Binge Drinking Dangers: Essential Tremor

If you were about to agree a contract at a business meeting with a company boss, and you realised that they had been drinking, would you shake on the deal?

Chances are that the company boss’s hands would already be shaking. Why? Because most functioning alcoholics (well educated, financially secure professionals) drink at some point in the day (and probably most nights of the week) – and regularly drinking to excess can create an increased risk of myriad health problems, including a progressive neurological disorder called essential tremor.

‘The shakes’ can be embarrassing (and make you a target)
If you have tremors in your hands, people notice. Some may even cruelly imitate your behaviour, to raise a laugh down the pub.

Most sufferers of essential tremor find it impossible to hide their condition, and so can be singled out by other drinkers (who are perhaps worried that they may too suffer from the condition if they continue to drink heavily), and feel pressurised to answer unwelcome questions, such as:

  • “How much do you drink?”
  • “When did you first notice you’ve got the shakes?”
  • “Does it only happen to older drinkers?”
  • “If you packed in drinking, would the shaking in your hands stop, do you know?”
  • “Do your hands shake all day, i.e. ALL the time, or just when you’re craving a drink?”
  • “Can drinking actually stop your hands from shaking? If you have a few pints, or a couple of whiskeys, does the shaking stop?”
  • And perhaps worst of all:
  • “Is it true that if someone like you has the shakes, it can lead to Parkinson’s Disease and other illnesses like that?”

Putting up with invasive questioning like that is something that Alf – a 68-year-old retired London Underground worker – has grown used to. “I’ve had to. I mean, what am I going to do? Drink at home and never go out to my local or other pubs across the East End of an evening? Couldn’t do that. No chance.”

Over the years, Alf’s condition deteriorated to such a point that he developed essential tremor in both his hands and feet. Sadly, he self-medicates to help cope with his condition: “I know it’s madness but I find a good drink is the only way to actually stop my hands from shaking. So, I’m in a sort of Catch-22 situation really, aren’t I?”

Other alcohol-related illnesses and worrying health conditions
As well as being at risk of developing essential tremor, drinking heavily on a regular basis can make you increasingly vulnerable to:

  • Suffering from heart and liver disease
  • Getting cancer
  • Sustaining a physical injury due to an overall reduction in your mental alertness
  • Developing memory (and reasoning) problems
  • And if you are a mum-to-be:
  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can result in birth defects (note: children of alcoholics are also more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem)

And now for the good news…

Getting help for alcoholism is EASY
At a private Rehab clinic, a treatment programme could specifically-tailored for you, which could include all or some of the following modules (depending upon your particular needs):

  • Detox
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy (both group and individual)
  • CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy)
  • 12-Steps Abstinence-Based Therapy
  • Nutritional Support


  • Family Support
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Relapse Prevention, and even an
  • Aftercare Programme


I could not stop drinking, having tried various methods. After making contact with Rehab Treatment UK I was put at ease immediately. All my options were carefully explained and 2 days later admitted to Rehab. Without the speedy response I would probably still be drinking today, Already, the home is a happier place. Thank you Jane for starting the process for a life of sobriety.
B. Middlesex

Thank you to Rehab Treatment UK and everyone at the Clinic that was involved in my Detox. It has been hard, but the fun everyone has made it, helped to make it easier.
S. Hull