What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

One of the first indications that you may be addicted to alcohol is experiencing alcohol withdrawal. But what are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and what can you do about them? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from alcohol addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Depending on your alcohol use, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can appear anywhere from six hours to a few days after your last drink. Symptoms can worsen over two to three days, and mild symptoms can persist for weeks. You will likely experience at least two of the following symptoms during alcohol withdrawal:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shakiness
  • Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Exhaustion
  • Delirium tremens (DT)

Delirium Tremens (DT) is Life-Threatening

Delirium tremens is the most severe withdrawal symptom you can experience. DT is classified by the following symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Extreme confusion
  • Extreme agitation
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations (hearing, feeling, or seeing things that are not there)

Delirium tremens is considered a medical emergency and can lead to death. If you believe someone is experiencing delirium tremens, call 911 IMMEDIATELY.

How To Manage Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The way you should manage withdrawal symptoms depends on their severity:

  • Mild to moderate symptoms may be able to be treated at home with the assistance of another person. Someone needs to monitor you to ensure your symptoms don’t progress. Be sure to stay hydrated, have nutritious food on your stomach, and find ways to relax to maintain regular blood pressure and decrease anxiety.
  • Moderate to severe symptoms should be treated in a hospital. A medical team will monitor and treat you—likely with medication and an IV—until you begin to level out.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when someone who is dependent on alcohol suddenly stops drinking or significantly reduces their drinking. This sudden halt shocks the central nervous system, which has become dependent on alcohol to function, and initiates alcohol withdrawal.

Long-Term Treatment

Ultimately, experiencing alcohol withdrawal indicates that addiction is present—your body is depending on alcohol to function. That said, the best long-term treatment for alcohol withdrawal is to seek assistance for your alcohol addiction. Pursuing a life of sobriety may sound difficult, but it’s the first step towards recovery and getting your life back on track.

Contact Myrtle Beach Recovery

It’s important to know what the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are so you can recognize them in yourself and others. Also remember that there is help available if you or a loved one find that you’re struggling with alcohol abuse. For professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.