alcohol withdrawal symptoms

If you consume excessive amounts of alcohol for a long period your body becomes dependent on the substance. If you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, your body will then reverse its dependency. This can lead to mild to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Addiction treatment centers provide professional care to help you manage the symptoms as the first stage to recovery.

With the right care, professional detox offers a more sustainable solution and increases your chances of getting through withdrawal symptoms successfully. While alcohol withdrawal symptoms are somewhat painful or uncomfortable, they only last a few days. Thankfully, treatment is available to help reduce the effects of the symptoms and cravings.

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Although withdrawal symptoms are similar for almost everyone, each client experiences slightly different symptoms at various levels. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms for alcoholics include:

  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, or delirium tremens. While few symptoms are life-threatening, some may lead to medical emergencies. Alcohol detox centers provide medical staff that is on-call 24/7 and can respond instantly to emergencies.

What is Delirium Tremens?

Some people who complete detox may report experiencing delirium tremens. This is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that occurs in individuals who have been drinking heavily for several years. The condition can be life-threatening. As such, a client should be under 24/7 monitoring and professional care when attempting to quit drinking.

Symptoms of delirium tremens often include:

  • Dehydration
  • Confusion or disillusionment
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anger or extreme anxiety
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations

Delirium tremens often require continuous sedation, hydration, and antipsychotic medication. In addition, the individual may need to be in isolation or a secure room.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal can vary from person to person. On average a client may go through withdrawal for three to ten days. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically peak between day two and day five but may linger a few more days. The longer a person has been drinking heavily, the longer detox takes to complete.

A client may also experience severe cravings during the period. Whereas classic symptoms may fade within a week or two, alcohol cravings can persist for several weeks. Cravings may be both physical and psychological. This is why alcohol rehab programs are vital to an individual’s recovery once they have completed detox.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Although withdrawal symptoms can be challenging to get through, alcohol detox centers provide comprehensive care that can reduce the effects of the symptoms or help a client monitor their cravings.

Treatment often includes medication, holistic care, and emergency medical care. Today’s treatment centers also provide facilities that are more comfortable and safer. Some amenities may be available to provide a more pleasant experience.