Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and the Need for Treatment
Though some individuals can choose to stop drinking at any time, those who become dependent on alcohol will experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop suddenly. These symptoms can be mild or incredibly extreme, even deadly. The dangers associated with alcohol withdrawal solidify the need for alcohol detox treatment.
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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Their Risks
Alcohol withdrawal can cause mild symptoms such as irritability, shakiness, and fatigue. According to the NLM, these are some of the most common symptoms. However, many individuals also become extremely depressed, anxious, or nervous as the result of alcohol withdrawal. Nightmares, insomnia, and the inability to think clearly are widespread as well. A loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting during the syndrome can cause patients to undergo major weight loss. These symptoms alone can be problematic, but even worse side effects may occur when a dependent individual suddenly stops drinking.
According to the NIAAA, “A more serious syndrome, delirium tremens (DT), involves profound confusion, hallucinations, and severe autonomic nervous system overactivity, typically beginning between 48 and 96 hours after the last drink.” Delirium tremens can also involve:
- Sudden and deep sleep
The other symptoms associated with milder alcohol withdrawal are often present during delirium tremens as well. This condition is not experienced by every individual who withdraws from alcohol, but there is a chance that it may occur. Because of the intense side effects of delirium, hallucinations, and seizures, it can be deadly if not treated properly.
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Why Attend Treatment?
Many people feel that they are not dependent enough on alcohol to experience delirium tremens and, therefore, do not need to attend detox treatment. In truth, it is actually very difficult to know for sure how mild or severe the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will become for any given patient. Sometimes, a person who seems to be presenting mild or semi-serious symptoms can begin to exhibit harmful ones all of a sudden. SAMHSA states, “The course of alcohol withdrawal is unpredictable; it is impossible to tell who will or will not experience life-threatening complications.”
Since delirium tremens symptoms don’t usually present until 48 or longer after the last drink, the individual may not realize that they need treatment until it is too late. But in many cases, it can even be dangerous to go through a mild withdrawal syndrome without some sort of detox treatment.
Treatment centers give patients medication which can stabilize their condition and help minimize the intensity of their symptoms. “Indications for the management of alcohol withdrawal without medication have not been established through scientific studies or evidence-based methods.” In most cases, it is both safer and less traumatic for patients to receive medications, like benzodiazepines, during their withdrawal, and these can only legally be received through a doctor’s care. In addition, those who attend detox treatment are also able to transition more easily into alcohol rehab afterward.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable, and going through the right treatment program can minimize these symptoms and even save a life. “Most people who go through alcohol withdrawal make a full recovery. However, death is possible,” so going through the syndrome alone is not recommended.
We can help you find the right treatment for you. Call 1-88-461-2155 toll free today.