Alcohol withdrawals refers to the range of physical and psychological symptoms that can occur when a person who has been drinking heavily significantly reduces their alcohol intake. Going through alcohol withdrawals can be an incredibly challenging and uncomfortable experience. It often feels like a rollercoaster of physical and emotional turmoil. The psychological and emotional distress can be overwhelming, as individuals grapple with the compulsion to drink and the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
It can be a time of profound vulnerability and uncertainty, as people confront the reality of their addiction and face the difficult journey toward sobriety. While the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be challenging, it’s crucial to remember that they are temporary. And with the right support and medical care in a drug detox treatment facility, anyone can successfully navigate this difficult phase on their path to recovery.
These symptoms can vary in severity depending on factors like the individual’s level of alcohol dependence, the duration of their heavy drinking, and their overall health. Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe and, in some cases, can be life-threatening, if withdrawal occurs outside of a treatment facility. While symptoms are manageable, common symptoms of alcohol withdrawals include:
1. Tremors (Shakes): One of the early signs of alcohol withdrawal is trembling or shaking, often in the hands. Alcohol withdrawals leads to imbalanced neurotransmitter levels, which can manifest as uncontrollable shaking in the hands.
2. Sweating: Profuse sweating, even when not exerting physical effort, is a common symptom during alcohol withdrawal. Internal body temperature fluctuates as the internal body chemistry yo-yos through the withdrawal process.
3. Nausea and Vomiting: Individuals experiencing alcohol withdrawals may feel nauseous and may vomit.
4. Anxiety: Anxiety symptoms can range from mild unease to severe panic attacks. Cravings and fluctuations in blood sugar can drive the emotional instability that can manifest as anxiety.
5. Irritability: Mood swings and irritability are common during alcohol withdrawal.
6. Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a frequent complaint. People who drink heavily and often use alcohol as a sleep aid. In alcohol’s absence, the chemical imbalance from alcohols withdrawals means that insomnia is arguably the most common symptom of alcohol withdrawals. Lack of sleep can have devastating downstream effects on emotional and physical wellbeing.
7. Headaches: Headaches can be a common symptom during alcohol withdrawal.
8. Increased Heart Rate: Heart palpitations and an increased heart rate can occur. This is extremely common and should be monitored to make sure that BPM stays within safe ranges.
9. High Blood Pressure: Along with increased heart rates, some individuals may experience elevated blood pressure.
10. Hallucinations: In severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, individuals may experience auditory or visual hallucinations. This is a sign of a condition called delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening.
11. Seizures: Seizures are sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain that can result in a wide range of physical and sensory symptoms. These can include convulsions, muscle stiffness, loss of consciousness, and altered sensations or emotions. Seizures can be caused by various factors, including epilepsy, brain injuries, infections, or even certain medications or substances. They can vary in intensity and duration. With some being brief and relatively mild, while others are more severe and prolonged. Seizures can also occur during alcohol withdrawal, typically within the first 48 hours after the last drink.
12. Delirium Tremens (DTs): Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can involve confusion, hallucinations, high fever, severe sweating, and potentially life-threatening complications. As is likely obvious, DTs are a medical emergency.
It’s essential to emphasize that alcohol withdrawal can be unpredictable, and symptoms can escalate rapidly. Especially in individuals with a history of severe alcohol dependence. For this reason, seeking medical attention and supervision is strongly recommended, particularly for those who have a history of heavy or prolonged alcohol use. In a medical setting, healthcare professionals can monitor vital signs, manage symptoms, and provide medications to ease the withdrawal process safely. Delirium tremens, in particular, is a medical emergency, and immediate medical intervention is necessary to prevent potentially fatal complications. If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it’s crucial to seek help from a healthcare professional or an addiction treatment facility.
For anyone looking to safely undergo alcohol withdrawal in order to get sober, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch can help. Plum Creek’s trained staff can ease the beginning to the recovery process and safely guide anyone through the low points of alcohol withdrawal and into the peaks of sobriety. This article may have made alcohol withdrawal seem scary. And on the outside, alcohol withdrawal can be an emotional and physical minefield. But with the help of Plum Creek Recovery Ranch, anyone can safely detox and get sober.
Plum Creek Recovery Ranch has the trained, certified and compassionate medical staff to help you or your loved one through the process of alcohol withdrawal. Give us a call today at (512) 559-8826.
If you’re thinking about getting and staying sober, make sure that you do it the right way, with help and at Plum Creek Recovery Ranch. Addiction is hard. Recovery doesn’t have to be.