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How Dangerous is Alcohol Withdrawal?

The alcohol withdrawal dangers can be seen even in those who drink the recommended limit of 1 drink daily for women and 2 drinks daily for men. Alcohol can still affect the body negatively, and a person may experience liver damage, cardiovascular problems, as well as other health complications. Understanding the effects and dangers of alcohol withdrawal can help someone who is struggling to get the proper care and begin recovering physically and mentally.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal is the process the body goes through after an individual has become dependent on alcohol. Drinking comes with the risk of becoming dependent, and this can occur even drinking small amounts regularly. The alcohol withdrawal dangers outweigh the good and fun that people can have while out with friends having drinks.

Drinking alcohol for a given amount of time causes the body to become tolerant, requiring more and more of the substance in order to achieve the desired results. Eventually, an individual’s body can become dependent upon the substance in order to feel normal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal can begin as little as 6 to 12 hours after the last drink. This is when mild symptoms can begin, such as headache, nausea, insomnia, and someone’s hands may begin to shake, or tremor. An individual may also experience an upset stomach, some anxiety, and changes in mood and blood pressure.

By 24 hours after the last drink, the alcohol withdrawal dangers increase, and the symptoms can become more uncomfortable. The symptoms experienced within 12 hours have generally intensified, and others may begin to present themselves. Audio and visual hallucinations could begin to occur. 

Within 24 to 72 hours after cessation of alcohol consumption, many of the symptoms have intensified and begun to dissipate some. However, the risk of seizures is higher during the 24 to 48-hour time period after the last drink. This requires proper monitoring and treatment to prevent complications. Within 48 to 72 hours from the last drink, delirium tremens can occur, also requiring proper monitoring and treatment.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

There are different symptoms that can be experienced during withdrawal from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal dangers can occur while experiencing these symptoms. The different symptoms an individual can experience include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

These symptoms are uncomfortable and can lead to fatal consequences. This is why it is suggested to go through the withdrawal process under the supervision of professionals.

PAWS and Alcohol Withdrawal

After the general timeline for alcohol withdrawal has been surpassed, there may be some lingering or recurring symptoms. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, is a condition that occurs when trying to detox from substances like alcohol. When the body becomes dependent on substances, it can be challenging to stop using them, and the body takes time to revert back to normal functionality. PAWS can occur after normal withdrawal has been experienced and can last for weeks or months. This is why it is highly suggested to receive proper care when making the decision to end using substances such as alcohol.

Symptoms of PAWS can include impaired cognitive functionality, irritability, anxiety, or depression. Some other symptoms can also occur and they include things like sleep disturbances, heightened stress response and sensitivity, and extreme cravings for alcohol. These symptoms often lead an individual back to drinking, which is why it is highly suggested to seek professional help when deciding to stop drinking. The symptoms can be treated and managed, through professional assistance.

Delirium Tremens and Alcohol Withdrawal

Delirium tremens, or DTs, can occur during alcohol withdrawal. This is one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal dangers. It can lead to altered mental status, which means someone may present to be confused. They may also seem to be out of the norm, and acting as though they are a completely different person. This can include hallucinations, paranoia, and nightmares.

These symptoms can begin as little as 48 hours after the last drink but can take as long as 2 weeks to present themselves in an individual. DTs can be fatal, and having the proper professional care when undergoing withdrawal from alcohol can help to prevent these symptoms from occurring. 

Alcohol withdrawal dangers can best be monitored and treated with professional care. Undergoing the process alone can lead to dangerous complications up to and including fatal repercussions. There is help available, and an individual should never try to stop drinking on their own.

These complications that can occur are extremely dangerous and withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable. Having the symptoms treated and managed can ensure a smooth transition from addiction to alcohol into a life of recovery. 

Detox from Alcohol with Quality Care

Alcohol addiction can be extremely dangerous, and stopping the consumption of alcohol can prove to be uncomfortable and extremely dangerous. It is important to receive proper care when deciding to end the use of alcohol. If you or a loved one are struggling, Brentwood Springs can help. We offer comprehensive care to those who are struggling with substances like alcohol so that it is a safe and comfortable process to go through withdrawal.

Contact us today and begin your journey into recovery.

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