Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person experiences alcohol withdrawal, that is the clearest sign that you have a physical dependence. As the body goes through drastic changes, it tries to cope with normal functioning without a regular alcohol supply.
The side effects of alcohol addiction do not wear off suddenly, but the adjustment period causes uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, shakes, and anxiety. This condition is called the withdrawal phase, which can last from weeks to months, depending on how long you have been an addict. In case if find any of the symptoms kindly receive alcohol withdrawal treatment.
Delirium Tremens: Alcohol addiction and withdrawal symptoms cause a severe condition called Delirium Tremens (DT) in 1 out of 20 people. It mostly begins after 2-3 days after the last ingestion of alcohol and may persist for more than a week. The symptom typically peaks after 4 days, causing racing of the heart, dangerous shift in circulation, and dehydration. It reduces the blood flow to the brain, causes confusion, loss of consciousness, irrational beliefs, and hallucinations.
Alcohol Withdrawal: The Basics
Most alcoholics abuse the substance when they are alone, and so, alcoholism is a lonely condition that happens in private. About 33% of people suffering from depression tend to struggle with alcohol addiction. Since the connection is very strong and real, seeking Dual Diagnosis alcohol withdrawal treatment is of the utmost importance. Tackling mental health issues at the same time as treating substance abuse problems can help these individuals.
But alcohol withdrawal is more complex than drinking heavily. Per the data from the American Academy of Family Physicians, occasional drinking rarely turns into an addiction. Instead, people that drink regularly get addicted to the intoxicated feeling and cannot do without their constant exposure to alcohol. Any delay in getting their hands on their daily drink can make them experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The sleepy cells in their body get jerked awake as they stop drinking even for a short period.
A long-term drinker has alcohol’s depressant effects continually exposed to their brain. Hence, they develop a tolerance to the substance and become physically dependent. Once this happens, they start needing more amounts of alcohol so the body can produce the same effects as they had no problem achieving before.
Even when you quit drinking suddenly, your neurotransmitters no more get inhibited by alcohol, making your brain scramble as it adjusts to the chemical imbalance. It can cause debilitating alcohol withdrawal side effects, which are extremely devastating and completely removed from the “feel good” sensations you may feel after alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
People going through the alcohol withdrawal process can equate the situation to bad flu. This uncomfortable time can make them feel out of control as they cannot control the changes to their body. As a result, they feel upset, which can be even worse for people that have intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Stage 1: Hours 6-12
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Stage 2: Hours 12-24
- High blood pressure
- Unusual heart rate
Stage 3: Hours 48 and Beyond
- Sweating and fever
- Delirium tremens
Some Shocking Statistics
- The number of liver disease deaths related to alcoholism in the U.S. is 22,246, while in 2009, alcohol-related problems were the primary causes of 1 in 3 liver transplants.
- Youth with alcohol issues are 50 times more likely to use cocaine, compared to those who never drink.
- About 401,000 adolescents in the age group of 12-17 have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), and among those, only 5% receive treatment.
- Almost 3.9 million Americans that receive Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) treatment in 2005, 2.5 million had an alcohol addiction.
- Per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 86.3% of 18 years or older drank alcohol at least once in their lifetime.
The best way to stop any kind of addiction is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Alcoholism is no different. By catching the triggers in time, you can help prevent alcohol addiction. Alcoholism can happen due to many factors, such as having a sibling or parent with addiction; in such cases, it is about four times more likely that you may develop a dependence on this substance.
On average, people with family histories of abuse may choose to abstain since it can be an effective tool to prevent alcohol dependence. But not everyone can be a teetotaler (those who don’t touch a drink in their lifetime), but keeping the drinks in check can help you. If something is bothering you or if you are concerned that having a drink or two is messing with your head, speak to your physician who can determine if your habit is out of control.
Early Treatment Is Key ( Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment)
When it is too late for prevention, the best way to treat the condition is to catch your alcohol addiction as early as possible and get the right help. Remember that alcoholism is a progressive disease, which does not suddenly show up at your doorstep. It happens gradually; so, keep an eye on your drinking habits and quit early to avoid pesky alcohol detox episodes. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as with any other substance abuse, can be highly intense when the addiction went on for a long period. After quitting, it is essential to stay sober to avoid relapsing or facing more severe detox problems.
As mentioned above, a person may experience more intense alcoholism withdrawal symptoms each time they quit, a condition called delirium tremens. When you see uncontrollable trembling, sweating, hallucinations, or severe anxiety, it is time to check yourself into a residential facility that offers 24-hour monitoring and medical assistance.
Alcohol Withdrawal Detoxification
The first step medical professionals do is to get you into an alcohol withdrawal detox program, in which you will have to answer a series of questions to help them gather as much information about your abuse history and current addiction as they can.
The questionnaire may include things like how much alcohol you consumed in the last week, whether you have tried to quit earlier, negative sensations you experienced, how long you managed to stay sober, etc. Based on this data, they can formulate a personalized alcohol withdrawal treatment plan for you so you can recover safely and achieve continued sobriety comfortably.
There will be a periodical assessment of your mental and physical health, which a host of doctors like physicians, addiction specialists, counselors, psychiatrists, and the like, working with you in the next stage. Detox is the primary step to get you off alcohol, but it does not encompass the whole alcohol withdrawal treatment. Follow-up care is crucial once your detox is successful.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options
Addiction to alcohol can cause great disturbances to the users, from damaging their relationships to adversely affecting their career. After getting a professional diagnosis, you can get yourself admitted to an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility, based on the intensity of your addiction.
Users have plenty of options in terms of their therapy, while the recommended methods of alcohol withdrawal treatment for addiction ensure recovery and prevent relapse. You will be trained to deal with the addiction triggers and modify your behavior to avoid destructive and threatening patterns.
The qualified medical professionals at the inpatient rehab facilities are specially trained in providing alcohol withdrawal treatment for alcohol-related issues without any judgment. Experts dig deeper in the counseling sessions and find the primary cause of the problem and eradicate alcoholism from its roots.
Outpatient alcohol addiction treatment programs help you with your recovery, irrespective of which route the professionals chose as the best for you. For long-term medical assistance after the detoxification process, you will be prescribed medications and supplements. The 12-step programs and support from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous will instill communal connection among the users and prove that they are not alone in this battle.
PAWS And The Chances Of Relapse
There are two stages of alcohol withdrawal, acute and post-acute, both of which pose certain intense symptoms. The acute phase starts soon after someone stops drinking, lasting for about five days to a few weeks.
It is a serious health condition where one may face life-threatening complications, and so, stay at a specialized rehab facility or hospital to receive prompt alcohol withdrawal treatment. Mental health professionals and physicians will be available throughout the day and night to ensure that your condition does not worsen and act before the symptoms can escalate.
But post-acute withdrawal or PAWS is the condition that develops when the initial symptoms subside. There is a huge possibility of relapsing; the symptoms come in cyclical waves and disturb the individuals. One day, they feel like they have control over the situation, but the next day, they reach for a glass.
They may have low energy levels and intense alcohol cravings, causing you to give in to temptation. Luckily, these effects last for only a small period and each episode is shorter than the previous one. With the right alcohol withdrawal treatment, you can resist the urges and stay sober.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center Near You
Alcoholism is not an issue that you should bear lifelong. If you see someone who is affected by alcohol dependence, get in touch with the local rehabs by finding them on our website. Remember to get Alcohol withdrawal treatment for addiction from professionals, but do not quit drinking all of a sudden.