Alcohol is one of the only substances that can cause deadly withdrawal symptoms when detoxing from it. In fact, 1 in 25 people who experience severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms will die from it. This makes it very important to know what alcohol withdrawal is, the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and how to experience it more comfortably and safely with the help of medical professionals and medication-assisted detox. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about alcohol withdrawal so that you and your loved ones are kept safe while trying to get better.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal is a set of symptoms that occur when an individual suddenly stops or slows their drinking habit. It is also one of the symptoms of alcoholism. When an individual starts drinking and drinks frequently, the body becomes chemically wired to depend on it. Alcohol irritates the central nervous system. When a sudden change occurs — such as quitting drinking suddenly — this can cause a great shock to the central nervous system until the detox period is over and it has stabilized.
Many people confuse alcohol withdrawals with hangovers. However, they are very different. Hangovers are caused by too much alcohol, and withdrawals are caused by too little alcohol. Hangovers are the crash that occurs after a disruption in the body’s natural balance and functioning, such as a long night of drinking. Withdrawal occurs from the body craving the substance it has come to depend on for normal functioning.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: A Timeline
Depending on the length and severity of the individual’s alcohol addiction, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur relatively quickly, as soon as 2 hours after the last drink. The majority of alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside after about a week; however, some acute symptoms can last for up to a month.
Factors that can influence alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Length of addiction
- Severity of addiction
- Type of alcohol most consumed
Timeline of the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Within 12 hours after the last drink:
- Irritability and increased anger
- Gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and nausea
Within 24 hours after the last drink:
- Worsening anxiety and depression
- Shaky hands
Within 48 hours after the last drink:
- Excessive sweating
- High blood pressure
- High fever and excessive sweating
- Delirium Tremens
Delirium Tremens is defined as alcohol withdrawal delirium, more commonly known as delirium tremens (DT). Delirium tremens was first recognized as a disorder attributed to excessive alcohol abuse in 1813. It is now commonly known to occur as early as 48 hours after abrupt cessation of alcohol in those with chronic abuse and can last up to 5 days. It has an anticipated mortality of up to 37% without appropriate treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to identify early signs of withdrawal because it can become fatal.
Symptoms of Delirium Tremens:
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme hyperactivity
- High blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Severe confusion
- Sleep disturbances
How to Experience Alcohol Withdrawal Comfortably
So many people looking to kick their drinking habit end up being unsuccessful due to how uncomfortably alcohol withdrawal can be. They can end up relapsing or experiencing withdrawal so severe that it causes medical consequences. Luckily, there is a way to experience alcohol withdrawal more comfortably without worrying about what might happen if you are alone.
Medication-assisted detox is the process of experiencing alcohol withdrawal under medical supervision with doctors and nurses who specialize in the disease of addiction. This takes place at an alcohol rehabilitation center as the first step toward recovery. You will receive around-the-clock medical care and supervision, as well as medications to help your withdrawal symptoms. Medications include anxiety medication, sleep aids, nausea medications, medications to assist with cravings, and much more, depending on your needs.
About Seasons in Malibu
Alcohol addiction is a severe disease that is extremely difficult to overcome alone. Not only is it difficult, but it is also extremely dangerous. If you or a loved one is ready to stop drinking, experiencing alcohol withdrawal at a luxury treatment center is the best, most comfortable way to get sober.
At Seasons in Malibu, our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them for the client to heal. The pressure to “fix” the client can become overwhelming and unrealistic if we do not examine the underlying issues, dynamics, and environmental influences contributing to substance abuse or ongoing mental health issues. Therefore, it is a priority for us to make our life-changing drug and alcohol treatment available to the people who need it.
We are thoroughly familiar with how much strength and courage it takes to pick up the phone and ask for help. Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around the clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction. With our exceptional team of clinicians, we can succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com