Did you know that up to 1/3 of people showing acute alcohol withdrawal may experience seizures? These seizures may start between 6-48 hours after drinking has ended. While not the worst symptom possible, seizures are risky.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms differ in intensity and duration. Minor withdrawal symptoms will begin 6-12 hours after drinking has stopped. These symptoms can be managed at home or with medical supervision.
- Difficulty sleeping despite exhaustion
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Feeling agitated
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart beating hard
- Inability to eat
- Craving alcohol
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening and should be dealt with in a hospital or detox center.
Alcoholic Hallucinosis: Although uncommon, alcoholic hallucinosis can take place between 12-24 hours after drinking has ended. It is a problem of habitual alcohol abuse. Auditory hallucinations occur during or after heavy drinking. Patients may present with visual hallucinations, delusions and mood disturbances, and may mimic schizophrenia.
Withdrawal Seizures: Tonic-clonic seizures or rum fits, are the most dangerous part of acute alcohol withdrawal. They may appear between 6-48 hours after drinking has ceased. Studies show that people who detox multiple times are at higher risk for seizures. There is a rise in severity and duration after several detoxes.
Delirium Tremens: Delirium tremens can occur 48-96 hours after drinking has ended, and up to 7-10 days after the last drink. Delirium tremens symptoms increase fast and must be cared for in a hospital or detox clinic. Symptoms include body tremors, agitation and confusion, disorientation, reduced attention span, delirium, excitement, fear, hallucinations, hyperactivity, quick mood changes, and sensitivity to light, sound, and touch. The person may present with stupor, fatigue, and sleepiness. But may also present with deep sleep lasting longer than a day. At first sign of symptoms, medical attention must be sought.
Dangers of Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms are dangerous to the person experiencing them and those around him. A person may fall and get injured during seizures. When experiencing delirium or confusion a person may become violent and harm self or others. Irregular heartbeat can present itself and is life threatening.
Call 911 if any acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms are seen.
If a person wants to detox but has a history of chronic alcohol use, he needs to seek treatment from a detox center.
Traditional Detox versus Medical Detox
During a stay in a detox center one can detox traditionally or with medical aid. Staff will help decide which detox is better individually. History of alcohol use and a person’s physical condition will decide the risks involved and which treatment is advised.
During a traditional detox, the patient will taper off alcohol. He is monitored during withdrawal and assisted if medical intervention becomes necessary.
A medical detox uses medication to lessen or remove the withdrawal symptoms. The patient is also monitored during withdrawal in case medical intervention is needed.
Northlake Recovery Will Help Confront the Root Cause of Alcoholism
Once an alcoholic no longer experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms, he needs to find the underlying cause of addiction if he wishes to stay sober. Northlake Recovery in Southern Florida offers peer group and private therapy to help find the root cause of your addiction. Each person has a story that needs to be uncovered and healed to be free of the desire to drink. Call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616 today.