Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that becomes dangerous when it is abused. In many societies across the world, alcohol accompanies socializing. This makes it easy to overlook its harmful effects. WHO mentions that alcohol consumption is responsible for about 3 million deaths yearly across the globe. Although fully recovering from alcohol addiction is possible, many experience withdrawal symptoms and relapse. Today’s post will discuss alcohol withdrawal symptoms and answer the question, “when is alcohol withdrawal dangerous?”
Does Alcohol Addiction Treatment Require Detox?
A Los Angeles drug and alcohol rehab center is usually the first step in treating alcohol addiction. Detox allows the body to remove toxic substances and helps to manage withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts to being without alcohol.
However, detox should only be done under medical supervision, as withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous and even life-threatening in some cases. In other words, the patient may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This can occur when an individual who has been drinking heavily regularly suddenly stops or decreases their alcohol consumption.
The severity and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary depending on several factors, such as the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption, individual tolerance, and overall physical and mental health. Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Tremors or shaking: This is the most commonly recognized symptom of alcohol withdrawal and is also known as the “alcohol tremors.”
- Anxiety and agitation: People may experience restlessness, nervousness, and irritability.
- Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, lasting several days.
- Nausea and vomiting: Stomach upset and loss of appetite are common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
- Headaches: Headaches can be a result of dehydration and low blood sugar.
- Increased heart rate and high blood pressure: These symptoms can result from the body’s response to the removal of alcohol and can be dangerous for those with pre-existing heart conditions.
- Delirium Tremens (DTs): In severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, individuals may experience DTs which is a dangerous condition characterized by confusion, agitation, hallucinations, fever, and seizures.
After the detox process, individuals may continue their recovery through various forms of treatment, such as therapy, counseling, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and more. These treatments aim to help individuals understand the underlying causes of their addiction and provide them with the tools and support they need to maintain sobriety and avoid relapse.
Recovering from alcohol addiction is a long road, and everyone’s journey is unique. But with the right combination of treatments and support, achieving and maintaining lasting sobriety is possible.
When is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?
Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous when people who have been drinking heavily for an extended period start to experience severe symptoms such as delirium tremens (DTs) and high blood pressure. As mentioned, the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual and factors such as the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption, overall health, and any underlying medical conditions.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start as early as 6 to 12 hours after the last drink and typically peak within 24 to 72 hours. In severe cases, withdrawal from alcohol can cause seizures, which can be potentially fatal. Delirium tremens, another severe form of alcohol withdrawal, can occur a few days after the last drink and can cause symptoms such as confusion, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, fever, and severe agitation.
How to Safely Detox from Alcohol
Detoxifying from alcohol can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it’s important to seek professional medical supervision if you’re considering quitting drinking. Typically, alcohol detoxification is safe but can only be guaranteed safe if carried out under medical supervision. Medical supervision can ensure that the detox process is done safely and that any withdrawal symptoms can be managed effectively. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, including tremors, sweating, headaches, nausea, and seizures. As mentioned, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening in severe cases, and medical supervision can help prevent or manage such complications.
One of the best Los Angeles addiction treatment centers is Detox LA. Detox LA is a licensed and certified treatment center in LA with a well-equipped facility and staff to help alcohol addicts overcome their addictions and set them on the path to full recovery. We offer medical detox and other detoxification programs to clients battling with alcohol and drug addiction.
It’s never too late to seek help. If you are ready to overcome addiction, reach out to us at 818.671.4765 today. Remember that detox is just the first step in overcoming an alcohol addiction, as the blog mentions. Following detox, a comprehensive treatment program that may include therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment may be necessary to achieve long-term recovery.