Alcohol Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, Treatment
Alcohol withdrawal can be very serious. It is one of the most dangerous types of withdrawals. Various withdrawal symptoms will occur while a person’s body detoxes from alcohol. Some potential symptoms include:
Alcohol Timeline Withdrawal
5-10 hours – Tremors/Anxiety
If a person drinks a lot, the body becomes use to having the alcohol. It finds it difficult to function without it. In this time, a person going through withdrawal may experience tremors or anxiety. They also may experience other symptoms such as paranoia, sweating, heightened blood pressure, confusion, and labored breathing.
12-24 hours – Hallucinations
Some alcoholics may experience auditory (usually) hallucinations. The risk of suffering from these hallucinations usually depends on the level of alcohol the body is used to, as well as the use of another drug. Not everyone detoxing from alcohol will experience this.
6-48 hours – Seizures
Seizures are a normal part of the detoxing process (at least from alcohol). The drinker’s body had developed a dependency to alcohol. The central nervous system finds it difficult to cope, and may result in such seizures.
2-3 days – Delirium
Most people experiencing detox will not experience this delirium. However, if it does occur, the risk of death is present. Specific symptoms (due to this phase) include night terrors, confusion, auditory and visual hallucinations, irritation, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and possible panic attacks.
Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment
Because detoxification from alcohol is so intense, medical intervention is advised. This can be found in a treatment center, or a hospital. The medical staff can make the detoxing process more comfortable, and far less dangerous. Furthermore, a treatment center provides much needed guidance.
The first stop is deciding to stop drinking, and committing to that promise. After that, a patient will go through detox.
The alcoholic will be set up with a support group. He or she will learn “triggers” for their drinking, and learn new ways to counteract and deal with them. Stress management will also be explored. It is possible to go through alcohol withdrawal alone, but it is highly discouraged.
Alcohol withdrawal might seem very scary. However, the physical discomfort only lasts for a few days (usually) and it is essential for a brighter tomorrow. Help is available!