Alcohol Withdrawal Dangers You Haven’t Considered
If you have acknowledged that you have an alcohol use disorder, be it addiction or abuse or dependence, you have taken a momentous first step. You can’t get help and recover unless you can admit your use has gotten out of control. But, so many things stand in the way of getting help.
Firstly, alcohol affects the judgement center of your brain, so you may not be able to accurately assess your actual drinking habits. Also, denial is a big component of alcohol addiction. You may not be ready to honestly appraise your use and draw conclusions.
If you have fought through these impediments and come to the conclusion that you need help, then good for you. Now, you need to start thinking about where you will go for treatment and the sort of care that would best fit your situation. For some people, inpatient care is an absolute must, other people will thrive in a sober house and outpatient care.
It is important that you know what you are facing so that you can choose a support system and style of rehab that will help you to succeed. A lot of people know that detox is a necessary first step of treatment, but they may not know what withdrawal brings to the table. If you don’t prepare for it, withdrawal can be a real health risk.
Because of the dangers posed by alcohol withdrawal, you need to engage in professional, structured rehab. But, how do you know what program will work for you? DrugAddiction.org can help. Simply call us at 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) and speak with a representative who can answer questions, give funding suggestions, and recommend treatment options. Call today.
The first step of alcohol rehabilitation is detox, it is pretty important that you know what detox is, right? Surely, you have heard the term thrown around. It is really popular for things like juice fasts and yoga cleanses. Essentially, people use it as shorthand for removing toxins from their body. Drug detox is sort of like that, except that what you are removing is a tangible toxin and you aren’t doing it with fruit juice.
Alcohol detoxification works to shift you from a state of acute intoxication to a state free of drugs and alcohol. Conventionally, detox has “emphasized symptom reduction and prevention of complications;” however, newer approaches work on slowing the clinical seriousness of kindling, a situation linked to multiple withdrawals.
Although there are many types of detox, the most common forms follow social and medical models. The social model uses a support staff and the presence of peers who guide the patient through the difficulty of withdrawal. On the other hand, the medical model occurs in a medical setting and relies on medical staff and medications to mediate withdrawal.
Detox focuses heavily on helping a patient make it through withdrawal, so you need to be prepared for the dangers you haven’t given much thought to. Withdrawal from alcohol addiction is no picnic, but it is possible to weather it.
Withdrawal will set in between six and twelve hours after your last drink and it can kick in while you still have alcohol in your system.
- Mood swings
- Worry or uneasiness
- Enlarged pupils
- Sleeping difficulty
- Nightmares and vivid dreams
- Unclear thinking
- Damp skin
- Fast heart rate
- Tremor (shaking) of the hands or other body parts
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe confusion
- High body temperature
- Hallucinations, especially auditory and visual ones
Be warned: delirium tremens (DTs) are a crucially dangerous withdrawal symptom. Though the situation only affects five to twenty percent of all detoxing alcohol abusers, it kills 5 percent of them.
One thing you may not be at all prepared for is kindling. As scary as the withdrawal symptoms are to contemplate, did you know that each withdrawal period can increase the difficulty of subsequent ones?
When you are an alcoholic, you typically binge and then quit for a period. Every time you begin again, your body adjusts by triggering your central nervous system. When the binge ends, your central nervous system is still going at top speed. This makes it more excitable and that causes it to increase the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
This process is called kindling. “Both clinical and experimental evidence support the existence of a kindling mechanism during alcohol withdrawal.”