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Old 11-13-2007, 07:59 PM   #1 (permalink)

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How long do the alcohol withdrawal symptoms last?

My AH quit drinking about 3 weeks ago and he's doing really great except sometimes he has a little anxiety, which he's never had before in his life so we know it's related to the alcohol withdrawal.
Also the doctor has him taking some vitamin supplements for now - folate or folic acid and vitamin B-1.
If you know, can you tell me, how long does it take before the effects of alcohol are out of a person's system? A month? Longer? Is everyone different?
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)

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I can't answer your question but I wanted to wish you and your AH the best.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey there Grandma

The effects of the alcohol will remain as long as it takes to get the last drop out thru the liver. How fast the liver can do it's job depends on how much damage was done to it by the drinking. If you are concerned that he is not "clearing up" you need to call your doctor directly. The doctor can look at the blood test results and determine when your husband should be back to normal.

What about _you_, grandma? While your husband is taking his vitamins and following doctors orders, what are you doing for your own health? Have you made it to any al-anon meets yet?

Sunsets are not endings. If I have enough faith, they are beginnings.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:25 PM   #4 (permalink)

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Thanks for asking about me...I'm doing great. No, I have not gone to any al-anon meetings. Having my husband quit drinking has lifted a great weight off of me. It's been a roller coaster but he's getting better all the time...I guess he's "clearing up" - I never heard that term before...?? I have no idea how long it takes a person to clear up...?? I know he's feeling better, just having some anxiety, like at night sometimes. Not always.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:05 AM   #5 (permalink)

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The longest my DH has been sober during our 15 year marriage is one year. He routinely goes 6 months or so.

His anxiety is out of control the entire time he's not drinking every time he quits, even though he's on meds and sees his doctor regularly. He says that when he's sober he can't stay out of his own head. This is a horrible thing for me to say (and I would never say it to him) but there have been times during his sobriety when I've thought, "the drinking is so much easier to deal with than the anxiety."
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would agree with ichabod. My AH has huge anxiety issues when he is not drinking. This time for a few months. Not only anxiety but sugar cravings. I too have thought that the drinking is easier to deal with than the anxiety.

I would also say that his thinking and decision-making is still very distorted when he is not drinking. I believe that this is due to the long-term effects that the alcohol has had on his brain and body.
peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (unknown)
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:01 PM   #7 (permalink)

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i honestly dont know the answer either. but good luck.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:30 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Dang, I'm sorry I asked!! I had no idea the anxiety could be caused by permanent damage. I don't want to live with's awful. I would like to use a curse word here because it's the only thing I can think of!! (but I won't)
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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for me drinking was just a simptom of my problem. It took AA and working the program for me to make progress.
It works if you work it
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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For the anxiety I would try lots of carb snacks they release serotonin, to help with relaxation. As a nurse I was amazed how many people are truly dehydrated and don't even realize it. I would shoot for drinking as much water as he can tolerate. That will help to flush out his organs. He may need a med. to help with his symptoms. Many people drink to self medicate for depression or anxiety. Just try to keep focusing on u and keep yourself centered. Relapse is common, my husband got to 4 weeks, than 6 weeks only to go back to it. I hope for u both that this is it for him. The Dr. is your best bet to help him get through this. Take care of U and remember one day at a time.

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Old 11-18-2007, 04:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The anxiety neednt be withdrawal related so much as, living without alcohol related.

I am over 4 months sober and I still have extreme mood swings and anxiety attacks. Its getting better with time.

There is an article posted in 'Alcoholism' by Rowan that states at 90 days the effects of alcohol are gone from the brain.
As from a fire aflame thousands of sparks come forth,
even so from the Creator an infinity of beings have life and to him return again.
-- Maitri Upanishads
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #12 (permalink)

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aGrandma: How long to beat anxiety? Read and be free! LOL


This is a bit long, but hang in there, read it and "take what you need and leave the rest"?

Hello, my name is DiMedici and I'm and alcoholic.

I have a desire to stop drinking, which is the only requirement for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous according to Tradition 3 - no one can take that away, except me.

That said, and the 90 meeting in 90 days, get a sponsor - or at least start talking to people about it and how they do it, get their numbers and actually call someone daily until there is a daily sponsor for the first year.

Suggestions all, but very important to my success. I did what they told me and I'm here now to help!

When my first 90 meetings in the first 90 days with the daily call, talk and meet sponsor that I found after 3 months - 90 days - was finished, he asked me what I was going to do next. I told him I was going to take a vacation - kidding. He was about to fall out of his chair thinking I was planning to drink.

Once we got it that it was a joke - and we are funny in AA sometimes - he asked me again. I asked him what I should do. He told me to do another one. To this I replied, actually I'm going to do a 90 and 90 or 180 and 90 and not a 360 in 90! And we all laughed - there were some listeners around by then, we had such a good time that we drew people in.

Someone told me to give the program 1 full year before making any decision regarding being an alcoholic. It turns out that there are people who relapse all the time, and they take those who struggle at certain points with them.

It is common to have a hard time at regular intervals. The only way to beat that cycle and get to the next one is to call people, attend meetings and talk about it, ask questions, read the big book, actually work the steps with a sponsor...

Once we beat the 90 days sober target we shoot for 6 months, then 9 months and then 1 year and multiple years of sobriety. Once we have a year sober we may continue to experience difficulty at certain times of the year - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, 3-6-9 months periods and at the year! Often people comment regarding multiple years that their hardest year was the year that you say you are in now and everyone gets it real good. Honestly, this can all be true.

We suffer from alcoholism and a host of other outside issues irritate that. It is best to seek medical help to quiet the mind, but in my experience, a good sponsor who walks you through 90 and 90s and the steps and takes late night calls is your best bet.

Additionally, any family member who does not go to Al Anon to understand their role in the tangle is likely a great point of frustration for the alcoholic. Don't kid yourself Al Anon's, you too need a 90 and 90 and a sponsor and to work the steps. There is no other way you can encourage a spouse to fight one without it!

Go for it!

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:34 AM   #13 (permalink)

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A bit late but here goes. Everyone is different, and it is also a factor how much alcohol has been consumed over how much time. Weeks, Months and Years and how much abuse the body has taken (organs, nerv system, brain etc...) I was drinking for about 10 years, i remember almost nothing from my 20's, being 32 now. I was between 15 to 20 beers every other day and 2 to 3 beers in between and i would rearly eat anything. I got sober just 3 months ago, and then had a relapse 2 days with 40 beers and a whiskey bottle, so my withdrawal started over. Some days are better some days are worse. I read that to minimize caffeine drinks such as Tea and Coffee might help ease the long term withdrawal. A friend i met on a AA forum told me the liver is intoxicated for about 20 weeks after you stop, hence a term called "Dry hangover". And as i am sure you well know that alcohol is not something to take lightly as this drug can basically kill you if you go cold turkey. But staying sober is the most important part on the path of recovery.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I quit drinking 20 years ago and had a rough time for a while. It was maybe six months before I stopped being on an emotional roller coaster. I drank daily for six years ... I think it depends on your age and how much you drank.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It depends on how much you have been drinking and how long. Usually 3-5 days, but if you've been drinking really heavily, you'd want medical help to detox - some people can risk seizures and DT's. Most symptoms should be gone by day 4. Thiamine and folate supplements, or a B-50 complex would be a good addition while stopping, depending on how long you've been drinking. I know when I quit, immediately changing to a much healthier diet and exercising every day helped tremendously - I felt almost normal in about 2 weeks.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I am someone that lived with anxiety issues my whole life.

I was not a drinker or an addict of anything. I just had horrible anxiety.

I got therapy for said anxiety and learned how to cope/treat it myself...techniques that helped keep it at bay.

I haven't had a panic attack in over 2 years. I used to have them almost daily.

I learned that we have 3 minutes from the moment anxiety starts until a full blown attack. 3 minutes is all it takes for that chemical to surge through our bodies. If you catch it before 3 minutes, you can talk yourself down.

I don't think this is answering your question. I'm sorry. I'm just speaking from someone who had anxiety issues.

To help keep it away, I'd go through my check list---- bills paid-- check--kids ok--check--food in fridge--check...etc...

I also learned how to live in the moment. Right now everything is ok. RIGHT NOW I am ok.

Breathing and centering also came in handy. Becoming my best friend...learning to love myself and respect myself. Anxiety didn't serve me. I had to learn how to let it go.

They have therapy for anxiety, it could serve your husband to look into it if it's possible. It truly helped me.
....The only way out is through...
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