Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when a person who regularly takes alcohol stops drinking or greatly reduces how much they drink. These symptoms range from mild to severe, with some even proving fatal without medical supervision. Withdrawal begins within a few hours after a person’s last drink, and acute symptoms can last for nearly a week.
Alcohol detox can be difficult because, especially after years of drinking, a person’s mind and body can adapt to the constant presence of alcohol. When alcohol is no longer present in their body, a person could find it difficult to function as they normally would. Consuming alcohol suppresses parts of the brain and promotes feelings of relaxation and joy. These feelings, combined with the distressing withdrawal symptoms, are the reason many of those who are addicted to alcohol find it hard to start on the path to recovery.
If you or someone you care about needs professional support in going through alcohol detox and dealing with alcohol withdrawal in Ohio, contact Midwest Detox Center online or call 833.647.0392 to learn about our alcohol addiction treatment program.
What Are the Most Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
The alcohol withdrawal symptoms a person experiences, as well as their severity, will vary greatly. However, it’s been estimated that more than eight out of 10 people with an alcohol addiction will experience withdrawal symptoms.
In the first few days or weeks after a person’s last drink, they can experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Similar to other abused substances, alcohol’s withdrawal symptoms typically oppose its intoxicating effects. Alcohol intake can make people feel calm and relaxed, but alcohol withdrawal leads to physical symptoms like:
- Appetite loss
- Hand tremors and shakiness
- Headache, fatigue, and pale skin
- Higher sensitivity to light, sounds, or touches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Palpitations with an elevated heart rate, usually over 100 beats per minute
- Restlessness and nervousness
- Excessive sweating that causes clammy skin and night sweats
- Trouble sleeping and vivid nightmares when asleep
- Trouble with memory and decision-making
Some psychological effects are a sharp increase in irritability or anxiety, rapid emotional changes, and feelings of depression. There’s a condition called acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome that encompasses all the symptoms listed above. When a person is experiencing acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome, they’re at risk of having seizures, temporarily losing their consciousness, and developing delirium tremens (DTs).
What Is Delirium Tremens?
Delirium tremens are an extremely severe set of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Developing delirium tremens can be a potentially fatal medical emergency. It’s characterized by an altered state of consciousness and dangerous physical symptoms such as high blood pressure and fever. Delirium tremens typically occurs within three days after drinking, causing a former drinker great challenges due to:
- Auditory hallucinations
- Extreme confusion
- Tactile hallucinations
- Visual hallucinations
What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can continue happening for up to a year after a person’s last drink. People dealing with such a prolonged period can have post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Examples of symptoms that can keep on coming up even during alcohol addiction recovery are:
- Emotional outbursts
- Delayed reflexes
- Temporary loss of consciousness
These symptoms arise unexpectedly and can result in an unprepared former drinker in recovery having a setback.
Learn About Midwest Detox Center’s Alcohol Addiction Program
Withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours after a person has their last drink. They are often at their worst between a day to three days after drinking. Some symptoms can keep happening for up to a year after that last drink, too. If you or someone you care about needs help to deal with alcohol withdrawal in Ohio, contact Midwest Detox Center online or call 833.647.0392, or contact us online to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program.