Thinking of taking a break from regular use?
See the 'Making changes' page for more information on how to Manage withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.
It can be hard to take a break from drinking, even if you only use alcohol socially, as it can be difficult to avoid in everyday life. If you have been drinking regularly or for a long time, it can be even more challenging to stop using, especially if it happens suddenly. In some cases where alcohol use is heavy, it can be dangerous to stop drinking completely without the support of medical professionals. If you have been drinking heavily, your doctor will help you to come up with a plan to cut down or stop slowly and may use other prescription medicines, such as benzodiazepines, to help with the unpleasant effects. There are also lots of other services that support people who would like to stop or cut back on their drinking.
If you …
Are sensitive to sound and light
Feel sweaty or feel very hot or very cold
Are dry retching
Feel agitated or irritable
Experience low mood
Have difficulty sleeping
Experience numbness in your body
Try these things at home:
Have heart palpitations
Experience a fever
Are severely agitated or aggressive
Experience increased or ongoing low mood
Experience severe or persistent insomnia
Feel like your skin is crawling
Feel intense disorientation and confusion
Are severely or constantly nauseous
Feel panicked or have a panic attack
Have increased vomiting
Experience heavy sweating
Have severe anxiety
Have suicidal thoughts
Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)
You can talk to your doctor about:
Have chest pains
Have a high fever
Have severe vomiting
Have severe disorientation (including not knowing where you are)
Have ongoing or disturbing hallucinations
Have severe tremors
Have trouble breathing
Have serious disturbances in mental abilities (delirium)
Have a seizure
These are signs you could be experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal. You or the people around you should act quickly.
For more information on getting support for drug and alcohol use, see Finding support.
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