An Overview on Alcohol Detox, Withdrawal, and Symptoms

Alcohol abuse is among the issues that affect and ruin the lives of a great population of youths. Even after witnessing the effects of alcohol addiction, many are continuing to abuse the drug. They are engaging in this abuse, ignoring its circumstances. For those wishing to live a sober life, detoxification is helping them in a great way. However, the detox process is never a walk in the park as it has several consequences that are physical and psychologically distressing. 

It’s recommended for addicts to seek medical help since alcohol withdrawal can be fatal while detoxing at home. Visit for more information on a detox program. Below is what you need to know about the alcohol detox program  and withdrawal symptoms. 

What are alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms that stem from an addict’s brain due to the lack of alcohol’s influence on the body. It happens after an alcohol addict stops his alcohol consumption habit. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start a few hours after last use. A patient develops acute symptoms that last for four to five days. 

Withdrawal symptoms result from physical dependence on alcohol to a point where the body and mind can’t function normally without it. These symptoms occur during the detoxification process when the body undergoes cleansing, removing toxins, and attempting to reach a new state of equilibrium.

Alcohol withdrawal timeline and symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal leads to undesirable mental and medical symptoms. Some are similar among patients, but that doesn’t mean that every patient will experience what the other experienced. Some patients will experience mild symptoms while others, severe ones depending on different factors like, the period the patient has been drinking alcohol, the amount of alcohol consumed, etc. 

Common withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when the body opposes the intoxicating effect that makes it feel relaxed and calm. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include;

  • Sweating
  • Poor appetite
  • Restlessness
  • A higher heart rate that might be over 100 beats per minute
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleeping problems accompanied by intense nightmares and dreams
  • Higher sensitivity to touch, light, and sound
  • Poor decision-making ability and memory
  • Increased anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Aggressiveness and violent behaviors

Severe withdrawal symptoms

Individuals who have abused alcohol for a long period are likely to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. The effects of alcohol affect their physical and psychological health, leading to substantial danger to a patient during detox. Such individuals need to be under the care and monitoring by the health caregivers to provide suitable medication to regulate withdrawal symptoms. Some of the severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Delusional thinking- This occurs when a person starts to think and believe in things despite lacking evidence. 
  • Hallucinations- A patient starts to hallucinate by seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things that aren’t present.
  • Seizure- Seizure is a result of abnormal electrical activity in an addicted patient’s brain. 

Symptoms of delirium tremens during withdrawal

Some addicts are prone to experiencing a certain dangerous set of symptoms referred to as delirium tremens (DTs). This is a fatal health condition that requires a medical emergency. It occurs particularly to individuals who drink alcohol excessively daily for months and years. A recent survey conducted in 2019 gave a report showing that 1 in 10 persons going through alcohol withdrawal experience this condition. Some of the symptoms accompanied by delirium tremens are:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Vivid hallucinations
  • Extreme tremors
  • Disorientations
  • Rapid heart rates are also known as tachycardia.
  • Autonomic hyperactivity involves extreme sweating, dry mouth, shortness of breathing, and palpitation. 

Delirium tremens is a condition caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters due to a lack of alcohol in the body’s system. Fatal complications from the condition include cardiac arrhythmias, aspiration pneumonitis, respiratory arrest, and over sedation.

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