Jun 27, 2024

What Helps with Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcoholism is a complex disease that is affecting the lives of millions of adults in the United States. Deciding to stop drinking is a significant turning point in the life of anyone with alcohol use disorder. 

When the decision is finally made to stop drinking, it’s important to understand what happens during detox and beyond, along with knowing what helps with alcohol withdrawal symptoms to ease their severity. 

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal 

Alcohol is a well-known nervous system depressant. When you consume alcohol, central nervous system function slows down. In response, the body works to keep the brain working appropriately. It accomplished this by overstimulation – although this isn’t felt at the time due to the depressant effects of alcohol. 

However, once you stop drinking, the signals to the brain are still in overdrive. This causes withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. 

Before we list the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it’s important to know that alcohol use disorder is a serious disease that requires treatment. If you need help with alcoholism, we encourage you to reach out to the Massachusetts Center for Addiction at 844-486-0671. We can assist in getting you the help you need today. 

Another option is contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and using their online provider directory to find an addiction treatment center near you. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal 

Symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol generally start out mild and can often be managed on one’s own. These include nausea, vomiting, headaches, sleeplessness, sweating, and anxiety. 

If you don’t have a severe alcohol addiction, your symptoms may stop there. However, for individuals who have a long history of alcohol use disorder and are heavy drinkers, the symptoms can be more severe and require medical supervision or intervention. 

Examples of severe alcohol detox symptoms include: 

  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium 
  • Seizures 
  • Cardiac events 

Do Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal Work?

When planning for detox, it’s helpful to do some research or speak with an addiction care specialist to gain a better understanding of what to expect in terms of symptoms and their durations. You may come across multiple tips to manage alcohol withdrawal and wonder if they actually work. 

There isn’t a yes or no answer to this question. 

Whether natural remedies for alcohol withdrawal work is highly dependent on the individual and the stage of their disease. Remedies to relieve the milder symptoms of withdrawal often do work and can help keep you focused on the goal and the bigger picture. 

The more severe symptoms of withdrawal should not be managed with home remedies. If you or your support person notice any signs of confusion, hallucinations, delirium, seizures, or symptoms that indicate a cardiac risk, emergency help needs to be sought immediately. 

Helpful Tips for Alcohol Withdrawal 

The most important way of managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms is to have a support person with you during the entire process. The effects of alcohol withdrawal can last several days, making it important that your support person or team understand what they are committing to. 

Your support person can help you with relaxation techniques. They can also ensure you have adequate fluids and foods that will be gentle on your stomach. They can also help you focus and be on standby should medical care be needed. 

Give Yourself Time 

Alcohol withdrawal requires time, and it’s not a process that can be rushed through. If you’re planning on going through withdrawal at home, you must allow yourself enough time for the process to complete. 

This includes calling off work in advance or making childcare arrangements. You may want to stock up on necessities and ensure that there is nowhere you need to be or anything requiring immediate attention. 


Dehydration poses a serious risk during detox. As unpleasant as water and electrolyte drinks may taste at the time, maintaining hydration is crucial for your health and safety in this process. 

Relaxation Techniques 

If you can plan in advance, try practicing with effective relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices are just a few examples of relaxation techniques that can help calm and center you during detox. 

Have an Emergency Plan In Place 

For your health and safety, having an emergency plan in place is critical. Who can act on your behalf should you become unconscious or incapacitated? Does your support person have medical power of attorney over you, or do they have a way of contacting someone who does? 

Does your support person know the way to the nearest hospital? Are they willing to act fast if it looks like your health or life is in danger?

Answer these important questions, and make sure that your support person has all the necessary contact information for friends or family you would want to be informed about should you enter the hospital. 

Should You Detox with Alcohol Withdrawal Aids at Home?

Recovery from alcohol addiction, especially during the detox stage, can be a physically challenging process. In some cases, the effects of the body detoxing from alcohol can produce symptoms that are dangerous and potentially life-threatening. 

It’s not advised to undergo alcohol withdrawal at home. The safest place for this to take place is in a qualified medical facility or inpatient addiction treatment center. 

For those not struggling with severe addiction, going through withdrawal at home is safer. For example, this applies to someone without a history of prolonged alcohol abuse but has had several recent episodes of binge drinking.

If you do decide to manage your alcohol detox at home, please do so with the help of a support person who can seek emergency medical care should you need it. 

Seeking Help for Alcohol Withdrawal In Massachusetts 

There are effective ways to handle withdrawal, but how it should be managed depends on individual circumstances, including your past relationship with alcohol. Support for alcohol detox is important, and there’s no reason for you to ever go through this alone. 

Even with strategies for alcohol withdrawal relief, the safest way to detox is under the guidance of a medical or addiction care professional. At Massachusetts Center for Addiction, we’re here to ensure you get the help you need. Contact us today at 844-486-0671 for a complimentary consultation. 

MCA Staff
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