Withdrawals from alcohol can range from a slight headache to death. Many factors influence the severity of alcohol withdrawal, including body size, amount of alcohol consumed, the period over which alcohol was consumed, hydration level before drinking, and more.
Most people with an alcohol use disorder will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking. The body goes through many changes when an individual stops drinking after an extended period of heavy alcohol use and the body and brain become dependent on the patterns and frequency of drinking.
The body is deprived of alcohol’s effects once someone stops alcohol use. Side effects and symptoms will vary, but they can trigger health complications so severe they could be life-threatening. It does not matter if an individual has been drinking for weeks, months, or years. Withdrawal symptoms will still exist.
Alcohol slows down many processes in the body. When a person is regularly drinking, the brain makes chemicals to keep the body awake and functioning as well as possible. When the use of alcohol decreases or stops, it can take a long time for the brain’s chemicals to adjust, resulting in intense and dangerous symptoms, including seizures.
Some signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are: