Alcohol Recovery Timeline: What to Expect When You Stop Drinking November 8th, 2019 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News Alcohol Recovery Timeline: What to Expect When You Stop Drinking

Alcohol Recovery Timeline: What to Expect When You Stop Drinking

Alcohol Recovery Timeline

Quitting drinking once and for all can be a big decision. Being addicted to alcohol can be a tough thing to admit. However, once you’ve acknowledged your addiction the next part of the process is actually quitting drinking entirely.

Below we highlight some of the benefits you’ll see when you quit drinking, and the general timeline of what you’ll experience as you withdraw and detox from alcohol.

Benefits of Quitting Drinking

Consuming high quantities of alcohol on a regular basis can lead to changes in both your body and brain. Some long-term risks of alcohol abuse include:

  • Increased cancer risk
  • Digestive and stomach problems
  • Heart problems and cardiovascular issues
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Higher chance of depression and anxiety
  • Dementia and other degenerative disorders

Luckily, by quitting drinking you can actually reverse a lot of these symptoms and restore your health. Some of the benefits you’ll see when you stop drinking include.

  • Increases your body’s ability absorb crucial vitamins and minerals
  • Speed up and restore your metabolism, leading to increased fat loss
  • Higher levels of energy and an increase positive outlook
  • Lowered cancer risk and decreased levels of stress
  • Reduction of blood pressure and associated stoke and heart attack risks
  • A decrease in mental fogginess and increase in mental performance
  • Faster immune response and increased healing from injury and illness
  • And more…

The Alcohol Recovery Timeline

The alcohol recovery timeline you experience will be based upon how severe your level of alcoholism and how long you’ve been drinking. The alcohol withdrawal and recovery process is broken down into a few distinct phases, which we highlight below.

1. Acute Withdrawal

The acute withdrawal stage is the first challenge you’re going to go through. Some of the early withdrawal symptoms will kick in as soon as six hours after your last drink. These include:

  • Increased sweating and body temperature
  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia and anxiety

In some cases, these early withdrawal symptoms can lead to seizures, and a condition called delirium tremens. If you have an extreme case of alcoholism it’s recommended to seek out a treatment center that can help you detox in a safe and effective manner.

2. Post-Acute Withdrawal

A full detox can take up to two weeks. After the initial alcohol detox withdrawal, you’ve gotten past one of the hardest phases of the detox. During this phase, it’s common for the psychological effects of not drinking to become more pronounced. Some of the common symptoms felt during this time include:

  • Decreased energy
  • Feelings of anger and aggression
  • General anxiety and depression
  • Difficult sleeping or nightmares
  • Decreased libido

You may also feel cravings for alcohol. This is because it takes a while for your brain’s chemistry to re-balance. These symptoms will last for a few weeks, up to an entire year, depending on the severity of your addiction.

During this time, it can be helpful to seek out counseling to help ease your transition, and treat any underlying conditions that may be causing your alcoholism.

3. One Month Onwards

Once you’ve made it a month without drinking you may experience a newfound sense of life. You’ll have made it through most of the unpleasantness of detox and will start to see your energy levels rise, and a lot of the negative effects start to dissipate.

During this stage, it’s recommended to start up new healthy habits, and mend any old relationship wounds that might have been caused by drinking.

4. Life Without Alcohol

Transition into a life without alcohol can be tough. When you’re recovering from a prolonged period of drinking your body goes through a process of re-balancing. Your body and mind have to go through this regulation process where you’re returning to your natural balanced chemistry.

The road to lifelong recovery has many twists and turns, but by working with a treatment center that provides counseling you’ll be able to instill healthy habits and lifestyle support that’ll prevent you from relapsing.

You’ll be able to see that the long-term benefits of not drinking will greatly outweigh the costs of consuming alcohol. Get in touch with our team today if you have any questions about the alcohol recovery timeline, or would like to begin treatment.


Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.