Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When managing the uncomfortable side effects of ceasing or reducing alcohol consumption, many people feel overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. Typically, as an individual reduces their alcohol intake, they may experience unpleasant physical and psychological changes due to their body going through a detoxification. These signs can range from mild irritability to life-threatening seizures depending on the severity of addiction and the time spent consuming large amounts of alcohol.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to ease the transition from regularly drinking to abstaining from alcohol altogether. By learning about the potential symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and understanding how to handle them safely, you can gain a better chance of progressing toward sobriety while minimizing any risks associated with withdrawing from this substance.

Read on as we discuss alcohol withdrawal and ways you can successfully manage symptoms safely and effectively.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is the process of a person’s body adapting to not having alcohol. It occurs when someone has been drinking heavily for an extended period and suddenly stops or significantly reduces their consumption. The symptoms can vary depending on how much they drank beforehand and how quickly they stopped. 

Thus, it’s important to note that everyone experiences alcohol withdrawal differently. Some may only have mild side effects, while others could suffer more severe consequences due to age or existing health conditions. 

As a good start, it’s always best to seek professional medical assistance from reputable service providers in your location, such as West Coast Recovery Centers, before attempting to manage this detoxification alone.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal?

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, the symptoms can be extreme. It’s no wonder people try their best to avoid these symptoms altogether. The most common symptoms include the following:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Hand tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Frantic
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation

No matter how mild or severe the symptoms are, you should still take everything seriously and ask for a medical opinion if necessary.

Ways To Help Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal

Now that you know the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it’s time to learn how to deal with them. Here are some viable ideas worth taking into consideration:  

  1. Don’t Go Through The Process Alone

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of not going through alcohol withdrawal alone. The physical and psychological symptoms can sometimes feel like an avalanche, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and isolated. So, having a support system is vital when times get tough. 

Having someone to talk to about your struggles with drinking can help reduce anxiety and depression associated with withdrawing from alcohol. Generally, a supportive environment allows you to express feelings safely without being judged or dismissed.

In addition, having access to professional help such as counselors, therapists, addiction specialists, or other healthcare providers is essential during this difficult time. These professionals can assess any underlying mental health issues which may affect your ability to abstain from alcohol use, provide resources and guidance throughout the process, and monitor progress along the way. 

  1. Drink Lots Of Fluids

It’s essential to drink plenty of fluids when experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Liquids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks and coconut water, are especially beneficial.

Electrolytes help balance the body’s chemistry and reduce feelings of nausea, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and muscle cramps. Drinking enough fluids also helps replenish lost nutrients due to excessive drinking.

  1. Manage Cravings

Riding out cravings is one of the most challenging parts of recovering from alcohol withdrawal. Cravings can be intense and overwhelming, but they don’t have to take control over you. 

Here are four tips to help manage your cravings:

  • Remind yourself why you’re quitting drinking. Focusing on your goals and reasons for sobriety can help keep you motivated when faced with intense cravings.
  • Know that cravings pass, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Accepting that these feelings are normal and temporary can help provide some relief during a craving episode.
  • Distract yourself by engaging in an activity or hobby that takes up a lot of focus and energy, such as drawing, painting, playing music, or exercising.
  • Reach out for support from family or friends who understand what you’re going through and can lend an understanding ear when needed. 

Although managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms may seem impossible at first, remembering these tips can make all the difference in helping you ride out those tough moments of temptation. With enough determination and self-care, you can remain committed to your journey to sobriety and achieve your desired level of wellness. 

  1. Take A Cold Shower

Taking a cold shower may seem like the last thing you want to do during alcohol withdrawal, but it can be beneficial. The cold water will shock your system and help distract you from any feelings of discomfort or anxiety. It’s also an effective way to increase blood flow throughout the body, which can reduce fatigue associated with alcohol withdrawals. 

A cold shower is refreshing and invigorating, helping to create more energy than before. This simple self-care activity also requires little effort yet yields significant rewards for those going through alcohol withdrawal. Whether opting for colder temperatures or something more moderate, showers can be a great way to reset mentally and physically during distress.

  1. Eat Healthy Food

Eating nutritious food can help the body recover from the effects of heavy drinking. It’s worth noting that fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that provide important nutrients for cells in the body. These foods also contain antioxidants that can aid in detoxifying the liver and improve mood and energy levels.

Furthermore, consuming whole grains such as oatmeal or quinoa may also be beneficial during this time. Whole grains are high in fiber, which helps maintain blood sugar levels and provides sustained energy throughout the day. They’re also good for your gut. Additionally, complex carbohydrates found in whole grains have been known to increase serotonin production, which may further reduce stress levels associated with alcohol withdrawal. 

  1. Meditate

Meditation can be a fantastic activity you can add to your routine as it allows you to focus on your breath and bring awareness to the present moment. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety associated with alcohol withdrawal.

In addition, meditation has been proven to help people struggling with addiction by reducing cravings and allowing individuals to gain more clarity around their decisions when facing temptation.  

To meditate, find a comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed for at least ten minutes. Sitting in a chair or lying down generally works, but make sure that whatever position you choose isn’t too uncomfortable so that it distracts you from focusing on your breathing. Once settled, close your eyes and notice how each inhale differs from each exhale. 

  1. Exercise

Exercise is integral to managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms since it can help reduce cravings, improve mood, and boost energy levels. Regular physical activity releases endorphins which act as natural antidepressants, helping to elevate one’s spirits. Moreover, it also helps restore the body’s balance of hormones, leading to improved sleep and overall well-being.

However, before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to remember that exercise should be tailored to meet individual needs, considering a person’s medical history, current health status, and any other factors affecting their ability to perform specific exercises safely. 

  1. Rekindle An Old Hobby Or Start A New One

Finding a new or old hobby can be beneficial for managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It’s an effective way to distract yourself from urges and cravings, providing structure and giving you something positive to focus on. Here are some tips to help get started:

  • Think about activities that have always interested you but have yet to have time for – like playing an instrument, hiking, or learning a language.
  • Ask your friends if they know of any clubs or organizations related to hobbies that interest you.
  • Take up volunteering at local charities; this is also a great way to connect with people who share similar interests and values as you do.
  • Search online for classes, tutorials, forums, and other resources that may help guide your efforts while exploring new passions.

Getting involved in creative outlets can be therapeutic, giving individuals purpose outside of drinking alcohol and helping them stay focused on their recovery journey without feeling overwhelmed by their current circumstances. 

  1. Get Medical Assistance If You Are Progressing Toward Delirium Tremens

If a person is heading towards Delirium Tremens then it’s essential to get medical assistance as soon as possible. This serious condition can cause confusion, hallucinations, seizures, high blood pressure, fever, and even death in some cases. It typically occurs within 48-72 hours after the last drink but may occur earlier or later, depending on how dependent someone is on alcohol.

Medical help must be sought out immediately to prevent this from happening. A doctor can provide medications and treatments tailored specifically to each individual’s needs to reduce symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, such as shaking hands and sweating. In addition, they’ll monitor the patient closely until all symptoms have subsided.

  1. Establish A New Routine

When attempting to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms and getting sober, avoiding your usual routine with friends or drinking buddies as much as possible is paramount. By breaking old patterns, you can slowly fight the urge to give in to your cravings.

To help you break these bonds and start establishing a healthier routine, consider saying pass on social activities that involve drinking. In addition, if there’s an area you know your drinking buddies often frequent, steer clear of the vicinity so you don’t have to worry about temptation or being reminded of what used to bring you joy.  

Finally, if the situation calls for it and is necessary, try making new friends who do not partake in drinking as much as your former ones did. Having positive influences around can aid immensely when trying to break away from addiction-related activities. 

This process may seem difficult initially, but it ultimately results in increased self-control and improved physical health.  


The experience of alcohol withdrawal can be difficult, but with the right help and support it can be managed. As a good start, it’s important to recognize that recovery from alcoholism isn’t a one-time event; it requires consistent effort and commitment to maintain sobriety over time. 

With understanding and care for yourself and practical strategies like the ones mentioned above, you’ll have what it takes to successfully manage your alcohol withdrawal symptoms and get on the path toward sustained recovery.

By Caitlyn

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