Many people with a dependence or addiction to alcohol convince themselves that they can quit whenever they want to. Family and friends may even encourage and expect their loved ones to just not take another drink if they beg them not to. However, accumulated toxicity levels caused by long term abuse of alcohol can be life-threatening if someone with an alcohol use disorder just abruptly stops drinking. Sadly, very few people are aware of the dangers inherent in alcohol withdrawals.
Alcohol withdrawals are the body's physical and emotional reactions to reducing or completely abstaining from daily consumption of alcohol. According to a report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol withdrawals present a cluster of symptoms and disease processes that, in some cases, are significant enough to cause death. The alcohol withdrawal process typically start within 6-48 hours after the last drink.
What Happens When You Stop Drinking
Everyone's experience with alcohol withdrawals is not the same. The severity of symptoms relate to the current physical health of the individual, how long they have been drinking and the amount of alcohol consumed on a daily basis. Studies show that at least 5% of alcoholics experience Delirium Tremens (DTs) which are a group of symptoms known to be particularly life threatening. These present the most danger when an alcoholic tries to halt habitual drinking alone.
During the period of heavy drinking, the central nervous system adjusts to the constant intake and presence of alcohol in the body. As such, these brain functions overcompensate for the consistent depressive effect alcohol has on the person's mental and physical state. The sudden withdrawal of alcohol can cause acute over activity until the autonomic nervous system readjust to the absence of this depressant. The end result is a rebound effect that throws the brain into a hyper-excitable state.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Whether you have been drinking for a long time or just developed an alcohol use disorder you can expect to experience a reaction when you stop drinking. These can be mild, severe and even fatal. DTs represent the most serious symptoms of withdrawal because once they begin to manifest they require immediate medical intervention to control. These set of symptoms are characterized by hyperactivity and altered mental states such as confusion and hallucinations, tremors of the hands and feet high fever, convulsions, blackouts and seizures. Other less severe symptoms may include:
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Heart Palpitations
- Extreme fatigue
- Feeling shaky
- Restlessness and the inability to sleep
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating and Clammy skin
Because of the unpredictable and potentially fatal nature of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is always in the individual's best interest to halt alcohol consumption with medical supervision. To learn more about around the clock medically supervised alcohol detox program, call drug rehab centers Shreveport today at (318) 550-3059. Experienced professionals will help you to safely complete the alcohol detox process.