrawal symptoms
may start to appear.
The detox and withdrawal process
can be dangerous to a person’s health
if not done correctly, hence why this
requires the help of a medical
It’s important, though, to remember
that the patient must not stop
drinking abruptly, especially if they
are a heavy drinker.
Once the liver metabolizes ethanol
and finishes distributing it
throughout the body, alcohol
withdrawal symptoms will start to
How Long Does Alcohol
Though this may vary from one
patient to another, most will follow
Alcohol withdrawal starts 6-8 hours
after the patient takes his or her last
There will be minor physical alcohol
withdrawal symptoms, such mood
changes. Other common symptoms
include headaches, nausea, vomiting,
loss of appetite, depression, and
Moderate symptoms start to appear
1-2 days after the last drink. These are
more dangerous and may affect vital
Common symptoms during this
alcohol withdrawal time frame
include high blood pressure, fever,
difficulty breathing, tachycardia,
sweating, irritability, and confusion.
Severe symptoms appear within the
first 3 days of detoxification. Seizures
and delirium tremens (D.T.s) are quite
common. Both can show up without a
warning and are fatal.
In fact, approximately 3-5% of
patients in alcohol withdrawal
experience D.T.s, and this is
considered to be the most severe