During the first several days after you quit drinking, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Over time, your body becomes dependent on your drinking frequency and patterns. However, when you abruptly stop drinking, your body requires time to figure out what chemicals it’s missing.

Alcohol withdrawal is highly variable depending on how much and for how long someone has been abusing alcohol. The more dependent on alcohol a person is, the more likely the person is to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Many people are hesitant to quit drinking because of the thought of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. However, we are the specialists and we provide you with prescription medications to help relieve pain. By reducing withdrawal symptoms, you will be able to focus on getting better.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms come in two stages. The first stage is the acute withdrawals than can last up to a week. The second stage is called (PAWS) post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

The acute stage symptoms are listed below:

Mild symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

One of the most severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens, or “the DTs” About 3 percent to 5 percent of people who withdraw from heavy drinking experience the DTs. This condition can become fatal if it’s left untreated, so if you or a loved one show any symptoms of the DTs, seek emergency treatment because symptoms can get worse.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Fever
  • Extreme agitation
  • Seizures
  • Extreme confusion
  • Hallucinations (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • High blood pressure

(PAWS) Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

This is the second stage of alcohol withdrawal and it refers to the persistent symptoms that can last up to a year. The range of symptoms is again highly variable from person to person.

The term was created to describe the cluster of on-going withdrawal symptoms, which are largely psychological and mood-related, that can continue after acute withdrawal symptoms have gone away.

PAWS are a controversial topic and the symptoms are largely self-reported by people who stop drinking rather than an official diagnosis.

Common symptoms we see at Horizon Rehab include:

  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Fogginess
  • Fine shaking in the hands
  • Irritability and mood swings

Managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms on your own is not recommended, we are the experts in alcohol detox.

We provide medically assisted detoxes if needed. Read our detox page to learn more or call us now to speak to an expert.

Horizon Rehab Treatment Information

Location and Facilities


Medical Detox

Learn More

Family Support

Learn More