Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when you suddenly stop using alcohol after you have been drinking excessively. It can range from mild to severe and can be quite dangerous. In rare cases, alcohol withdrawal can even be fatal.
One of the disturbing aspects of alcohol withdrawal is that the symptoms get worse over time. It’s also why you must know common symptoms to address problems before they get worse. The most severe symptoms happen between 2 to 5 days after stopping the consumption of alcohol. So if your condition deteriorates over this time, seek help immediately at an alcohol addiction treatment program like at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms to Look Out For
Knowing the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms is essential for your safety. So, take note if you experience any of the following signs 6 hours or several days after your last drink. If you do, it is highly likely that you have alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Common symptoms include:
- Anxiety and tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate and sweating
- Irritability and confusion
- Insomnia and nightmares
- High blood pressure
These symptoms can get worse in 2 to 3 days after the elimination of alcohol in the body and may last for weeks. This sickness is known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. But a more severe type of alcohol withdrawal is known as delirium tremens (DT). In the case of DT, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Extreme agitation
- Extreme confusion
- Hallucinations (visual, auditory, and tactile)
Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are a medical emergency. Seek help right away or head to the emergency room directly.
What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?
Excessive drinking is the leading cause of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Specifically, it occurs when you suddenly stop or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
Too much alcohol excites the nervous system. Drinking every day makes the nervous system dependent on alcohol. As a result, it can no longer function properly without the substance.
If you suddenly quit, it will cause your body to exhibit alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Who Is at Risk for Developing Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?
The people who are most at risk of developing alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) are those who drink heavily. Adults are often those showing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. However, even children and teenagers who have alcohol addiction can experience this condition.
If you ever had to go through a medical detox because of a drinking problem, you are also at risk. Similarly, individuals who experienced withdrawal symptoms before may develop them again.
Alcohol Withdrawal Treatments
The intensity and type of treatment program for AWS depend on how severe your alcohol addiction is. Other factors include the extent of your dependence and your risk of experiencing a complicated withdrawal.
You will know these things when you meet with a treatment professional. They can evaluate you and suggest the right treatment program, so you feel safe and comfortable during the entire process.
There are several treatment programs for alcohol addiction, which also deals with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These treatment options include:
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): For individuals in need of more flexible treatment or a condensed version to accommodate their work or home life then IOP may be the best choice.
- Outpatient Detox: While this setting also provides comprehensive care, it allows patients to go home after the treatment. It is why outpatient detox is only offered for those with low risk of having severe withdrawal.
Beside outpatient treatment, other programs that can support a person with alcohol addiction include:
- Medical treatments
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Family counseling
- Support group meetings
- Wellness activities
Seek Treatment at the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
If you know someone showing signs of alcohol abuse, the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center can help. Various programs and services are designed to help individuals recover from alcohol abuse as well as manage withdrawal symptoms.