What Are Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?Substance AbuseWhat Are Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

What Are Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol is so common that research indicates most people start drinking between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and it is rare for people to drink for the first time after age twenty-five. 

In 2020, nearly sixty percent of people over the age of twelve drank alcohol over the previous month. Over twenty percent of those people consider themselves binge drinkers. 

Given how common alcohol consumption is, it’s easy for people to overlook the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, let alone recognize when it’s time to get help. 

In fact, common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are the classic hangover, and yet people brush off a hangover as emblematic of a good time the previous night. 

Centric Behavioral Health Group offers top-rated addiction treatment centers designed with you in mind.

Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Regular alcohol consumption changes the neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly GABA and glutamate. Alcohol consumption enhances GABA, which makes you feel calmer, tired, and relaxed. Changes to glutamate and other symptoms also suppress certain neurotransmitters and elevate others, which leads you to feel excitable, energetic, and willing to say or do things you wouldn’t normally say or do.


Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol start with a simple hangover. Because alcohol is completely legal and a common feature in social events, a hangover is often disregarded as a normal part of drinking. However, it’s far from it.

The effects of alcohol withdrawal can start after just one night of heavy drinking, manifesting in things like:

  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

Short-Term Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol

Short-term alcohol abuse can manifest in common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal similar to a hangover but often more intense. 

People who suddenly decrease their levels of alcohol consumption or stop drinking entirely will notice withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fast heart rate
  • Irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 

Short-term symptoms are easier to overcome because they don’t last as long and are not as severe as long-term symptoms. If you don’t get help for alcoholism or alcohol dependence, you risk worse withdrawal symptoms.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

The longer an individual goes consuming alcohol regularly without treatment, the more likely they are to struggle with very severe and potentially harmful long-term effects of alcohol withdrawal. 

Some common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal for long-term users include:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety 
  • Mild tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

In addition to the risk of increased withdrawal symptoms, the long-term effects of alcohol consumption can lead to other physical health complications, particularly increased risks of cancer, liver failure, kidney dysfunction, and infections. Withdrawal symptoms can also exacerbate these physical health issues during detox.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

If you or someone you love has tried to quit drinking or reduce how much is consumed but struggled with hangovers, short-term withdrawal symptoms of alcohol, and long-term effects of alcohol withdrawal, it might be time to consider professional detox services.

With Centric Group, you can start medication-assisted detox for alcohol withdrawal. Medication-assisted alcoholism treatment provides FDA-approved medications to help with the most severe withdrawal symptoms, prepare for any potential medical complications like seizures or hallucinations, and prevent serious health complications like delirium tremens. 


We will start with an initial assessment when you come to one of our locations for help. This assessment helps our team make the best recommendation for alcohol treatment based on the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal you are likely to experience. 


In preparation for your detox, we will explain the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol you can expect, the timeline for your withdrawal, and what will happen during detox. Our detox process helps manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal safely, keeping you comfortable and secure during the first few days of detox. 


The type of therapy program you start is based on your needs. We individualize our programs to fit dependence and mental health issues. From there, we will help you continue to avoid alcohol withdrawal in the future with ongoing therapy. 

If you are struggling with alcohol dependence and depression, we can provide dual diagnosis services to treat both simultaneously. 

If you need flexibility in your schedule and can only attend alcohol rehab outside of work hours, we can provide outpatient programs that do exactly that.

Call Centric today to learn more about how we manage alcohol withdrawal.