Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Life-Threatening
Alcohol withdrawal can cause hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation. It can lead to dangerous behavior. The withdrawal symptoms themselves can also be dangerous, both immediately and in the long-term. Acute withdrawal can cause seizures and organ failures, which can leave someone with long-lasting cognitive impairments—or just kill them. Not even heroin withdrawal is life-threatening. For alcoholics, going cold-turkey at home isn’t just a far-fetched approach; it’s a really bad idea.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal is a set of symptoms that occur when a person suddenly stops drinking after developing a dependence to alcohol. Although most victims are adults, teenagers and even children are affected as well. The more alcohol someone drinks, the more likely they are to develop a tolerance. It happens fast. Research shows that a single alcohol binge can result in withdrawal the next day, which is why, for many people, a shot or two of liquor solves a hangover: it stops the withdrawal.
Withdrawal is the manifestation of an addiction. Addiction isn’t just an issue of the mind and spirit. It’s a real mental illness that claims the lives millions of people, regular people, each and everyday. Alcohol is abused more than any other drug in the United States.
Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Happen?
Over time, the central nervous system (CNS) adjusts to the constant presence of alcohol in the body and achieves a state of balance, called homeostasis. To compensate for the alcohol’s depressant effect on the nerve cells, the nervous system speeds up. Once an addict is sober, the hyperactive state doesn’t just go back to normal. It continues to speed, causing a range of intense psychological and physical discomfort.
In addition to feeling anxious, paranoid, irritated, and moody, addicts may experience a range of symptoms many describe as a “super-flu,” the symptoms of which include:
– cold shakes
– clammy skin
– headache, nausea
– rapid heart rate
What Kind of Help Can I Get for Alcohol Withdrawal?
Medications and techniques for managing alcohol withdrawal are always being improved. Qualified medical help is critical during throughout the first few weeks of recovery. Again, you cannot and should not do this alone. Your first step is to commit yourself to a medical detoxification center ASAP. Then comes treatment, either inpatient or outpatient. After that, recovering alcoholics should continue some form of aftercare: group meetings, 12 step programs, volunteer work, etc.
If you or a loved one needs help with an alcohol addiction, contact Blueprints for Recovery today at (888) 744-9969 so we can get you set up with the alcoholism recovery plan that’s right for you.