Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Can You Really Die From Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

You may have heard this before, but alcohol, benzodiazepines and barbiturates all have a risk of fatal withdrawal symptoms. Can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Sadly, the answer is yes. But a safe and controlled detox from alcohol is possible with medical support and/or supervision. Most of us know that there are serious risks that come along with drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high. We know that those risks can be deadly. It may be alcohol poisoning. Sometimes alcohol is indirectly responsible for a death though. For example, a car accident while driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). Or high-risk behavior like fighting or reckless physical stunts.

How Can This Article Help?

Most people who drink or use drugs to excess are aware they may be taking their life in their hands at any given moment. But can you really die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Withdrawal isn’t what we usually think of when we consider ways that a drinking or a drug habit might cost someone their life. If you’re asking ‘can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms’ then this was written for you! This article will inform you of the risks that can come from withdrawal in an uncontrolled setting without medical support. You must never try to detox yourself or anyone else off alcohol without medical support and supervision. If anyone is currently detoxing from alcohol and exhibiting any worrying symptoms at all, do not hesitate. Call 911 immediately. You might save a life. Otherwise follow the guidance in this article and if you have any questions about alcohol detox or alcoholism or addiction in general, call Harmony Recovery Center at (704) 368-1131.

But… How Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

We trust that you believe what we’re telling you is the truth. But you still want to know how can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It’s a fair question, so let us explain. The severity of alcohol withdrawal varies. How severe it is depends on how much a person was drinking and for how long. It also depends on each person’s unique physiology. Your uncle might have quit drinking cold turkey and survived, but you could just as easily have a seizure and die in withdrawal, even though you were drinking about the same amount. Withdrawal symptoms are not only really unpleasant. They can be unpredictable. It’s best not to play around with them. How can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? The most likely cause of death from alcohol withdrawal is the result of a seizure.

What Are The Early Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The beginning symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start as soon as 6 hours after your last drink.

Here is a list of the early symptoms of withdrawal:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking hands
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inability to sleep


What Can Happen Later on?

As time goes on without alcohol, withdrawal symptoms become more serious. Someone in a more advanced stage of alcoholism may begin to experience delirium tremens of the “DT’s” during this time. The DT’s feature hallucinations and delusions. Not everyone experiences DT’s. But, anyone who has an alcohol use disorder may have a seizure in withdrawal and the seizure could be fatal. Remember this if anyone ever asks you ‘can you die with alcohol withdrawal symptoms’

Here is a list of later alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can occur within 1-3 days from your last drink:

  • Heavy sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Racing heart
  • Seizures


The important thing to remember in all of this is the answer to the question: Can you die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? The answer is YES. Withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates is especially risky because fatal seizures may occur. We tell you this not to scare you. We want you to take alcohol withdrawal seriously. You should never attempt alcohol withdrawal on your own. Always have as much medical support as possible.

If you’re at all serious about ending an alcohol use disorder, then you should consider alcohol rehab as well. Most people are not able to simply get a medical detox and then stop drinking for good without more help. If you or someone you care about has an alcohol use disorder, give Harmony Recovery Center a call at (704) 368-1131 or reach out to us through our contact page here. There is hope and we can help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *