Alcohol Withdrawal – What Happens To You When You Stop Drinking?

Alcohol withdrawal is the symptom experienced by a person when he suddenly stops drinking after prolonged and heavy alcohol abuse. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to serious, and in some cases, they can be fatal. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for alcohol withdrawal can be extremely beneficial for individuals attempting to quit drinking. Read more to find out!

Signs And Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal vary from person to person, it can include :

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • A rapid increase in heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Withdrawal Duration

The duration of alcohol withdrawal varies for different people and also depends on the amount of alcohol consumed. Mild symptoms usually begin within 8-12 hours after the last drink and can last up to a few days. Severe symptoms usually begin within 24-48 hours after the last drink and can last up to a few weeks.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These include

  • Consumption of heavy alcohol for a long period.
  • Already having a history of alcohol withdrawal
  • Having a history of mental health-related issues
  • Having a history of family abuse
  • Being diagnosed with both alcohol abuse and a mental health disorder

Treatment Options

Medical treatment is often necessary for alcohol withdrawal because the symptoms can be intense and potentially life-threatening.

Medication is usually used to alleviate symptoms and assist the individual in detoxing from alcohol. Counseling, therapy, and support groups may also be used in treatment to help individuals learn how to manage alcohol cravings and avoid relapse.


The best way to prevent alcohol withdrawal is to not drink alcohol in the first place. If you are always drinking heavily, be aware of the signs and symptoms of withdrawal and talk to the doctor if you are having difficulty quitting drinking.


Alcohol withdrawal can be a different process for those who are trying to quit drinking, but with the right help and support, it is possible to achieve sobriety. Professional medical care is the best way to ensure safe and effective recovery from alcohol withdrawal.

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