Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Last Update on September 19, 2023 : Published on November 28, 2021
Alcohol Withdrawal syndrome

List of Contents

Alcohol withdrawal is the testing time for a high-functioning alcoholic. An alcoholic goes through a lot of troubling thoughts, feelings and emotions during alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) can also be life-threatening.

Most alcoholics have developed a dependency and almost 70% of high functioning alcoholics suffer from alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Their decision to quit drinking may not be as difficult as the alcohol withdrawal syndromes.

Your body is now habitual to the intoxication and when it doesn’t get that, your body and mind is going to throw tantrums. And let me tell you, these tantrums, can even make you suicidal. T

herefore, the process of quitting alcohol is like walking on burning coal to save you from being burnt alive.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a condition that occurs right after an alcoholic stops drinking. A sudden reduction in the intake of alcoholic drinks or a complete end to alcohol consumption can lead you to a withdrawal state.

An alcohol withdrawal state can make your body and mind retaliate to your decision and will do anything to make your drink again. Because it’s not just you who is addicted, your mind and body are too.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome affects most of the alcoholic population who decides to quit. It’s like you will have an angel and devil sitting on your shoulders, each telling you to do the opposite of the other.

Let’s have a quick look at the causes of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and then we’ll discuss the symptoms.

Also Read: Long Term Effects Of Bulimia Nervosa: Things You Should Keep In Mind

What Can Cause Someone To Develop Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

There is only one cause of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and that is a sudden reduction of alcohol intake. I know what you are thinking right now! Reducing alcohol should be a good thing then why does it create problems?

I will tell you why, when you are consuming alcohol your nervous system is excited as well as irritated. If you continue to consume alcohol, you body and mind get habitual to the excitement. Now when you suddenly stop your body and mind start craving the excitement and that is how it reacts in such away.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

There are a few symptoms that indicate that you might be going through an alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The only thing you have to keep in mind is all these symptoms should occur after you stop consuming alcohol.

  • Intense Tremors
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Continuous fever
  • Heavy dehydration

These four symptoms are a 100% indication that you’re in withdrawal. Most professionals use this information to diagnose alcohol withdrawal syndrome. There are other symptoms too that are associated with alcohol withdrawal syndrome…

  • The constant state of Anxiety or panic
  • Agitation
  • Auditory, visual & tactile disturbances
  • Hallucinations (in worse conditions)
  • Headaches, nausea
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Extreme sweating or shivers

All these are signs that you are going through an alcohol withdrawal period. If you are experiencing these symptoms and haven’t visited a doctor yet, I suggest you meet a professional with immediate effect.

How Can You Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

The treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome is available. The best is to get professional help and do as directed. Here are the most effective options for the treatment.

Treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome through medications

Medicines are used to reduce the symptoms. Usually, doctors prescribe sedatives and benzodiazepines to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. It’s always better to talk to your doctor about the side effects of these medicines because they can cause dependency.

Medicines, namely chlordiazepoxide, lorazepam, alprazolam, and some vitamin supplements can be prescribed to you.  Do not use these medicines without your doctor’s advice!

Also read: How Does Workout Help Reverse Alcohol-Induced Brain Damage

Treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome through hospitalization

Hospitalization is required in severe cases because the doctor may need to monitor your condition. The monitoring is required because you will be getting fielded and intravenous medicines to treat your condition. Hospitalization is always accompanied by medications.

Can You Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome At Home?

If the symptoms are mild, you can treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome at home as well. Akk you have to do is:

  • Have someone (friend/confidant) by your side at all times
  • Have a supportive environment at home
  • Remove all alcoholic drinks from the house
  • Friends and family should make sure they motivate the patient
  • Regular visits to the counselor/ support group
  • Carry your sober coin wherever you go, it will remind you why you are doing this
  • Send more time with sober friends, eliminate alcoholics from your life
  • Go to the hospital if the symptoms worsen

Try these things and I am sure your road to recovery will be easy and enjoyable!

That’ll all Folks!

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome will break you in bits but you have the strength in you to gather yourself and become a new person from those old bits.

I hope this blog helped you understand alcohol withdrawal syndrome and it’s signs and symptoms. If you know someone who is suffering do share the treatment options for alcohol withdrawal syndrome with them.

Thanks for reading!

Take care, be sober and stay safe

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.


  1. Cathryn

    I went thru the most extreme withdrawal a person could go thru having 3 grand maul seizures and near death. I was hospitalized and put in a bed and as they were giving me adavan I seized. Please do not withdraw alone! Go to the hospital. I would have died had I not be taken to the hospital. Great article. All the best.

  2. MARGE


  3. Robert

    It's all great advice. But first the patient has to be willing to do list everything that you have in here. If they're not willing it's not going to help. Believe me. I've gone through it before. You have to hit rock bottom.

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