Provide Support: Understanding the Different Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

Has your significant other been drinking alcohol almost every day for weeks, months, or even years at a time?

If so, their body and mind have likely built up a dependency on alcohol. As a result, they’re going to move through several stages of alcohol withdrawal if they ever try to give alcohol up.

The withdrawal symptoms that your loved one experiences may make it very difficult for them to stop drinking. They may also cause friction between the two of you. It’s why you should have some understanding of what’s to come when your loved one is quitting drinking.

Continue reading to get all the information you’ll need on the main stages of alcohol withdrawal.

Stage 1

It doesn’t take very long for the stages of alcohol withdrawal to start. In fact, most people will start to experience alcohol withdrawal just 8 hours after their last drink.

During the initial stage, which lasts for about a day or two, those who are cutting alcohol out of their life will often have to deal with:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain

But the good news is that many people are able to power through this stage since they’re feeling upbeat about giving drinking the boot. Still, you will need to offer up your support and prepare for what’s to come.

Stage 2

The second stage of alcohol withdrawal usually begins about 24 to 72 hours after a person has their last drink. It’s a lot more intense than the first stage.

During this stage, you can expect a person to suffer from:

  • High blood pressure
  • Unusual heart rate
  • A higher body temperature than normal

They may also feel a sense of confusion as they go about their day. This can be scary if you’re not ready for it, so be on the lookout for signs of confusion.

You may want to think about checking your loved one into a rehab facility at this point so that they can get the care they need.

Stage 3

The third stage of alcohol withdrawal is the worst one for most people, especially those people who have been drinking a lot for a long time. It’s the one that could force your loved one to seek medical attention if they’re not detoxing at a rehab facility.

During this stage, some people will experience:

This stage sometimes doesn’t start until up to four days after a person’s last drink. But it can be hard to manage and could even put a person’s health at risk if they’re not careful.

Stage 4

As long as a person doesn’t revert back to drinking, they’ll be able to move to the final stage of alcohol withdrawal. This is the stage when their physical withdrawal symptoms will start to go away. It takes place about five to seven days after their last drink.

It might seem like they’re out of the woods during this stage, but they’re far from it! Once they hit this point, it’ll be time for them to start making serious changes in the way they’re living so that they don’t return to drinking alcohol again.

It’ll also be time for them to start thinking about making amends with you in whatever ways they can. This might include going to couples relationship counseling during drug and alcohol rehab.

Counseling sessions will give both of you the tools you need to move forward in life rather than always looking back.

Staying Strong Through the Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

The stages of alcohol withdrawal mentioned here don’t last all that long in the grand scheme of things. But they can be difficult for both you and your significant other.

Stay strong and encourage your loved one to stay strong, too. If necessary, check them into a rehab facility so that they get the professional help they need to make changes that last.

Do you need help figuring out how to talk to your significant other about their drinking problem? Keep browsing our blog to get some tips on how to approach the subject.