When it comes to substance abuse, it's important to understand the symptoms and the best way to approach quitting. The mission of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is to lead public health and service delivery initiatives that promote mental health, prevent substance abuse, and provide treatment and support to promote recovery, while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes. If you find yourself constantly reaching for an alcoholic beverage or feeling like you can't go a day without drinking, it's likely that you are facing an addiction. If your dependency isn't as severe, you may have a few more hours before acute withdrawal begins.If you're considering quitting drinking, these benefits may be just what you need to make the decision.
Anyone who has been binge drinking or is dependent should seek medical help and advice before stopping drinking, as the effects of being left without proper supervision can be dangerous or even life-threatening. While physical withdrawal symptoms are likely to worsen during the first few days and generally improve within a couple of weeks, emotional problems may persist for longer. Quitting alcohol when you have an addiction will cause one of the most difficult forms of withdrawal.If you're ready to give up alcohol for good, here's a timeline of what you can expect with respect to your mental and physical health when you stop drinking. So if you're thinking about quitting drinking or are still in an early phase of recovery, here's what to expect from the full process of alcohol withdrawal.
Day 1: The First StepThe first day is always the hardest.
You'll likely experience physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, sweating, shaking, and insomnia. You may also experience emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings. It's important to remember that these symptoms are temporary and will pass with time.
Days 2-3: The PeakThe peak of withdrawal usually occurs between days two and three. During this time, physical symptoms may worsen and become more intense.
You may also experience more intense emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. It's important to remember that these symptoms will pass with time.
Days 4-7: The PlateauDuring this time period, physical symptoms will begin to subside but emotional symptoms may still be present. You may still experience cravings for alcohol but they should become less intense as time passes. It's important to remember that these symptoms will pass with time.
Days 8-14: The RecoveryBy this point in the process, physical symptoms should have subsided significantly.
You may still experience some cravings for alcohol but they should be much less intense than before. Emotional symptoms such as depression and anxiety may still be present but should be much less intense than before.