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Usually occurs in adults, but it may happen in adolescents as well. It occurs when a person who uses alcohol excessively suddenly stops the alcohol use. The withdrawal usually occurs within 5-10 hours after the decrease in alcohol intake, but it may occur up to 7- 10 days later. Excessive alcohol use is generally considered the equivalent of 2-6 pints of beer (or 4 oz of "hard" alcohol) per day for one week or habitual use of alcohol that disrupts a person's life and routines. The likelihood of developing alcohol withdrawal symptoms increases as the number and frequency of drinks increase. The likelihood of developing severe withdrawal symptoms also increases if a person has other medical problems.

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