Alcoholism Withdrawal


When an alcohol dependent person suddenly stops drinking alcohol, he or she typically experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are basically responses by the brain and by the body to the sudden lack of alcohol--a situation that is contrary to which they are accustomed.

Due to the dangerous complications that can emerge, it is important for anyone who will be experiencing alcohol withdrawals to get professional alcohol treatment.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Alcohol Effects on The Brain

With regular ingestion of alcohol, the brain gradually adjusts to the alcohol so that normal functioning is possible.

This explains how physical tolerance develops and also why increasingly more alcohol is needed to experience the same "high" or "buzz" with regular use.


When a person who has manifested a pattern of continuous and heavy consumption abruptly stops drinking alcohol, however, he or she usually suffers from alcoholism withdrawal symptoms which can take days or weeks before the body returns to "normal."

Essentially, alcoholism withdrawal symptoms are responses by the body and by the brain to the abrupt lack of alcohol--a situation that is contrary to which they have become accustomed.

Depending on the level of dependency that a person has attained, alcohol withdrawals can range from mild to moderate to severe and can include both psychological and behavioral aspects.

Mild to Moderate Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following is a list of mild to moderate alcoholism withdrawal symptoms that usually take place within 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink has been ingested:

  • Eyes or pupils different size (enlarged, dilated pupils)

  • Rapid emotional changes

  • Tremor of the hands

  • Anxiety

  • Involuntary, abnormal movements of the eyelids

  • Easily excited, irritability

  • Looking pale, without color

  • Vomiting

  • Clammy skin

  • Abnormal movements

  • Sweating (especially on the face or the palms of the hands)

  • Difficulty thinking clearly

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches (especially those that pulsate)

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Nightmares

  • Depression

  • Feeling nervous or jumpy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Insomnia, sleeping difficulties

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following are severe alcoholism withdrawal symptoms that usually occur within 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink has been consumed:

  • Excessive irritability

  • Muscle tremors

  • Visual hallucinations

  • Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity

  • Fever

  • Increased difficulty thinking clearly

  • Increased depression

  • Convulsions

  • Black outs

  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

  • More extreme emotional changes

  • Seizures

  • Extreme anxiety


Conclusion: Alcoholism Withdrawal

The first concern when experiencing alcohol withdrawals should be who you should contact about the alcohol withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing.

In short, when suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, always see your healthcare provider or your doctor immediately so that he or she can evaluate the seriousness of your symptoms and suggest the best available treatment option.

In fact, if you are concerned about your drinking behavior and you feel the need to talk with a counselor or a therapist, please call your local drug and alcohol treatment center and make an appointment.