October 31, 2018

Yardley PA The Risks of Alcohol Withdrawal

Yardley PA experts in mental health explain how withdrawal from substance use can be dangerous.

Life of Purpose talks about the dangerous and even life-threatening risks of alcohol withdrawal and why medically-supervised detox is essential.

Making the decision to stop using alcohol is the first step to long-term recovery. However, the process that you will go through to detox your body of alcohol can be life-threatening, and what you don’t know could hurt you. Here are a few facts about alcohol withdrawal that you may not already know.  

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Can Kill You – Attempting to detox from alcohol on your own isn’t just uncomfortable – it can cause medical complications as serious as death. Typically, when someone dies from alcohol withdrawal, it’s due to a heart attack. When an individual is detoxing without medical supervision, withdrawal symptoms can escalate very quickly. That means that relying on emergency medical assistance and calling 911 should serious withdrawal symptoms occur, just won’t work. The person in withdrawal may not realize that the symptoms are as severe as they are and may not have time to react. That is why medically-supervised alcohol detox is always recommended.
  • Most Withdrawal Symptoms End Within a Week – Withdrawal symptoms are the worst part of detoxification. That’s why it is during the detox process that the risk of relapse is at its highest. Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
    • Shaking and dizziness
    • Sweating
    • Headache
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Cravings
    • Delirium tremens

The good news is, most of these symptoms will have abated within the first week. However, people who have been drinking heavily for a long time may take longer to get over withdrawal symptoms.

  • Delirium Tremens is More Than Having the “Shakes” – You may hear people calling shakiness of the body the DTs. Delirium tremens (DT) in reality is a life-threatening problem that involves severe and sudden mental or nervous system changes. Delirium tremens can include more symptoms than shaking. You may have hallucinations, seizures, confusion, huge mood swings, and irritation as well.

Delirium tremens may develop after a period of heavy drinking, especially among people who drink heavily on a daily basis for several months. It can also be caused by an illness in a person with a history of alcohol abuse or a long history of drinking. Typically, DTs develop within two to four days after a person’s last drink, but it is possible to experience DTs up to 10 days later.

Having delirium tremens is a medical emergency, and it must be treated in a medical facility where medical staff can carefully monitor vital signs, treat symptoms, and administer medication to help calm the person until he or she is stabilized.

  • Detox Might Not Be Enough – Detox on its own isn’t sufficient treatment for addicted people to have long-term sobriety. To have the best chances for long-lasting recovery, you have to have an established program of recovery that starts with detox and continues with further treatment. During detox, the goal is to rid your body of drugs or alcohol while being made as comfortable as possible until withdrawal symptoms subside. True recovery required addition education, therapy, psychiatric care, learning coping and life skills, and relapse prevention – the things that you receive in continued treatment.

Getting Help for at Life of Purpose

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance use,  Life of Purpose can help.  Please contact Life of Purpose today at 1-888-787-7673 for more information about how to get help.

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