What Are Some Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

According to a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7% of all adults in the United States admitted to heavy drinking in the past month. Heavy drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on five or more days in the past month. A more startling finding is that an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every single year. These numbers make alcohol abuse the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. And while millions of people participate in heavy drinking every single month, that leads to many drinkers becoming dependent on alcohol.

Many alcoholics won’t admit that they have a problem, but some work to better their lives by attending alcohol addiction treatment programs. But similar to drug addiction treatment, alcoholics also experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit drinking.  Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can affect a persons day to day life.  These symptoms can include:

Severe Shaking

As an alcoholic’s brain becomes accustomed to being intoxicated on alcohol, the bran of the user becomes very confused once the user puts decides to stop drinking. A common symptom during withdraw involves tremors, or severe shaking. This condition typically starts within 5 to 10 hours after the last drink, and the shaking peaks at about 24 to 48 hours after drinking. These tremors are also usually accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, sweating, nausea, and rapid breathing.


Being one of the most severe withdrawal symptoms, alcohol withdrawal seizures are a common symptom to understand. The seizures typically occur 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic beverage, and it is very common for multiple seizures to occur over the next several hours.


Another extreme symptom of alcohol withdrawal involves seeing things that aren’t there. This symptom typically begins within 12 to 24 hours after the last beverage, and these hallucinations may happen for as long as two days after the initial episode begins. Users who experience this symptom typically see small, similar, and moving objects. These hallucinations can vary greatly, but they typically involve very detailed and imaginative visions.

Agitation and Anxiety 

Being an extremely common withdrawal symptom, agitation and anxiety are one of the first withdrawal symptoms that an alcoholic experiences. This can happen after only a few hours after their last drink and can become progressively worse over the next few days.

If you or someone you know is dependent on alcohol, then they might reap great benefits from the Bay Area Recovery Center. With multiple locations in Texas, finding a treatment center by you is easy. From our inpatient and outpatient programs to our detox services and interventions, we can help alcoholics move past their addiction to live happy, healthy, and rewarding lives.

William Smith

LCDC, SAP, ADC, Admissions Director

William, better known as Billy around here is head of our admissions team. If you inquire about any of our treatment services, you will most likely speak with Billy in some capacity. Billy is one of the most passionate people when it comes down to recovery. You don’t have to have a long conversation to understand how much he cares about helping others. A recovered addict himself, he knows how miserable it is for those and their families who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. He has been a part of Bay Area Recovery Center since 2008.

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