Alcohol withdrawal often occurs when someone stops drinking after prolonged, frequent drinking. Many who abuse alcohol believe going “cold turkey” – not drinking at all – is the correct way to stop drinking.

It is not recommended for anyone to detox from alcohol at home. Without proper medical supervision, alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous or even life-threatening.

Here are some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:

1. Agitation & Anxiety

This can appear as extreme fear and anxiety with rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing. Not only that, but restlessness and irritability are also common.

2. Headaches

Throbbing or pulsating in the head, sometimes accompanied by pain and sensitivity to light or sound. In addition, a ‘tightness’ around the head is also common.

3. Nausea & vomiting

Due to the number of toxins in the body from too much alcohol, the brain and body become confused. Often occurs at the same time as dizziness.

4. Disorientation

Starting 12 to 24 hours after drinking, thoughts and motor functions can be impaired. A danger during this stage of withdrawal is an accidental injury.

5. Insomnia

Disruptions in sleep patterns – not sleeping or sleeping too much – can be brought on by alcohol withdrawal. Keeping track of changes can help one identify side effects.

6. Hand tremors

Indicative of more severe withdrawal effects, hand and body tremors are not to be taken lightly.

7. High fever & sweating

If someone’s temperature is over 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit, they may have a fever. Combined with excessive sweating and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it may indicate professional medical help.

8. Seizures

The warning signs are nausea, anxiety, and blurry vision. Afterward, a person having a seizure may black out and fall to the ground or begin shaking. Call paramedics immediately.

9. Hallucinations (tactile/auditory/visual)

Hallucinations are characterized by seeing or experiencing things that are not there in reality. This includes hearing sounds and seeing foreign objects. This is a severe symptom of withdrawal.

10. Delirium tremens

Extremely dangerous! Delirium tremens is the term for severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal side effects. This includes the above seizures and hallucinations as well as irregular heartbeat and mood swings. If someone experiences this, call emergency medical services immediately.

If you or someone you know is attempting to stop their alcohol use, please call StepHouse Recovery’s welcoming staff at (888) 923-7623 or contact us at

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