Tag Archives: Alcohol Withdrawal

When Can Alcohol Withdrawal Effects Be Fatal?

Alcohol addiction is a significant problem in the United States. Statistics recently complied by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sometimes abbreviated as NSDUH, found that more than 15 million American age 12 and older were addicted to this substance. Many have tried to beat this dependency. However, alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to conquer.

 The Reasons Alcohol Is So Addictive

Arguably, what makes alcohol so easy to become dependent on is the impact said substance has on the nervous system. When people consume alcoholic beverages, their brains release mood-elevating hormones, such as endorphins and dopamine. That said, in some people, alcohol consumption precipitates the release of even more mood-enhancing chemicals, further stimulating their dependence.

As the habit progresses, the brain releases an increasingly greater concentration of mood chemicals. Eventually, the brain and body develop a greater dependency on the release of these chemicals to function. Ergo, a significantly greater quantity of alcohol are needed to complete that process. In fact, alcohol can alter brain chemistry to the point that pertinent actions like decision making and impulse control can be compromised.

Additionally, the availability of alcohol makes it easier to obtain. To those over 21 years of age, the substance can be purchased legally. Moreover, said the chemical is far less expensive than most other drugs and does not have to purchase in the corner of a dark alley.

 The Alcohol Withdrawal Process

Addiction experts opine that alcohol withdrawal is amongst the most difficult and serious. Withdrawal occurs in stages. The first stage typically begins within eight hours of the dependent’s last drink and might precipitate manifestations like nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort and shakiness. During the second stage, which sets in roughly one to three days after the subject last consumed alcohol, might consist of cardiovascular symptoms like an increased pulse rate and elevated blood pressure and general manifestations like a decreased body temperature and mental problems like confusion. The last and final stage, commencing anywhere from two to four days after the consumer’s last drink, might comprise symptoms like uncontrollable tremors, hallucinations, raised body temperature and convulsions.

 Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Fatal

Moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal processes almost always present discernible dangers and, if not properly managed, could prove fatal. There are several circumstances in which alcohol withdrawal could cost the dependent subject their life including:

When The Person Is Severely Dependent

Individuals who have consumed significant quantities of alcohol for prolonged periods stand at an increased risk of experiencing more trying withdrawal processes and potentially fatal complications.

If The Addict Possesses Any Mental Illnesses

Individuals with mental illness might not be able to bear the psychological strain associated with alcohol withdrawal.

When Co-Morbidities Exist

Chronic alcohol usage can precipitate a host of serious physical illnesses. Any of these maladies can weaken a dependent’s body to such a marked extent that they might not be able to tolerate the physical demands of withdrawal.

When The Most Serious Symptoms Manifest

End stage alcohol withdrawal symptoms can result in occurrences like uncontrollable convulsions and delirium tremens, which sends the addict into an ultra hyperactive state where they experience intense confusion and uncontrollable shaking that could quickly proceed to cardiovascular and respiratory collapse if immediate medical attention is not employed. Few people, regardless of how mentally or physically strong they are, can survive this without help.

<strong>Managing Alcohol Withdrawal</strong>

Most cases of alcohol withdrawal should be supervised through a process known as medical detoxification. During said procedure, which can take place inside a healthcare facility like a hospital or inside the confines of an in-patient rehabilitation facility, the addict is gradually weaned off alcohol in a controlled, medically monitored setting. If need be, the patient is administered medications to control burgeoning withdrawal manifestations.

Though both hospital and in-patient detoxification programs often prove effective in eliminating the alcohol from the dependent’s body, in-patient detoxification might yield better results over the long haul. This is because in-patient detox is typically followed by an extended stay inside a treatment facility in which recovering addicts are provided instruction on how to overcome the psychological factors that led to their addiction.

Contacting Us

Individuals who are tired of living an alcohol-dependent life are encouraged to contact us. Though we are located in Palm Beach County, Florida, our team of experienced staff members have helped people from across the United States conquer their alcohol addictions in a safe, comfortable atmosphere. Call us at 800-737-0933.

What Are Some Ways to Weather the 48 to 72 Hour Period of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Making the decision to check into a rehab center is one you will be grateful for the rest of your life. Whether you are addicted to alcohol or some type of substance, you’ll find the help that you need from reputable rehab personnel who only have your best interests in mind. You’ll be given personalized, one-on-one treatment that will help you get through your addiction while you move on to a better you, one step at a time.

However, you may be worried about what will happen if you go into rehab when you are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult, if not fatal, if you are not under the care of a professional doctor while you are going through it. Read on to learn some important ways you can weather the 48 to 72 hour period of alcohol withdrawal so that you can go on to learn how to lead a sober and fulfilling life.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

First, you will want to understand what symptoms you may experience so that you know what to expect once you stop drinking. If you have been drinking alcohol heavily for even just a few weeks, you could experience physical problems when you decide to stop. This is known as alcohol withdrawal, and the symptoms can easily range from very mild to very serious. The symptoms you experience will depend on the amount of alcohol you have indulged in, for how long, and your level of health.

After six hours of not drinking, you may experience anxiety, nausea, insomnia, vertigo, headaches, vomiting, shaky hands, irritability, anger, sweating, and more. More serious side effects can include mild hallucinations. About 5% of men and women who experience alcohol withdrawal will have delirium tremors, or “DTs”. The DTs are serious symptoms that include very vivid hallucinations and seizures. They can also cause a fever, high blood pressure, intense sweating, confusion, and a racing heart.

Getting Through Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal may be easier or harder than you think. It takes time and patience to allow the alcohol to completely disappear from your body. However, you can expect the first 24 to 48 hours to be the hardest. Read on for some tips that will help you get through the worst of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Take a cold shower- Taking a cold shower can help clear your mind of your racing thoughts and the urge to drink. It can also help if you are sweating and uncomfortable. Plus, a cold shower has many other health benefits!

Avoid anyone who drinks- You must always stay away from the people or even places that will cause you to want to pick up a drink. Stay far away from anyone who will enable you during this period of withdrawal. You may even want to announce a break from people over social media so that you have a reason to ignore calls and messages from those who do not have your best interests at heart.

Eat healthy- It’s easy to go for junk food when you are in withdrawal because your body will be craving the sugar it used to get from alcohol. Balance out the sugar levels by consuming lots of healthy fruits and vegetables during the first few days of withdrawal while leaving the sugary snacks behind.

Drink plenty of water- Alcohol quickly causes dehydration to occur. During withdrawal you may feel nauseated, so make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. While water is important, you should also drink fluids that contain plenty of electrolytes, such as sports drinks.

Exercise when you can- We know that you won’t feel like it during withdrawal, but we can assure you that exercise will help. Even a small amount of exercise will release the endorphins in your brain that create the happy and content feelings we are all chasing. You’ll also have a sense of accomplishment when you exercise- a big deal when you are struggling with addiction.

Ride out your cravings- Don’t fool yourself into thinking your cravings will immediately disappear- they won’t. You’ll think about drinking alcohol many times during the withdrawal period. Just remember, the cravings WILL go away. The first 48 hours are the hardest part of alcohol withdrawal, so keep reminding yourself that you are getting through the worst and that it will get better.

We Can Help

Remember, you never have to go through alcohol withdrawal alone. When you are ready to get started on the path to sobriety, let us pave the way. Give us a call at 800-737-0933 to learn more.