Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal in Teens and Young Adults

Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal in Teens and Young Adults

What is alcohol withdrawal?

In simple terms, alcohol withdrawal occurs when your body adjusts to not having alcohol in it. When a person consumes heavy alcohol over a long period of time, their body gets used to it. And if the alcohol abuser quits cold turkey, their body – including the central nervous system – will essentially go haywire because of the sudden chemical change.

This sudden change causes several symptoms. Some of the symptoms and side effects of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms depends on factors such as age, weight, and how much alcohol the person consumed.

Teenagers and young adults may show unique signs of alcohol withdrawal. It’s important to know these signs, as unfortunately, many teens and young adults have an alcohol abuse disorder.

10 signs of alcohol withdrawal in teens and young adults


Teens and young adults with alcohol withdrawal may have anxiety and panic attacks as they adjust to not using alcohol to cope or soothe themselves.


This symptom may happen if someone was a heavy drinker and then suddenly stopped. Confusion will show up in the few days after alcohol withdrawal.


Not everyone with alcohol withdrawal has hallucinations, as this symptom is a sign of severe alcohol withdrawal. You should contact a health care professional if your teen or young adult child experiences hallucinations while withdrawing from alcohol.  


Headaches are a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. In fact, many people going through alcohol withdrawal may feel like they’re having a hangover.


Nausea and other digestive changes will be present in the first few hours after quitting alcohol. Teens and young adults may feel as if they’re on the verge of vomiting and they even throw up. This is normal and expected, especially if the sufferer was a heavy drinker.

No appetite

In the first few hours after not drinking, the sufferer may not have an appetite. This may be brought on by nausea and other digestive problems associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Rapid heart rate

A fast-beating heart is a symptom of moderate alcohol withdrawal and usually begins in stage two, or about 24 hours after not drinking.

Shaky hands

Shaky hands are considered a mild symptom, but nonetheless, can be uncomfortable. Some people experience shakiness all over. This should reside within a few days after quitting alcohol.


People who heavily abused alcohol may experience seizures during alcohol withdrawal. They can happen as early as eight hours after withdrawal. Seizures are considered a severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal.


The heart may beat faster as the body tapers off alcohol and this can cause sweating. The sweating may be mild or it may be profuse.

Helping teens withdraw from alcohol

Knowing the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in teens and young adults is the first step to getting them the help they need. The next step is talking to an addiction specialist at Mallard Lake Detox Center, a luxury rehab facility that offers both inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment programs. To get started, call 936-800-8025 or complete our contact form. We’re eager to talk to you and help your loved ones become sober.


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