What are the Common Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal?

About half of all people who quit alcohol after heavy drinking will experience withdrawal symptoms. Whether or not you go through withdrawal depends on your previous drinking habits. The more severe the drinking problem, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal. These symptoms begin quickly, often within just a few hours of the last drink. Although a few people deal with withdrawal that lasts for several weeks, most people see their symptoms subside in about a week. Because withdrawal symptoms can be painful and uncomfortable, they often cause people to give up on the idea of recovery. If the thought of withdrawal is preventing you or a loved one from quitting, remember that you do have treatment options to ease the symptoms.

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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction comes from factors that are environmental, genetic, or both. After periods of heavy drinking, a person can feel like he or she needs alcohol to feel normal or to function at all. This phenomenon is called dependence. Alcohol dependence and addiction cause a range of signs, including slow thinking, personality changes, and difficulty performing at work or school.

Over 33,000 alcohol-related deaths occurred in the US in 2015.


What Causes Withdrawal?

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it slows the body down. For a person who frequently abuses alcohol, the brain and body have to work especially hard to maintain normal processes. Even staying awake takes extra effort. The body eventually gets used to working hard. When one quits alcohol, the individual’s body will take some time before it realizes that it doesn’t have to work so hard anymore. Until then, the person experiencing withdrawal may feel like he or she is working on overdrive, and the resulting symptoms will be unpleasant.

If you are dealing with an alcohol addiction, or if someone you love is addicted, let Rehab Info help today. Call 800-492-QUIT.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal includes several symptoms. The amount and severity of the symptoms often depend on the severity of the alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one quit drinking, you may notice one or all of the symptoms the following list:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation or moodiness
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Shakiness
  • Nausea
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Headaches

These symptoms will typically hit their worst point three or four days after one stops drinking, and then they’ll generally subside over the next few days. However, some people do have more difficulty with alcohol withdrawals. For example, a person who enters withdrawal, relapses, quits again, and enters another withdrawal may experience a phenomenon known as kindling. According to the kindling effect, a second or third withdrawal will build on the first withdrawal, causing more severe impacts. Subsequent withdrawals may take longer to subside than the first withdrawal.

Delirium Tremens

A more severe form of alcohol withdrawal can cause something called delirium tremens, or DTs. Although delirium tremens can be caused by other sources such as head injuries, it is commonly associated with alcohol withdrawal. DT is less common but more severe than regular alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Delirium tremens includes many of the above symptoms, plus hallucinations, delusions, and possibly seizures. These symptoms occur most often in people who have been drinking for ten years or longer.

Getting Help

Are withdrawal symptoms keeping you from quitting alcohol? Are you worried that a loved one may have a drug or alcohol problem? Rehab Info is here to help. At Rehab Info, we consult with patients to help them find the best rehab and detox programs for them.

We’ll help you find the program that will fit best with your

personality and budget. If you’re ready to get your life back on track Call Rehab Info today at
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