Does alcohol have withdrawal symptoms?

If you’ve ever woken up with a hangover after a night of binge drinking, you know that the effects of alcohol can linger long after the party is over. But withdrawal symptoms are a different beast entirely; they often last for days or even weeks and can be potentially dangerous if not managed properly.

So if you’re one of those drinkers who enjoys kicking back with a drink every now and then, it’s worth asking: does alcohol really have withdrawal symptoms? And if so, what are they like?

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) refers to the various physical and psychological symptoms that occur when someone stops drinking after a period of heavy consumption. While many people enjoy an occasional drink without experiencing any ill-effects, prolonged exposure to high levels of alcohol can lead to dependence, tolerance, and ultimately AWS.

The severity of AWS varies depending on factors such as how much someone has been drinking, how long they’ve been doing it for, and their overall health status. Some people may experience only mild discomforts like headaches or nausea when quitting drinking while others may develop more serious complications such as seizures or hallucinations.

But regardless of how severe your particular case might be,one thing is certain: ceasing regular consumption will trigger some degree of withdrawal.

Physical Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal

When it comes to withdrawal from alcohol addiction,the physical effects are quite noticeable.The nervous system bears the brunt load since it’s heavily involved in processing thoughts/behaviors.These include:

Sweating And Shivering

Withdrawals cause body temperature fluctuations.This leads to sweating followed by chills if left untreated.As weird as it sounds,this reaction resembles wringing out cold water from hot hands,but in reverse order.It sucks!

High Blood Pressure &Heart Palpitations

This symptom puts undue pressure on heart muscles leading misfiring.This causes a racing pulse accompanied by breath shortages.If this persists,it may cause serious health issues including heart failure/brain damage.

Nausea & Vomiting

Withdrawal nausea peaks between 24-72 hours.This is the body’s way of purging alcohol toxins.In many instances,you’ll find yourself wishing there was nothing in your digestive tract to begin with as it’s violently tossed up and out.


Alcohol withdrawal seizures refer to an intensified form of shakes which occur due to sudden brain changes that come about when one goes cold turkey.Seizures can also be caused by withdrawals from tranquilizers or benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety pills).If this happens, seek medical assistance immediately!

Psychological Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal

Similar to other addictions withdrawing from hard liquor doesn’t just affect the body but impacts our psychological wellness as well.Such effects include:


As mentioned before,the nervous babybear system takes quite a hit during detox,especially when one is used to high doses of alcohol.The nervousness sends signals to the brain indicating something isn’t right,and as such,the mood plummets.Health providers have identified anxiety medication beforehand may reduce eventual effects.

Insomnia& Fatigue

Since chemical releases in our bodies are strongly influenced by repeated actions,consistent drinking disrupts normal sleep patterns.People who regularly drink heavily become lethargic during day time but hyper-alert at night.As you’d expect,this makes for poor quality sleep even after they quit drinking.

Things To Watch Out For During Withdrawals

Withdrawing symptoms range depending on how prolonged ones consumption period has been.For those seeking sobriety here are warning signs you should look out for;

  1. If severe sweats arise.
  2. Racoon eyes with dark circles cropping up along eye bags
    3.Assetive behaviors ranging from acute paranoia
    4.Twitches invading both hands (finger movements may worsen if you dont seek help)

NB:Mild symptoms can occur even after drinking less than a week consecutively, so be keen and observe any physical/mental changes especially during gentle detox attempts that easy the body to cessation.

The bottom line

Anyone attempting to quit heavy alcohol consumption should keep in mind the withdrawals they will face. From sweating, shivers, and high blood pressure from increased heart rate to the mental side effects such as anxiety and sleeping difficulties. Speak with your health provider beforehand for guidance.Consider tapering down gradually rather than going cold turkey very fast or quiting abrubtly;it puts too much strain on the body,and could lead to collapse!

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