Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome – Facts to Know

1What to Know about Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome and Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms that happen when heavy drinkers stop suddenly or reduce their alcohol intake significantly. This condition affects people with alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism or alcohol addiction. It occurs due to the dependence of the body on the substance over the long run. With alcohol withdrawal syndrome, people may have a combination of both mental and physical symptoms. Some problems can be severe or even fatal. [1]

Alcohol is a form of depressant, meaning that it may slow the brain. When you consume wine or beer too frequently, too heavily, or for an extended period of time, more neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid and dopamine, are released by the brain. These components can affect the sense of reward and excitement to compensate for depressant effects. When consumed too much, alcohol may change the brain chemistry and lead to dependence or addiction over time. If this occurs, the central nervous system may not adapt to the lack of alcohol easily. Therefore, alcohol withdrawal syndrome would happen when you reduce alcohol intake significantly or stop drinking suddenly. [2]

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