Involuntary Shaking Tremors

A tremor is an involuntary shaking movement that can occur anywhere in the body, affecting parts individually. Tremors are a symptom of many different illnesses, including drug and alcohol addiction, and withdrawal. Drug-induced tremors tend to occur in the head, hands, or feet. Tremors are a known symptom of addiction to alcohol, amphetamines, and cocaine, all of which are an issue for millions of people.

Types of Tremors

Resting (static) tremor – This occurs when the body is at rest and stops the movement.

Intention (kinetic) tremor – This occurs during movement and stops when the affected body part is at rest.

Postural (action) tremor – This occurs when a part of the body is working against gravity, such as when lifting an object.

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Tremors in Alcoholism

Tremors do not manifest merely as a sign of alcohol consumption, meaning that the occasional alcoholic beverage will not lead to tremors, unless there is an underlying condition of which tremors are a symptom. However, tremors are a sign of alcoholism. You may well experience tremors as an alcoholic, or as someone who is suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

Tremors in Amphetamine Abuse

Amphetamine is a stimulant substance, so named because it stimulates the central nervous system, inducing feelings of intense focus, high energy, confidence, and intoxication. Medically, amphetamines are often used to treat hyperactivity and narcolepsy. Prescription forms of the drug include Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, and any generic ADHD medication. Illicit forms include methamphetamine (meth) and ecstasy (molly, MDMA). Meth is much stronger than other amphetamines, in terms of the effects it produces, and ecstasy is popular as a mind-altering drug. Both prescription and illicit amphetamines are highly addictive when used recreationally. Students are particularly prone to abusing amphetamines, due to the feeling of heightened focus and concentration it provides, which they believe is beneficial to academic performance. In reality, students who abuse the drugs have been shown to perform worse than their counterparts. Tremors often occur with the abuse of these drugs, or as a sign of withdrawal.

Tremors in Cocaine Addiction

Another stimulant drug that can cause tremors is cocaine. Cocaine has no medical use, and is solely a recreational drug. It is used to induce feelings of happiness, detachment from reality, and overconfidence. Tremors usually manifest as a sign of cocaine withdrawal.


When a person suffering from tremors goes, or is taken, to a doctor, the doctor conducts different tests to determine the cause and to explore treatment options.

Other illnesses that have tremors as a symptom include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and overactive thyroid, as well as brain damage due to trauma. Fatigue, stress, and anxiety can also result in tremors, and may be connected with drug abuse too.

If a doctor suspects that your tremors are caused by substance abuse, a urine test will be done to determine what substance is in your system. There is no cure for substance related tremors. These usually fade away as the underlying addiction is being treated. Tremors that occur due to fatigue or stress usually disappear once the stressors have been removed. It is important to recognise tremors that occur due to substance abuse and seek help for them. Do not wait until you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms before consulting a professional.

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