Alcohol Withdrawal Status: It’s Complicated

Alcohol is a complicated substance to be addicted to. Complicated because it has a whole different set of psychological baggage that comes along with it than other addictive substances. Because Alcohol is a legal and ubiquitous substance, not only socially acceptable but almost socially unavoidable, addiction to it comes along with a kind of shame that says “you should be able to handle this” instead of “you shouldn’t have touched that”. Both stigmas are heartbreaking and damaging in their own special ways to the addict, but because when you drink alcohol you feel like you shouldn’t have a problem with it, you’re expected to have the willpower to deal with it, it’s hard to admit that you may actually be an alcoholic.

When society puts that kind of pressure on a person, the obvious result is that they either don’t stop drinking or they try to stop drinking without the proper medical support. They tell themselves it’s not a problem. They say to themselves that alcohol is a way of life, it’s cultural. They keep moving forward, drinking their liver into oblivion, becoming more depressed, anxious. Becoming more and more dependent. Or, they get so sick of the addiction and the way it controls their lives that they try to detox on their own. But alcohol withdrawal symptoms are serious business and trying to detox outside of a medically supervised alcohol detox can be medically devastating, if not deadly.

They hide their efforts from family and friends out of shame and maybe they get so sick that they end up in a hospital anyway. Or maybe they have a failed detox experience, go back to it, and lose the courage that was making their efforts possible to begin with. Alcohol is so very complicated.

Maybe you know someone who is beginning to admit to themselves and those they love that they are an alcoholic and need help. You want to be supportive. You know how much courage it must take to be so honest and to get help, but you don’t even know where to start. Or maybe it’s you. Maybe you’re fed up with being drunk all the time, with being afraid someone will pick a restaurant for brunch without a mimosa special, maybe you’re sick of being sick when you try not to drink.  But either way, whether you’re trying to support your friend throughout their admission of addiction, through their treatment and recovery or your getting ready to take the difficult step toward detox, rehab and a sober life of heath and happiness, your best weapon in the fight ahead of you is knowledge. So let’s talk a little bit about alcohol withdrawal symptoms so you can understand what detox looks like for an addict.


What Does Alcohol Withdrawal Look Like?

When someone is addicted to alcohol it means that their body expects the substance and needs it to function. That’s why when a person stops using suddenly their bodies get sick. It’s not only a physical sickness, addicts also experience intense mental health complications during detox. If you think about it, it follows that this would be the case since alcohol already affects an addicts mood when they’re drinking. Some of the symptoms addicts experience during alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Headache
  • Heart arrhythmia or palpitations
  • Seizure
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Mood Fluctuation
  • Trouble regulating temperature


Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity. There are a lot of reasons symptoms could be worse or less intense. Some of those variables include weight and height, tolerance level, how long the addict has been drinking, how physically fit the addict is, the mental state of the person, and genetics can even play a part in the way the alcohol addict’s body deals with the sudden loss of the substance it has come to rely on.

It can be devastating to watch someone you love go through alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The physical withdrawal can take about a week for the body to go through detox, but the mental withdrawal symptoms can seem like they last forever. Here’s a bit of encouragement, they won’t.


If you or someone you know is or has been addicted to drugs or alcohol you may already know some of the scary ways it can affect the whole life of the addicted person, from shifting priorities, to deteriorating the most core relationships. If you are suffering from addiction, and are seeking out a South Florida detox, or alcohol rehab near Pompano Florida, call us now at (844) 299-0618 to learn more about our intensive inpatient treatment or outpatient detox center. We are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of our patients. Let us help guide you to the path of sober living.


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