Awful Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

By James Madeiros


Responsible drinking can be very pleasurable as a social experience and a shock to the taste buds, but it’s always a good thing to remember that anyone can be one bender away from becoming Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.

Becoming Nic Cage is bad enough, but suffering through alcohol withdrawal can be 100 times worse, mostly because it’s actually possible.

The first question people usually ask is how much one has to drink before alcohol withdrawal symptoms even become an issue, and the best answer is that it can happen in as little as a few weeks if the drinking is heavy and frequent enough.

Naturally, the follow-up question is how much one has to drink to trigger withdrawal in such a short period of time, and that’s when it gets tricky. Everyone responds to alcohol in different ways both mentally and physically, which makes it hard to predict how much it takes to send a particular person over the edge.

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say you’re already at the withdrawal stage. What can you expect to feel when (if?) you “detox,” or abruptly stop drinking alcohol?


• Confusion
• Fatigue
• Uncontrollable shaking (tremors)
• Nightmares
• Depression

Plus, if things are extremely bad you’ll experience what’s known as delirium tremens, which is most easily described as going crazy while having seizures and vomiting everywhere.

It’s also important to remember that the least horrific of these symptoms can start in as little as 5 hours after your last drink, or days later as your body catches up to the fact that the alcohol is being purged from it. Either way, it’s probably something you don’t want to experience, which means knowing your limits and exercising them.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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