Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are experienced in people who suffer from alcohol dependence and addiction. Before you decide to detox, it is important to seek medical advice and preferably seek treatment in a residential centre.

If you are a heavy drinker, you may need to detox under medical supervision to ensure the process is as safe as possible. Although it is not possible to avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms, medical professionals can provide prescription medications that can alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, which is the best way to manage withdrawal.

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can be extremely difficult to overcome alone. If left untreated, alcohol abuse will have a devastating impact on your life and family, so learning how to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms is key to recovery.

Find out how you can avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms here.


What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol?

Severe alcohol dependence affects both physical and mental health and can also lead to various personal and professional problems. Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and have life-threatening side effects.

Here are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms which arise during alcohol withdrawal:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Headaches, fevers, and chills
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Shaking, sweating
  • Irritability, restlessness, and mood swings
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Changes in body temperature
  • A loss of appetite
  • Cravings
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Cognitive issues and lack of concentration
  • Muscle weakness

Individuals with severe alcohol addiction can suffer from delirium tremens (also known as DT) during detox. This is one of the most severe forms of alcohol withdrawal and can cause life-threatening conditions like uncontrollable tremors, hallucinations, seizures and even heart complications, which is why it is key to complete withdrawal with the support of professionals.

Heavy drinkers should never detox on their own because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening and unavoidable without medications. Anyone with a serious drinking problem should be under medical supervision in a treatment centre for the duration of their detox programme.


What Can Help Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you suffer from alcohol use disorder, you struggle to control your alcohol intake and often feel as though you can’t function without a drink, it’s important to know that you are not alone. According to the World Health Organisation, over 3 million people die annually from the harmful effects of alcohol.

Fortunately, alcohol abuse and addiction are treatable and there are a growing number of addiction treatment centres such as ours that specialise in treating alcohol use disorders with medical alcohol detox, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, and support groups.

An early indicator that you have an alcohol dependence problem is that your body develops an increased tolerance to alcohol and as a result, you need to continually increase your alcohol consumption to function properly.

When your body is deprived of alcohol, you will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you are a regular heavy drinker there is almost no way that you will be able to detox and avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Although you cannot avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms, they can be managed and made less severe during a professional detox.

Attending a rehab centre is the best way to manage and help alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Find out more about our alcohol detox programme here.


How to Avoid Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Treating alcohol addiction is complex and while you may not be able to avoid the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, there are ways to reduce them. See how you can avoid withdrawal symptoms from alcohol below:

Get Medical Withdrawal Support

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from headaches to severe reactions such as delirium tremens and depression. If you are a heavy drinker, a clinical detox in a rehab facility will help you avoid the most severe withdrawal symptoms by administering prescription medication with the guidance of medical professionals.

Not only will this reduce the side effects of alcohol withdrawal, but it will also lower the risk of life-threatening seizures. If you only have moderate withdrawal symptoms and are part of an outpatient programme, your GP may prescribe medication to relieve your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Improve Your Nutrition

It is important to drink lots of water and fluids that contain electrolytes to avoid dehydration and nausea during a detox programme and throughout withdrawal. It is also recommended to avoid caffeine.

Eating healthy and nutritious foods is another way to help ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Your body requires good nutrition and will likely be in poor condition after alcohol abuse, so eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and nutrients is very beneficial during the recovery process.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is one of the best tools for coping with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal because it releases endorphins in your brain which can boost your mood and wellbeing.

Exercising is also good for your overall health and confidence. If you don’t want to do a heavy workout or go to a gym, even simply getting outside and taking a walk will have a positive effect on your body, as well as your mental and emotional well-being.

Meditation, Yoga and Deep Breathing

Meditation, yoga and deep breathing techniques can help you relax during alcohol withdrawal by clearing your mind and allowing you to focus on what is truly important to you.

If you are feeling stressed, try breathing in through your nose for at least four seconds, holding it for four seconds and breathing out through your mouth for four seconds. This will help you engage your prefrontal cortex and maintain the ability to think rationally during the withdrawal process.

You can also take a cold shower to clear your mind and regulate your temperature if this is a withdrawal symptom you are struggling with.

Mindfulness techniques can help you take your mind off and avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms momentarily.

Read A Book or Listen to Music

Distraction is a powerful tool to help you focus on something other than your alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Reading a book or listening to music can take your mind off what your body is going through.

Alcohol withdrawal can be painful and there is no way of avoiding alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But if you truly want to stop drinking and lead a happy, healthier life, you need to get treatment for your alcohol use disorder. Call us today so that we can discuss your options 0800 880 7596.


How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms is different for everyone and varies in severity. How long withdrawal symptoms last depends on how severe alcohol use is, and typically lasts between 5-8 days.

The worst symptoms of withdrawal are typically within the first 2 days and are known as acute withdrawal. Although you cannot avoid alcohol withdrawal, it can be managed by medical professionals in alcohol rehab.


Get Support for Alcohol Withdrawal

If you want to recover from alcohol addiction but are worried about withdrawals, get in touch with our expert team today. We can help you recover and help you to avoid alcohol withdrawal as much as possible.

Our detox team can support you throughout the process – phone today on 0800 880 7596.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: October 9, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.