Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: A Deadly Consequence of Drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a very serious issue. Although some alcoholics do not experience it, many do. When they do, it can be devastating. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is not something you ever want to experience.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is your body’s response to stopping alcohol use after drinking for a long time. Your body gets used to the alcohol you provide it so it changes to accommodate it. Once it starts to change if you suddenly stop using alcohol your body goes into shock. It grows to need the alcohol to live. The body is so used to having the alcohol that it does not work properly without a steady supply.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Nausea, sweating, tremors, and insomnia are common alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome happen over a week to two week period. The symptoms do not usually start appearing until the first or second day after you stop drinking. The symptom list includes:

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • shakiness
  • nightmares
  • mood swings
  • confusion
  • cold or clammy skin
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • pale skin
  • sweating
  • rapid heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • tremors

As the withdrawal syndrome takes full control you might experience:

  • delirium
  • hallucinations
  • agitation
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dehydration
  • fever
  • shaking
  • convulsions
  • seizures

You might experience one or more of these symptoms. Once the later symptoms start, you need medical attention. All of the later symptoms are extremely dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome has many risks associated with it.

Risks of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Without treatment, alcohol withdrawal syndrome can kill you. It takes over your body and destroys the mind. It can cause high fever, hallucinations, and eventual death. Not many people realize that stopping alcohol suddenly can be lethal. The largest risk is in the later days of the withdrawal. When you stop drinking your body goes into shock and starts damaging itself.

Even with treatment you may still die. The incorrect treatment during alcohol withdrawal delirium tremens or DTs can also kill you. This is way it is so important to seek treatment before you withdrawal from alcohol.

Treating Chronic Alcoholism: The Importance of Receiving Medical Care

How is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Treated?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is normally treated in the hospital with medications to control the symptoms. Most people go to the hospital to be treated. The hospital monitors your heart and blood pressure constantly. Each person going through this is checked frequently due to the risk of convulsions or seizures that can kill.

Doctors provide blood pressure medications, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medications to keep everything stable until the withdrawal is over.

If you do not want to go through this in a hospital environment, you can find a treatment center. Most alcohol addiction treatment centers are equipped to deal with alcohol withdrawal syndrome. You can find a fully equipped treatment center by calling 800-839-1686Who Answers?.

How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

AAC representatives are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. These representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. This helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither AlcoholicsAnonymous.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.