Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Because complications of AWS can be deadly, never try to wait out your tremor from AWS or manage it on your own. Some people will have only a mild hand tremor or muscle twitching in alcohol withdrawal. However, other people will have more serious problems, like a full-body seizure.

Detoxing at home can lead to a higher chance of relapse since there is less accountability and support compared to an inpatient alcohol detox. It also runs the risk of having health complications due to withdrawal side effects and not having medical support available to help. Some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, so it’s important to be prepared to ensure safety. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.


These medications also help in the reduction of anxiety, which is another potential sign of alcohol withdrawal. There are both short-acting and long-acting benzodiazepines that can be used in a detox program. These medications are used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and muscular spasms. In some cases, medication is necessary to lessen withdrawal symptoms to manageable levels. The doctor monitors the withdrawal process and prescribes alcohol detox medications. The first stage of side effects usually occurs within eight to ten hours after stopping drinking.

Nevertheless, even those patients may benefit from treatment in the long term, because repeated withdrawal episodes may enhance the brain’s susceptibility to the hyperexcitability that occurs during AW. The results of these clinical studies are confounded by differences among the subjects in the severity of dependence, duration of dependence, and quantity of alcohol consumed. The findings are consistent, however, with information obtained using animal research. Thus, prompt appropriate treatment of withdrawal, even in patients with mild symptoms, may conceivably prevent the development of complicated, more severe withdrawal during subsequent episodes. Despite this current understanding of the mechanisms underlying AW syndrome, some controversies still exist regarding the risk, complications, and clinical management of withdrawal. These controversies likely arise from the varied clinical manifestations of the syndrome in alcoholic patients and from the diverse settings in which these patients are encountered.

Nutritional Support

We also accept private payment methods and accept multiple financing options. If you need FREE help please contact theNational Helplineabout mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, treatment, and recovery in English and Spanish. However, how long it will take to detox is based on the severity of the addiction. Delirium tremens is one of the most serious side effects of alcohol withdrawal. In addition to stage three symptoms, DTs can affect normal body function.

Without detox and therapeutic support, it’s almost impossible for an individual to recover from alcohol addiction fully. The first step in healing from the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of alcohol abuse is to detox. The detox process requires the body to withdraw from alcohol use entirely. The most uncomfortable detox withdrawal symptoms usually peak around hours after the last drink and start to lessen by hours. Although delirium tremens is unlikely, roughly 30% of those who get it will also develop Aspiration Pneumonia.

Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal

Here you can fully focus on a long-term alcohol detox side effects rehabilitation by engaging in counseling, support groups and other types of treatment to achieve a long-term success. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process, but alcoholism does not have to run your. Although alcohol detox can be difficult, it’s an important first step in the recovery process. If you need help find a medically supervised detox in a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment.


BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. As a result, the brain increases its production of stimulating chemicals, such as serotonin or norepinephrine. These stimulating chemicals work to balance out the depressive episodes of heavy drinking.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

PAWS involves withdrawal symptoms that occur after acute withdrawal and can make post-rehab life challenging for some individuals. Depending on the severity of your alcohol abuse, PAWS can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year. Many people are hesitant to quit drinking because of the thought of experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms is scary. However, it’s important to note that alcohol addiction treatment professionals can provide prescription medications to help relieve pain.

They also offer medications to help minimize detox side effects and respond to possible complications. In addition, it appeared to reduce the craving for alcohol post withdrawal.28 As with the other anticonvulsants, more controlled trials are needed. For those trying to detox from alcohol, it is vital to do so under the supervision of a doctor, as the withdrawal symptoms may be severe. Alcohol use disorder can lead to various physical and mental health conditions. If a person has alcohol use disorder, their body gets used to a certain amount of alcohol in their system.

“Update on the neurobiology of withdrawal seizures.” Epilepsy currents, 2005. When withdrawal symptoms worsen over time after several setbacks, the “kindling effect” is said to be taking place. After every setback and subsequent attempt at quitting, the next withdrawal can become even harder. Because of the neurological hyperactivity in the brain, reactions to withdrawal become increasingly more severe after going through it multiple times. The long-term outlook for someone experiencing alcohol withdrawal is highly dependent on what happens after detox.

How long does it take for your liver to repair without alcohol?

Healing can begin as early as a few days to weeks after you stop drinking, but if the damage is severe, healing can take several months. In some cases, “if the damage to the liver has been long-term, it may not be reversible,” warns Dr. Stein.