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Are Shaky Hands A Sign of Alcoholism?

Are Shaky Hands A Sign of Alcoholism?

If you have noticed tremors, twitching, or “shaky” hands and you believe it is related to problematic drinking, you should seek help as soon as possible. Shaky hands are a possible sign that your drinking has developed into alcoholism.

Ignoring it isn’t a solution. Investigating may uncover a deeper, more uncomfortable, and costly issue, but it’ll get you on the path to a solution. 

Are Shaky Hands A Sign of Alcoholism?


No doubt an unsatisfying answer, but as with all things in life, the answer depends on each individual’s circumstance and person.

It’s possible that those shaky hands are just the result of a hangover from a night of binging. While binge drinking is itself a problem, it doesn’t necessarily equate to full-blown alcoholism. You might’ve even come across the term “hangover shakes” en route to this article.

Why do these tremors occur? Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down the primary functions of the brain and central nervous system. This can interfere with the chemicals in the brain that helps regulate our moods and behavior, which is how the feeling of being “drunk” occurs.

As the effects of alcohol wear off on the body, the brain and nervous system begin to rapidly speed back up, no longer slowed by the depressant effects. This process can cause tremors and shaking hands in some individuals.

For people with a problematic relationship with alcohol, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to a person experiencing heavy shakes all over their body. This event is often called “hangover shakes” and is a sign of a problem drinker.

What Are the Classic Signs of An Alcohol Addiction?

While different substances can prevent various symptoms, the behavior of an addict is often similar no matter what substance is being abused:

  • Drinking more than planned or for longer than planned
  • Inability to cut back despite best efforts to do so
  • Spending a lot of time getting drinks, drinking, or recovering from hangovers
  • Cravings
  • Work, school, and home life responsibilities are unmet
  • Drinking causes relationship problems
  • Not going to social, occupational, or other activities because you can’t drink
  • Using despite apparent adverse effects
  • Finding yourself in increasingly dangerous situations
  • Building a tolerance which requires more drinks to feel the same effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking

These won’t happen all at once, but as the alcohol addiction worsens, you’ll see more evidence of these signs.

How To Get Help with Alcohol Addiction Today

The first order of business is recognizing that an addiction to alcohol exists. That’s square one.

From there, it’s about detoxing safely. Alcohol is one of those substances that have distinct dangers when it comes to withdrawal. Delirium tremens happen to those with the most severe and chronic addiction to alcohol. Among other things, they manifest as tremors and can be fatal. Research shows that it “has an anticipated mortality of up to 37% without appropriate treatment”.

Once you’ve gotten through the detoxification under the guidance and support of professionals, it’s time to work on the mental side of alcohol addiction. That’s where a rehab program can be effective. Working with a group of addiction specialists – the team at Principles Recovery Center having over 30 years of experience in substance abuse programs – makes the road to recovery easier. Through evidence-based group and individual work, you’ll be able to develop the tools needed for sustained sobriety. To learn more, reach out to us today.

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