A Guide to Alcohol Withdrawal

The time has come to break free of your alcohol addiction and work toward a better, sober life. Admitting to an alcohol dependence is a big first step towards your addiction recovery, and will ultimately shape your life more positively. However, to move past your addiction, you must first remove the substance from your system, which inevitably leads to alcohol withdrawal. Our Massachusetts alcohol rehabilitation center knows it is critical to understand how withdrawal works, and to ensure you begin the first steps of your treatment in a safe environment, as the effects can be deadly.

What is alcohol withdrawal?

If you have spent an extended amount of time consuming alcohol and then suddenly cease intake, your body will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This happens because excessive alcohol use negatively affects neurotransmitters in the brain, which are no longer inhibited once alcohol use stops. When you stop drinking, your brain becomes shocked, the neurotransmitters become over excited, and withdrawal symptoms begin.

When does it start, and when does it stop?

Alcohol stays in your system for a certain amount of time based on your body weight, metabolism, and amount of alcohol consumed. In most cases, you can expect to feel the symptoms almost immediately. It is likely that alcohol withdrawal persists over the first few months of treatment; however, the symptoms will decrease over time.

What are common symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms will vary based on the person and how serious the addiction is. The following are common alcohol withdrawal symptoms for chronic drinkers:

-Within the first few hours after alcohol intake (6-12 hours), you can expect hand tremors, sleep disturbances, anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, sweating, and headaches.

-Between 12-48 hours of alcohol cessation, you can expect to experience hallucinations, withdrawal seizures, irregular heartbeat, and racing pulse.

-Within 48-72 hours after alcohol intake stops, you can expect heavier hallucinations, delirium tremens, general disorientation, increased blood pressure, and sweating.

Of all the painful and undesirable withdrawal symptoms, delirium tremens are considered the most dangerous. These are expressed by a change in consciousness, and can be fatal in some cases. Those with a history of chronic alcohol abuse are more likely to experience delirium tremens.

Although alcohol withdrawal is uncomfortable and undesirable, a total recovery is possible. With the help of licensed medical professionals at Treatment Alternative’s Massachusetts alcohol rehabilitation, you can withdrawal in a safe and comfortable environment. Professionals will monitor your withdrawal process and work to reduce your anxiety and associated symptoms.

Call 1-877-957-5113
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