Will I notice side effects if I quit drinking?

Will I notice side effects if I quit drinking?

Unlike other hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine, alcohol addiction takes longer to develop, ranging from months to years.

You may eventually reach a point where you wish to tone down or completely stop your drinking altogether, only to find out that you are unable to do so.

Quitting for some people will be relatively easy because they experience no withdrawal side effects.

However, others may find it hard to stop their drinking habits, with mild or severe side effects due to withdrawal.

Let us look at some of the side effects of quitting alcohol that you may notice.


Alcohol slows down brain function and interferes with nerves sending messages back and forth.

With time, your central nervous system adapts to functioning with alcohol in the brain, and withdrawal comes when alcohol is not in your body.

If you quit drinking, one notable but mild side-effect will be anxiety - a disruption of hormones and electrical signals to the brain due to lack of alcohol.

The need for alcohol in the system makes you experience many feelings related to anxiety, which cease once you take a drink.

You may experience shaky hands partly due to anxiety or lack of alcohol affecting proper brain and body function.

Other mild symptoms

With brain and nerve function less optimal, you can experience other mild side effects such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Headaches

You can quickly remedy the mild symptoms with proper medical care and direction.


One significant side effect you may experience is hallucinating. You begin seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.

Picture your brain working overtime to make you take that drink. Severe addicts need proper medical care if they start hallucinating.

Hallucinations start within 12 to 24 hours of putting that drink down. Together with tremors, illusions form the earliest withdrawal symptoms.


Seizures can occur both as effects of taking excessive alcohol or as withdrawal symptoms.

They usually occur within 48 hours of putting down the drink or within the first week of soberness.

Withdrawal seizures are less frequent with between 2% and 5% of alcoholics experiencing it and do not have any brain damage effects.

You may not experience this side effect, but the culmination of the mild effects could ultimately place you in danger of seizures.

Are there more extreme side effects?

One extreme withdrawal side effect is delirium tremens (DT).

DT has severe symptoms such as delusions and vivid hallucinations, which occur to less than 5% of people with alcohol withdrawal.

Other symptoms that could occur with DT include high blood pressure, fever, heavy
sweating, and confusion.

Look on the bright side.

Some side effects seem scary, while others are downright unpleasant.

However, your body continues to heal even as you go through these side effects of withdrawal, which are mostly short term.

In the long run, better mental health, weight-loss, increased energy, and a healing liver includes some of the advantages of quitting alcohol.

Seek experienced good alcohol addiction advice and a proper diagnosis from a doctor on what symptoms follow alcohol withdrawal.

Photo de John Matthew provenant de Pexels
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