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Is there a difference between a hangover and alcohol withdrawal?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Yes. While alcohol withdrawal and hangovers have some of the same symptoms, the two conditions are very different in some important ways. For example, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last for days, whereas a hangover takes hours to resolve. Another distinction is that a hangover occurs after one instance (say, a holiday party) of drinking, but alcohol withdrawal takes more prolonged, repeated drinking to produce. Seizures and hallucinations can be a component of alcohol withdrawal, but not hangovers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.