In the United States, alcohol is the most used addictive substance. About 14.4 million Americans live with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). It’s easy to get trapped in an alcohol addiction, but not so easy to get out.1
Alcohol dependency is not only psychological, but also physical. Your body builds tolerance for alcohol, causing you to drink larger-than-normal amounts as your body gets used to its regular dosage.
Many people are afraid of quitting alcohol because of the withdrawal symptoms they might experience. Although not everyone suffers from these symptoms, they can be dangerous and/or life-threatening.
Seeking professional help is key for a successful alcohol detox and to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. There are many resources available to support you during your sober journey, and medication that can alleviate some unwanted symptoms.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
When you drink alcohol, your levels of the neurotransmitters GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) increase, and your levels of glutamate drop. GABA is responsible for feelings of euphoria and calmness, and glutamate creates excitement.2
If you imbibe regularly, your brain starts relying on alcohol to keep the levels of these neurotransmitters stable. It becomes dependent on alcohol, since it grows accustomed to the artificial interference of alcohol.
If you have been engaging in heavy drinking for a long period of time (weeks, months, or years), you might experience withdrawal symptoms. They occur when you quit drinking alcohol cold turkey or after significantly cutting your intake.
Is it Safe to Quit Drinking Cold Turkey?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very severe and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ideally, you shouldn’t quit drinking cold turkey without help or supervision. Only a few drugs can cause death by withdrawal—and alcohol is one of them.
You’ve already taken a giant step by deciding to quit drinking, and although quitting cold turkey might feel like the obvious move, it’s not always the safest. Gradually drinking less is safer for people who drink heavily, binge drink, or have an alcohol use disorder.3
What Are the Most Common Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms vary from mild to severe, and they’re different in every person. Some severe symptoms can be dangerous, and can cause death in certain cases. If you’re a regular drinker, consult your doctor before you quit drinking cold turkey.
These symptoms can start showing up after 6 hours of having your last drink. But you might not experience any symptoms until 24 to 72 hours after your last drink. Some mild symptoms can persist for long periods of time.4
These are the most common mild symptoms:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Feelings of depression
- Feeling tired
- Mood swings
- Feeling confused
- Having nightmares
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Faster heart rate
- Pale skin
The most common severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tantrums (DTs). Only about 5% of heavy drinkers experience these symptoms, but if it’s left untreated, it can become fatal. These are some symptoms of DTs:5
- Extreme agitation
- Extreme confusion
- Hallucinations (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)
- High blood pressure
How to Ease Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
You should always talk to a doctor if you plan to quit drinking cold turkey. A professional can give you the right treatment for your symptoms. On top of that, here are a few ways to reduce withdrawal symptoms:
- Drink plenty of water
Keeping your body hydrated is key when quitting alcohol. Drink plenty of water and electrolyte-enhanced beverages.
If you’re feeling sick, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind, but the endorphins released when working out help fight anxiety and depression.
- Eat healthy foods
A healthy diet is key to replenish your body of vitamins and minerals, giving it extra support to detox your body.
- Drink Sobrietea
To give your body an extra boost of physical and mental support, rely on Sobrietea. This tea is formulated to support your health while quitting alcohol. Its organic ingredients help you fight withdrawal symptoms naturally.
Sobrietea’s ingredients include organic milk thistle (to aid your liver’s health) and organic kudzu root (to help you control cravings and withdrawal).
With Sobrietea, your sleep improves and your cravings cease. Order it here and fight withdrawal the right way.