What are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms? Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Symptoms. Treatment for the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal. Stages of Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol. Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline.

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What are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may occur when a person drinking too much regularly suddenly stops consuming alcohol. The more you drink regularly, the more likely you are to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. Also, you may have more severe withdrawal symptoms if you have specific other medical problems.

Why do alcohol withdrawals kill you? A severe form of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens (DT). Delirium tremens can be highly disorientating and scary and can even cause death. This is one of the more severe reactions indicated by hallucinations or alcohol-induced psychosis, confusion, agitation, tremors, and a high fever. The reported number of deaths for people who experience delirium tremens is anywhere from 1 to 5%.

Looking for help with alcohol use disorder (AUD) challenges like withdrawal from alcohol symptoms? Join thousands of patients who trusted We Level Up New Jersey for symptoms of alcohol withdrawals and other substance abuse treatments. Call 24/7 for more alcohol detox information today. Your call is free and confidential. Access addiction professionals who understand your circumstances and are ready to help.

What Causes Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol has a depressing influence on your body. It alters how your nerves communicate back and forth and slows down brain activity. Your central nervous system becomes accustomed to having alcohol available all the time over time. Your body exerts much effort to maintain your nerves’ communication and make your brain more alert. Your brain remains hyperactive even when the alcohol level abruptly decreases, which is only one of the leading causes of alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The symptoms alcohol withdrawal causes can vary widely from person to person, and not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on factors such as the individual’s level of alcohol dependence and overall health. Severe withdrawal symptoms, particularly delirium tremens, can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Early Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Feeling anxious or nervous.
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Feeling depressed.
  • Feeling wiped out and tired.
  • Shakiness.
  • Mood swings.
  • Not being able to think clearly.
  • Having nightmares.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Sweating.
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Faster heart rate.
  • Pale skin.
  • Tremor.
Moderate Withdrawal Symptoms for Alcohol

Moderate Withdrawal Alcohol Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal is common. There are over 200,000 cases in the US each year.

  • Suitable for medical treatment.
  • Typically self-diagnosable.
  • No laboratory testing or imaging is necessary.
  • Short-term withdrawal lasts a few days to a few weeks.
  • Needs immediate medical attention.

Common moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Confusion.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Mood swings.
  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Hallucinations (usually visual).
Severe Symptoms of Alcoholism Withdrawal

Symptoms of Severe Alcohol Withdrawal

If you’ve been drinking heavily regularly, you can experience one or more alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly quit. These symptoms might range from moderate and uncomfortable to severe, acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and potentially fatal, depending on your prior alcohol consumption. Common severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Delirium tremens (DTs).
  • Extreme agitation.
  • Seizures.
  • Profound confusion.
  • Severe hallucinations (auditory and visual).
  • High fever.
  • Racing heart rate.
  • Hypertension.
  • Dehydration.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Coma (in the most extreme cases).
Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Body Symptom of Withdrawal from Alcohol

Chronic illnesses and other grave issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems, can develop over time due to heavy alcohol consumption—cancer of the rectum, liver, colon, mouth, throat, esophagus, and breast.

Common physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also include the following:

  • Whole body: Trembling, perspiration, or appetite loss.
  • Digestive system: nausea or vomiting.
  • Other common side effects: Fast heartbeat, tremors, confusion, headache, sleeplessness, or seizures.
Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium Symptoms

When are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms the Worst?

A severe form of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens (DT). Delirium tremens can be highly disorientating and scary and can even cause death. This is one of the more severe reactions indicated by hallucinations or alcohol-induced psychosis, confusion, agitation, tremors, and a high fever. The reported number of deaths for people who experience delirium tremens is anywhere from 1 to 5%.

How To Stop DT Shakes?

The possibly deadly effects of alcohol withdrawal, delirium tremens, is a sudden case of extreme confusion followed by sweats, shivering, seizures, overheating, hallucinations, and sometimes death. During this period of alcohol withdrawal, the body is experiencing a biochemical decline where the brain is malfunctioning and fires off incorrect signals.

To stop delirium tremens (DT) shakes, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention, as DT is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical intervention. In a medical setting, healthcare professionals can administer medications such as benzodiazepines to help manage and alleviate the shakes and other dangerous symptoms associated with DT.

Timeline

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Though alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically begin within eight hours after your last drink, you may not experience any until several days later. These symptoms tend to spike around 24 to 72 hours after your last drink, though milder ones may persist for much longer in some people.

What is the Usual Alcoholism Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline?

Six to 12 Hours After Quitting Alcohol

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Symptoms 6-12 Hrs.

During the first six to twelve hours of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, symptoms begin roughly at hour six. That is why many alcoholics must start drinking when they wake up. Since the symptoms are so severe, many wrongly assume that the 6-12 hours stage is the most dangerous, but in reality, that is the 24-48 hours phase.

Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Cravings: Alcohol is an addictive drug or substance. So naturally, when someone suffering from alcohol use disorder does not have it, they crave it. Unfortunately, cravings are terrible at this stage since the person knows that drinking would relieve all the unpleasant effects of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Anxiety: Throughout the initial stage of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, an individual’s mind and body are out of whack. A person will feel sick, uncomfortable, hurt, and other bothersome symptoms that can increase anxiety. For those who already experience high stress, these feelings will be doubled.
  • Extreme Sweating: The body overheats when alcohol is no longer in the system. Sweating is the body’s attempt to protect and cool down the organs. Sweating through your bedsheets is expected, so keeping a high fluid level is essential for doctors monitoring the process.
  • Headaches: It is usually caused by loss of body fluid and dehydration.
  • Insomnia: Alcohol does change how a person sleeps; skipping the initial phases of sleep and dropping straight to REM helps someone fall asleep, but it doesn’t produce healthy sleep. In this stage of alcohol withdrawal, the mind may want to sleep but be incapable, either from restlessness or other symptoms.
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea: Extreme drinking changes the intestine walls and the amount of stomach acid the body produces. As a result, nausea is quite common during this stage of withdrawal from alcohol symptoms.
  • Shakes: When the brain starts to function on overdrive without the alcohol’s depressant effects to counteract this hyperactivity, the brain has trouble working, causing malfunctions in nerve cell activity, leading to tremors and shakes.
12 to 24 Hours After Stopping Drinking

12-24 Hrs. Timeline for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

In Stage 12-24 hours of the alcohol withdrawal, the person may see a continuation of the previous symptoms and some new signs. This trend may continue with each following stage.

  • Dehydration: Dehydration sets in at this stage of the alcohol withdrawal timeline due to trips to the bathroom and sweating. The advantage of an inpatient detox program is that medical professionals can monitor the levels of care and ensure the person has enough fluids.
  • Hallucinations: Low blood sugar and extra dopamine release often result in hallucinations. Although these can be very disorienting or upsetting, hallucinations are not life-threatening.
  • Malnutrition: As the body experiences all these uncomfortable symptoms, food is the last thing on someone’s mind. A loss of appetite should not be surprising for someone dealing with nausea.
24 to 48 Hours Post Drinking

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Timeline 24-48 Hrs.

At this phase, the alcoholic’s body is in full panic mode and can have some severe reactions to the absence of alcohol in the system.

  • Irritability: At this point of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, mood swings are not unusual. The person is anxious and uncomfortable, and their body and brain feel like they are going haywire. Any patience or discipline they might have had initially had already faded, if not completely diminished.
  • Low Blood Sugar Levels: Alcohol use disorder usually leads to alcoholic liver cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. When the liver does stop functioning, it fails to release glucose into the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia is a typical effect of alcohol withdrawal at this stage; This leads to exhaustion and weakness.
  • Grand Mal Seizures: Four out of a hundred individuals will experience grand mal seizures after quitting in a day or two. The effects of alcohol withdrawal, particularly seizures, arise from sleep, water, and nutrient deprivation. For some, these seizures can be a warning sign of much more alarming and dangerous effects of alcohol withdrawal known as Delirium Tremens.
  • Delirium Tremens: The possibly deadly consequence of alcohol withdrawal, Delirium Tremens, is a sudden case of extreme confusion followed by sweats, shivering, seizures, overheating, hallucinations, and sometimes death. During this period of alcohol withdrawal, the body is experiencing a biochemical decline where the brain is malfunctioning and fires off incorrect signals.
48 to 168 Hours Post Drink

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms How Long Do They Last? 48-168 Hrs.

At this stage of the alcohol withdrawal timeline, most physical symptoms have softened, if not completely disappeared. Most of these are replaced by mental distress and feelings of anxiety, depression, confusion, restlessness, anger, and others. In recovery, the client will learn to express and manage these emotions and coping ways to combat relapse.

PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) refers to the long-term side effects of alcohol abuse, potentially challenging and affecting a person’s life. Symptoms might continue years after withdrawal and initial detox. That is why continuing treatment after the initial seven-day detox is highly recommended.

  • These symptoms include hostility, irritability, anxiety & depression, mood swings, low energy levels, fatigue, insomnia, inability to focus, lack of sex drive, and chronic pain.
  • These symptoms are mainly psychological and have been known to continue for months or years after alcohol cessation. They tend to ‘come and go’ in waves or episodes and can be triggered by specific circumstances, memories, smells, or people.
Causes

When Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Start?

Alcohol withdrawal is primarily caused by the abrupt cessation of alcohol consumption after prolonged and excessive use, leading to brain and nervous system changes. How soon do Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start? Symptoms appear after a period of heavy drinking when someone quits consuming alcohol. The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms might vary considerably. The disorder may even be lethal in extreme circumstances.

Symptoms could appear between two hours and four days after you stop drinking. They could include hallucinations, seizures, anxiety, tremors, nausea, migraines, and more. Alcohol withdrawal frequently necessitates medical attention and hospital stays. Some FDA-approved medications may address the physical symptoms, while support groups and therapy can aid behavior management.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing Alcohol Withdrawal

Your doctor will inquire about your drinking history and how recently you stopped if they suspect you might be experiencing alcohol withdrawal. If you have ever gone through withdrawal, they will want to know. They’ll talk about your symptoms as well. They will examine to check for any further medical disorders that might be the cause.

Prevention

How To Prevent Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal treatment is a band-aid solution that doesn’t address the underlying issue. It’s a good idea to bring up alcohol addiction or dependence treatment when you discuss symptom relief with your doctor. You can stop drinking with the help of the doctor’s advice.

Which Medication is Used To Prevent Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

The FDA has approved the drug acamprosate (trade name Campral) for the treatment of alcoholism. It is one of three drugs for treating alcohol use disorder that the FDA has approved, and it works by interfering with the brain’s neurotransmitter systems to lessen alcohol dependence.

Treatment also consists of sedatives.

Alcohol withdrawal frequently necessitates medical attention and hospital stays. Medicines may address the physical symptoms, while support groups and therapy can aid behavior management.

  • Medications: Vitamin, sedative, & anxiolytic.
  • Supportive Care: IV Fluids.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Specialists

  • Critical Care Doctor: Intensive care patients are observed and given care.
  • Psychiatrist: Uses medicine as the primary treatment for mental problems.
  • Emergency Medicine Doctor: Administers care to patients in the emergency room.
AWS (Syndrome)

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) can manifest with various signs and symptoms varying in severity. AWS is primarily caused by the central nervous system’s adjustment to the chronic presence of alcohol, leading to hyperexcitability when alcohol is removed. Common signs and symptoms of AWS include:

  • Anxiety: Feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and unease.
  • Tremors: Shaking or trembling of the hands or other body parts.
  • Sweating: Profuse perspiration, often accompanied by clammy skin.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Upset stomach and vomiting.
  • Headache: Throbbing or aching in the head.
  • Increased Heart Rate: A rapid heartbeat, also known as tachycardia.
  • High Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure levels.
  • Irritability: Easily becoming annoyed or agitated.
  • Loss of Appetite: Reduced or no desire to eat.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Mood Swings: Rapid emotional changes, including anger, depression, and euphoria.
  • Confusion: Disorientation, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.
  • Hallucinations: Perception of things that are not present, often visual or auditory.
  • Seizures: Uncontrolled muscle movements or convulsions, more common in severe cases.
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs): A severe and life-threatening condition characterized by extreme confusion, hallucinations, agitation, fever, and sometimes seizures.

Not everyone experiencing AWS will exhibit all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary widely from person to person. The timeline of when these symptoms appear and how long they last also depends on factors like alcohol dependence and individual health. In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, especially if delirium tremens or seizures occur, and medical attention should be sought immediately.

Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Infographic

What are withdrawal symptoms of alcohol? Alcohol withdrawal symptoms could appear between two hours and four days after you stop drinking. They could include seizures, hallucinations, tremors, nausea, migraines, and more.

Can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, however rare, can result in mortality throughout the addiction treatment process. This can happen in various ways, but it most frequently occurs when alcoholics attempt recovery independently without medical supervision.
Can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, however rare, can result in mortality throughout the addiction treatment process. This can happen in various ways, but it most frequently occurs when alcoholics attempt recovery independently without medical supervision.

How To Ease Withdrawal Symptoms From Alcohol?

Managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms alone can be challenging and potentially dangerous, as severe symptoms can be life-threatening. It’s strongly recommended to seek medical supervision and assistance from healthcare professionals who can provide a safe and effective treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Detox from alcohol is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Medications that Lessen Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

There are typically three ways for someone to stop drinking alcohol. Some are trying “cold turkey” or stop drinking alcohol abruptly, which is not advised if you’ve been drinking heavily for a while because it could send your body into shock and even be fatal. Another option is to reduce your drinking over a few days to stop drinking gradually. However, some people might find it simpler to convert to medication under medical supervision to help with withdrawal.

Cravings are very common during detox from alcohol and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can offer the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.

Three commonly used FDA-approved medications for alcohol withdrawal and alcohol use disorder were:

  • Naltrexone: Naltrexone reduces alcohol cravings and can help prevent relapse. It works by blocking the effects of opioids, which are considered to play a role in alcohol dependence.
  • Acamprosate: Acamprosate is used to maintain abstinence from alcohol and reduce withdrawal symptoms. It may help with post-acute withdrawal symptoms and cravings by modulating neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
  • Disulfiram: Disulfiram is used as a deterrent to drinking. It interferes with the breakdown of alcohol in the body, leading to unpleasant side effects (such as nausea, vomiting, and flushing) if alcohol is consumed while taking the medication.

These medications are typically prescribed and monitored by healthcare professionals as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for alcohol use disorder. The choice of prescriptions and the treatment approach may vary depending on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

When To Seek Help for Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Seeking medical help for acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms is imperative due to the physiological and neurological changes that occur when an individual with alcohol dependence abruptly stops drinking. The onset of withdrawal symptoms typically occurs due to the central nervous system’s hyperactivity after being suppressed by alcohol’s sedative effects. This hyperactivity can lead to symptoms ranging from mild anxiety, tremors, and sweating to severe manifestations like seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs is a life-threatening condition characterized by profound confusion, hallucinations, and potential cardiac and respiratory complications.

Without proper medical supervision and intervention, acute alcohol withdrawal poses serious risks. Seizures, for instance, can lead to physical injuries, while DTs can result in severe medical emergencies. Moreover, the risk of relapse is heightened when individuals attempt to self-manage withdrawal symptoms, as they may seek relief by resuming alcohol consumption, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen when a person dependent on alcohol suddenly stops drinking. For a medically-assisted alcohol detox, contact We Level Up New Jersey now.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen when a person dependent on alcohol suddenly stops drinking. For a medically-assisted alcohol detox, contact We Level Up New Jersey now.
Hospitals and alcohol detox centers have experienced staff familiar with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and have the tools to provide appropriate treatment.
Hospitals and alcohol detox centers have experienced staff familiar with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and have the tools to provide appropriate treatment.

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How to overcome alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Overcoming alcohol withdrawal can be challenging and lonely. Many people struggle to quit independently and often relapse to alleviate their symptoms or satisfy their cravings. However, with We Level Up’s therapy and a robust support system, you can experience a more manageable withdrawal and successful recovery. If you require assistance with alcohol rehab, don’t hesitate to contact a treatment advocate 24/7.

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How Soon Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Start?

When do alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin? Not everyone will follow this exact timeline, and the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary widely.

In a rehab setting, healthcare professionals closely monitor individuals going through withdrawal and can provide appropriate medical interventions to manage symptoms and ensure safety.

  • Early Withdrawal Symptoms (6-12 Hours): In many cases, the first signs of alcohol withdrawal can begin about 6 to 12 hours after the last alcoholic drink. These early symptoms often include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and an increased heart rate. Some individuals may also experience cravings for alcohol during this time.
  • Peak Withdrawal (24-72 Hours): The most intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually occur between 24 and 72 hours after the last drink. This is when individuals are at the highest risk for more severe symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs, in particular, can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
  • Post-Acute Withdrawal (Days to Weeks): Following the initial acute withdrawal phase, some individuals may experience milder symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These symptoms can persist for days to weeks, including mood swings, sleep disturbances, and cravings.
Rehab aims to help individuals detox safely and provide comprehensive treatment and support for their recovery from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Rehab aims to help individuals detox safely and provide comprehensive treatment and support for their recovery from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Top 5 What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol? FAQs

  1. Can alcohol withdrawals kill you?

    Yes, alcohol withdrawals can potentially be life-threatening, especially in severe withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens (DTs), seizures, or cardiac complications. It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as medical interventions and supervision are essential to mitigate the risks and prevent fatal outcomes.

  2. Can alcohol withdrawal cause stroke?

    While alcohol withdrawal is not a direct cause of stroke, heavy alcohol use over time can increase the risk of stroke. Abruptly stopping alcohol consumption, particularly in individuals with a history of heavy drinking, can lead to spikes in blood pressure and other physiological changes that may contribute to an increased risk of stroke.

  3. Is fatigue a symptom of alcohol withdrawal?

    Yes, fatigue can be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. During withdrawal, the body and central nervous system are adjusting to the absence of alcohol, which can result in disruptions in sleep patterns and energy levels, leading to feelings of fatigue and low energy.

  4. Is loss of appetite a symptom of alcohol withdrawal?

    Yes, loss of appetite can be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, and changes in taste perception, contributing to a reduced appetite during this period.

  5. Am I going through alcohol withdrawal?

    If you’ve recently stopped or reduced heavy alcohol consumption and are experiencing symptoms like anxiety, sweating, trembling, nausea, or irritability, you may be going through alcohol withdrawal. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper evaluation, as alcohol withdrawal can vary in severity, and medical supervision may be necessary to ensure your safety and provide appropriate treatment if needed.

The Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Chart

Without treatment, the discomfort of withdrawal may drive individuals back to alcohol use to alleviate their symptoms, hindering recovery efforts. What are symptoms of alcohol withdrawal? The dangers of alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, particularly in severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens, necessitating immediate medical attention and supervision. However, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include all of the following except some don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. What are some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

Common Psychological and Physical SignsWhat are the Symptoms of Withdrawal from Alcohol?
Symptoms of Mild Alcohol WithdrawalIs diarrhea a symptom of alcohol withdrawal? Yes. Diarrhea can be one of the symptoms experienced during alcohol withdrawal, typically resulting from gastrointestinal disturbances in more severe cases.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms DiarrheaHeadaches can be a common symptom during alcohol withdrawal, often attributed to changes in blood flow and brain function due to alcohol cessation.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Blood PressureAlcohol withdrawal can lead to fluctuations in blood pressure, with potential increases seen during the withdrawal process, particularly in more severe cases.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms FeverFever is not a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, but in severe cases, it can occur as a part of the delirium tremens (DT) syndrome, a life-threatening withdrawal condition.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms ItchingItching is not typically associated with alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and if it occurs, it may be due to other underlying factors or medical conditions.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms HeadacheVisual and auditory hallucinations can occur as severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, often seen in conditions like delirium tremens (DT) and necessitating immediate medical attention.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms HallucinationsAlcohol withdrawal often involves symptoms like anxiety, tremors, sweating, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. If you experience dilated pupils during alcohol withdrawal, it may be essential to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any other potential underlying medical issues.
Shivering Alcohol WithdrawalShivering or shakiness is a common physical symptom experienced during alcohol withdrawal, often accompanied by tremors, and it can range in severity depending on the individual’s level of alcohol dependence.
Dilated Pupils Alcohol WithdrawalAlcohol withdrawal dilated pupils, or mydriasis, can occur during alcohol withdrawal in some individuals, especially in severe withdrawal or delirium tremens (DTs). Alcohol withdrawal pupils result from changes in the autonomic nervous system and can be one of the neurological manifestations of alcohol withdrawal.
Newborn Alcohol Withdrawal SymptomsAlcohol withdrawal symptoms in newborns, also known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), can include irritability, feeding difficulties, tremors, and, in severe cases, seizures, and should be carefully managed by healthcare professionals.
No Alcohol Withdrawal SymptomsAlcohol withdrawal symptoms include all of the following except: some individuals with alcohol addiction may not experience noticeable alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. This reason can be attributed to tolerance variations and addiction progression. However, the absence of withdrawal symptoms should not be taken as a sign of safety, as addiction can have significant physical and psychological consequences that may require professional treatment.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms treatment programs can help individuals develop coping strategies, relapse prevention techniques, and a support network to reduce the risk of returning to alcohol use.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Fact Sheet

What are Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol?

The severity and combination of symptoms can vary widely among individuals:

  • Anxiety.
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances.
  • Irritability.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mood swings.
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating.
  • Hallucinations (often visual).
  • Seizures (in severe cases).
  • Delirium tremens (DTs) – a severe, life-threatening form of withdrawal that includes confusion, hallucinations, agitation, and other painful symptoms (rare cases).

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some individuals may not experience all of these symptoms. Suppose you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal. In that case, especially if symptoms are severe or if there is a history of seizures or DTs, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately, as medical supervision and interventions may be necessary to ensure safety and provide appropriate care.


How To Treat Alcohol Shakes?

Treating alcohol shakes, often associated with tremors during alcohol withdrawal, requires medical supervision and may include medications such as benzodiazepines to reduce the severity of the shakes and other withdrawal symptoms.

Proper hydration, balanced nutrition, and rest can help ease the symptoms. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional who can assess the severity of the shakes and develop a tailored treatment plan to ensure safety and comfort during withdrawal.


How To Get Rid of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

To manage and alleviate alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seeking medical assistance and following healthcare professionals’ guidance is essential. They can provide the appropriate medications, monitoring, and support needed to safely navigate the withdrawal process and increase the chances of a successful recovery from alcohol dependence.

What Helps With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be challenging, but several approaches and treatments can help manage and alleviate these symptoms. Here are some strategies that may be employed to help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Medical Supervision: Seek medical help and supervision, especially if you have a history of severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as benzodiazepines or antipsychotics, may be prescribed by a healthcare provider to help manage withdrawal symptoms. These medications can help reduce anxiety, control seizures, and alleviate agitation or hallucinations.
  • Fluids and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and maintain proper nutrition by drinking water, clear fluids, and healthy foods. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, so replenishing fluids is crucial.
  • Supplements: In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend vitamin supplements, particularly thiamine (vitamin B1), as heavy alcohol use can lead to deficiencies.
  • Rest: Get adequate rest and sleep to help your body recover. Sleep disturbances are common during withdrawal, but creating a comfortable sleep environment and practicing relaxation techniques can be helpful.
  • Supportive Care: Emotional support from friends and family can make a significant difference during withdrawal. Sharing your experiences and feelings with loved ones can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Therapy: Consider therapy or counseling to address the psychological aspects of addiction and withdrawal. Behavioral therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can effectively teach coping skills and prevent relapse.
  • Support Groups: Joining a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery, can provide a sense of community and connection with others who have experienced similar challenges.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help manage anxiety and stress during withdrawal.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can release endorphins and improve mood, though it should be done under medical guidance and when physical health allows.
  • Prescribed Medications for Long-Term Sobriety: Some individuals may benefit from naltrexone or acamprosate, which can help reduce cravings and support long-term sobriety. These should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
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Statistics show that many individuals with AUD do not seek treatment. This treatment gap highlights the need for better access to and utilization of detoxification and addiction treatment services. In the US, detoxification admissions related to alcohol and substance abuse have consistently been a significant portion of substance abuse treatment admissions.

When you stop drinking or significantly reduce your alcohol use after drinking heavily for weeks, months, or years, you may experience mental and physical health issues. We refer to this as alcohol withdrawal. There are mild to severe symptoms. You will unlikely have withdrawal symptoms if you only sometimes drink. But if you’ve once experienced alcohol withdrawal, you’re more likely to do so the next time you give up.


29%

In 2019, about 29% of all substance abuse treatment admissions involved alcohol as the primary substance of abuse.

Source: SAMHSA

5%

Delirium tremens has been estimated to occur in about 3-5% of individuals undergoing alcohol withdrawal.

Source: SAMHSA

14.5 Million

It was estimated that around 14.5 million adults aged 18 and older had alcohol use disorder in 2019.

Source: NSDUH


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Medically-Assisted Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Detox

Detox from alcohol is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been attested to:

  • Improve patient survival.
  • Increase retention in treatment.
  • Lessening alcohol drinking and other criminal activity among people with alcohol and substance use disorders.
  • Increase patients’ ability to secure and maintain employment.
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have alcohol and substance use disorders and are pregnant.

Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and alcoholism often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in psychiatric and alcohol use disorders. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues simultaneously. The best approach for the treatment of co-occurring diseases is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the mental disorder and the alcohol abuse problem simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or alcohol abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

We Level Up Alcohol Detox NJ

If you or a loved one are struggling with long-term alcohol abuse, showing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up NJ can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your needs.

Stages of Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is a process that typically unfolds in stages as the body adjusts to the absence of alcohol. The locations of alcohol detox can vary in duration and intensity depending on the individual and the severity of their alcohol dependence. Here are the general stages of alcohol detox:

  • Initial stage (6-12 Hours): This stage begins shortly after the last alcoholic drink and is characterized by the onset of mild withdrawal symptoms. Common early symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, sweating, and tremors. These symptoms can vary in intensity but are generally manageable without needing medications.
  • Peak Withdrawal (24-72 Hours): The most intense and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms typically occur during this stage. It can include severe anxiety, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, hallucinations (primarily visual), and seizures. This is when the risk of delirium tremens (DTs), a severe and life-threatening condition, is highest.
  • Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (Days to Weeks): After the initial peak, some individuals may experience milder withdrawal symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These symptoms can persist for days to weeks and often include mood swings, sleep disturbances, and occasional cravings for alcohol. PAWS can vary in duration and severity among individuals.
  • Resolution (Varies): Eventually, the acute withdrawal symptoms subside, and the body stabilizes. The duration of this stage can vary significantly from person to person. While physical symptoms may have primarily resolved, addressing the psychological and behavioral aspects of recovery during this stage is essential.
  • Long-Term Recovery (Ongoing): Individuals often transition to ongoing treatment and recovery after detox. This may involve therapy, counseling, support groups, and lifestyle changes to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

Alcohol detox is not a one-size-fits-all process, and the timeline and severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary widely among individuals. Moreover, the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, such as DTs, is more common in individuals with a history of heavy alcohol use and should be managed under medical supervision.

Seeking professional help during alcohol detox is crucial to ensure safety, reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms and discomfort, and support transitioning to a sober and healthier life.
Seeking professional help during alcohol detox is crucial to ensure safety, reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms and discomfort, and support transitioning to a sober and healthier life.

Overcoming Alcohol Withdrawal. Find the Support You Need.

Withdrawal from alcohol is often a challenging process to go through alone. Many people experience relapses during withdrawal in an attempt to alleviate symptoms and satisfy cravings. However, you can manage withdrawal symptoms and successfully recover with detox and rehab therapy and a robust support system at the We Level Up NJ treatment centers. If you require assistance with your rehab journey, contact a We Level Up NJ treatment professional now. Your call is free and confidential.

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Top 10 What Treats Alcohol Withdrawal? FAQs

  1. How to ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home?

    Management of sign and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal at home can be risky, and it is strongly advised to seek medical supervision. However, in mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate rest, and seeking emotional support from loved ones can help alleviate some discomfort.

  2. How to get rid of alcohol withdrawal shakes?

    Alcohol withdrawal shakes, often associated with tremors, can be managed under medical supervision. A healthcare professional can prescribe medications like benzodiazepines as alcohol shakes cure, which can help reduce the severity of shakes and other alcohol withdrawal signs and symptoms, making it safer and more comfortable to go through the withdrawal process.

  3. How to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

    You can reduce common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal by frequently consuming electrolyte-containing liquids, not experiencing withdrawal on your own, keeping in mind that you are not by yourself, enduring your desires, creating a letter to yourself, putting together a first aid pack, skipping ahead, shower in the cold, keep in mind that the discomfort is only fleeting, consume wholesome fruits and veggies, avoid your drinking companions, use controlled breathing methods, meditate, exercise, play some music, take a walk, peruse a book, start a new pastime or revive an old one, establish injunctions. If you feel you are heading toward delirium tremens, get medical attention.

  4. What symptom is commonly seen in patients with alcohol withdrawal?

    One of the typical alcohol withdrawal symptoms seen in patients is anxiety, ranging from mild unease to severe panic attacks. Stress is often accompanied by other withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, tremors, and restlessness, making it a prevalent and distressing feature of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

  5. Does CBD help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

    Some preliminary research suggests that CBD (cannabidiol) may have potential benefits in alleviating specific alcohol symptoms withdrawal, such as anxiety and insomnia. However, further extensive studies are needed to establish its effectiveness and safety in this context, and it should not be considered a primary or standalone treatment for alcohol.withdrawal symptoms without consulting a healthcare professional. It’s essential for individuals experiencing alcohol withdrawals symptoms to seek medical guidance and interventions tailored to their specific needs.

  6. Does Xanax help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

    A healthcare provider typically determines the Xanax dosage for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It varies depending on the severity of the signs and the individual’s medical history. Xanax is a potent medication, and a medical professional should closely monitor its use in alcohol withdrawal, as it can be habit-forming and should only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for alcohol withdrawal under medical supervision.

  7. How long does alcohol withdrawal symptoms last?

    Alcohol withdraw symptoms begin as early as two hours after drinking, peaking in severity approximately two to three days after the last drink. Long term alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last up to a year after quitting, although this tends to be limited to temptation and relapse. The variety of symptoms changes depending on the time since someone last consumed an alcoholic drink.

  8. When do withdrawal symptoms start alcoholism?

    Alcohol dependence withdrawal symptoms can typically begin within a few hours to a day after the last alcoholic drink. Still, the exact timing can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s level of alcohol dependence and overall health.

  9. When do alcohol withdrawal symptoms peak?

    While early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually appear eight hours after your last drink, they may not appear for several days. After your previous drink, these symptoms typically peak 24 to 72 hours later, though some people may experience lesser symptoms that last much longer.

  10. How long do alcohol withdrawal symptoms last?

    The duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms day by day and severity are influenced by various factors, including the individual’s level of alcohol dependence and overall health. Consult with healthcare professionals who can assess and provide guidance on the specific timeline and management of these symptoms in each case.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline Symptoms, Stages, Syndrome, Medication, Risks & Treatment

Alcohol detox and withdrawal treatment is a crucial first step in addressing alcohol addiction. It typically involves medical supervision to manage withdrawal’s physical and psychological symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Medications to alleviate symptoms.
  • Monitoring vital signs.
  • Counseling.
  • Developing a comprehensive plan for ongoing addiction recovery to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety.

Do you have questions about alcohol withdrawal symptoms or treatment in general? Call our helpline 24/7.

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We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy
We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy
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Sources

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[2] Jesse S, Bråthen G, Ferrara M, Keindl M, Ben-Menachem E, Tanasescu R, Brodtkorb E, Hillbom M, Leone MA, Ludolph AC. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome: mechanisms, manifestations, and management. Acta Neurol Scand. 2017 Jan;135(1):4-16. Doi 10.1111/ane.12671. Epub 2016 Sep 1. PMID: 27586815; PMCID: PMC6084325.

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