Going through alcohol withdrawal is the first step in recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). Unfortunately, that is not an easy process. Alcohol withdrawal refers to the set of symptoms that occur when a person who has been drinking heavily suddenly stops or reduces their alcohol consumption.
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent and duration of alcohol abuse. These symptoms can occur as early as a few hours after the last drink. They can last for several days or even weeks. In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening.
Mild Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be divided into two categories: mild and severe. Mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following.
The most common symptom of alcohol withdrawal is tremors. These involve shaking of the hands and other parts of the body. These tremors can be mild or severe, and they can persist for days after the last drink.
Excessive sweating is another common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. This can be accompanied by an increased heart rate, which can cause feelings of anxiety and fear.
Difficulty sleeping or insomnia is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. This can persist for several days and can cause feelings of fatigue and irritability.
Headaches are a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. They can be accompanied by feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness.
Vomiting and nausea are common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. This is especially common in the first few days after stopping or reducing alcohol consumption.
Severe Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can become severe and even deadly. Severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following.
High Blood Pressure
Elevated or high blood pressure is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, dizziness, and headaches.
Rapid heartbeat, or heart palpitations, is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It can be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, dizziness, and headaches.
These are a symptom of severe alcohol withdrawal. They can be accompanied by feelings of confusion, disorientation, and intense fear. Seizures can occur within hours of the last drink and can be fatal if not treated promptly.
These are other symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal. They may be accompanied by feelings of confusion, disorientation, and intense fear. Hallucinations can occur within hours of the last drink and can be very distressing. This may also decrease abilities in judgment and decision-making.
Unfortunately, delirium tremens (DT) is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. It usually occurs in people who have been drinking heavily for an extended period. DT is characterized by confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, and high fever. This can begin within 48 to 72 hours after the last drink and can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Factors Influencing Symptom Severity
It is important to note that not everyone who stops drinking alcohol will experience withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the severity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some factors that can influence the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms include the following.
Duration of Alcohol Abuse
The longer a person has been drinking heavily, the more likely they are to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Quantity of Alcohol Consumed
The amount of alcohol a person has been consuming can also influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms. People who have been drinking heavily for an extended period are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Older people are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms than younger people.
People with underlying medical conditions, such as liver disease, heart disease, or pancreatitis, are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Do Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Require Medical Attention?
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous.
Therefore, it is best to undergo detoxification in a monitored setting. This allows a professional to monitor your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.
Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The treatment for alcohol withdrawal depends on the severity of the symptoms. That said, it typically involves medication to manage the symptoms. For example, anticonvulsants can be used for seizures, benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia, and beta-blockers for tremors. In some cases, intravenous fluids may be necessary to prevent dehydration and stabilize blood pressure.
In addition to medical treatment, it is important to also address the underlying addiction to alcohol. This may involve therapy, support groups, or a structured treatment program. The goal of addiction treatment is to help the individual achieve and maintain sobriety. This can be achieved by developing coping skills to avoid relapse and improving overall health and well-being.
Use the resources available to you at Dream Recovery to overcome these symptoms. Set yourself up for success moving forward in recovery.
Get Help for Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. They can occur within hours to days after stopping or reducing alcohol consumption.
It is important to seek medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Address the underlying addiction to alcohol through therapy or a structured treatment program you set in place with our staff. With the right support, it is possible to overcome alcohol addiction and gain motivation to achieve lasting recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder, it’s important to take action now. Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous. Detox should always be managed under the care of a professional. Don’t wait until it’s too late; seek help today. Learn more about available treatment options and how you can begin your journey to recovery. Remember, you are not alone in this, and there is hope for a brighter future. Take the first step today towards a healthier, happier life free from alcohol addiction. Reach out to Dream Recovery to learn more about the symptoms of alcohol and best practices to overcome them at (657) 216-7218.