Shakes, Jitters and Tremors: Treating Alcohol Withdrawal

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The symptoms from alcohol withdrawal are terrible and can be life-threatening. Alcoholics must take great care when attempting to quit. Finding quality alcohol detox centers for treatment is vital for patients attempting to come off alcohol.

We can help you find alcohol detox centers near you. Call 800-654-0987.

Signs of Addiction

For alcoholics, it is sometimes difficult to determine when the transition occurs from heavy drinker to alcoholic.  Alcoholism is characterized by denial.  Some symptoms to recognize:

Alcoholism as a Three-Fold Illness

Alcoholism is characterized by physical, mental and emotional illness.  Dr. William Silkworth, one of the first doctors to study alcoholism, explained alcoholism using an allergy analogy.  He proposed that alcoholics experience the “phenomenon of craving”, leading them to drink even when all evidence shows they cannot drink safely.

How Alcohol Affects the Physical Body

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant composed of ethanol.  When ingested, it is processed through the digestive system into the blood, where it is filtered throughout the body.  Drinking alcohol causes sensations of euphoria and sedation.

How Alcohol Affects the Mind

For alcoholics, when alcohol enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain, chemical changes take place.  Some researchers speculate preset differences in certain areas of an alcoholic’s brain that create differences in processing.  Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the inhibition regulator, decreases with prolonged alcohol consumption.  Further, alcohol use stimulates the release of serotonin, the chemical that naturally produces positive feelings of well-being.

How Alcohol Affects the Spirit

Most alcoholics are seekers.  Bright, competent, ambitious people find themselves floundering and unable to stop drinking.  This utter powerlessness over a substance rocks people to the core.  Alcohol wields the power to dim the brightest light in the most religious or spiritually convicted person.


Because of the manner in which alcohol dependence takes over the body and mind, it is important to seek medical help to beat the physical addiction.  Toxicologists can help patients who are detoxing from alcohol by offering a regimen of prescription medications and other natural therapies.  Withdrawal from alcohol can leave the body wracked with life-threatening symptoms.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous.  Detox is an important part of becoming free from the addiction.  Some withdrawal symptoms are:

Phases of Treatment

Entering one of many available qualified alcohol detox centers is the beginning of the long road back.  Finding clinicians specializing in alcohol detoxification who are trained properly is important.  Healing the body from the withdrawal is critical before beginning the deep mental and emotional work necessary to achieve lasting sobriety.

Life Anew

Once the physical addiction is managed, alcoholics can start working to uncover the hidden reasons why alcohol became such a powerful force in their lives.  Some choose inpatient treatment, while others seek outpatient options.  Regardless, recovery from alcoholism is a way of life.  Breaking the chains of alcohol addiction leads to a life of fulfillment and happiness.

Start your recovery journey today by calling our toll-free helpline at 800-654-0987.


American College of Medical Toxicology (2012). The role of a medical toxicologist for assistance in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Journal of Medical Toxicology. 8(2), 238-239. Retrieved from:

Kattimani, S. & Bharadwaj, B. (2013). Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review. Industrial Psychiatry Journal. 22(2); 100-108.  Retrieved from:

Oscar-Berman, M. & Marinkovic, K. (2004). Alcoholism and the brain:  An overview. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved from:

Wilson, B. (2001). Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, New York, NY. Retrieved from: