Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and How to Get Over Them
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms is a serious problem for the alcoholic, both mentally and physically. The body has become dependent upon that substance and demands more of it. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms duration and effects can range from a few days to weeks and from mild to serious to death. There is help available and should be used.
Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcoholism is a substance abuse problem that is excessive and repeated. This substance is used to create effects or imagined effects. As a person sinks deeper into alcoholism there will be mood swings, personality changes, lack of communicate, changes in dress and friends and problems at work or school. The body undergoes physical changes also, starting with liver damage. Eyes may be red, skin becomes dryer and cracked.
- You will likely shake uncontrollably, these tremors last anywhere from 5 hours after your last drink, to several days later (with the worst of it, being some 24 hours in.) In addition to this, your pulse might race rapidly during this time along with an overall feeling of anxiety including rapid breathing, sweating and even vomiting.
- Hallucinations are common from people who are suffering with alcohol withdrawals. You might see moving objects that are not really there, or even crawling insects. This is known to last for around 2 days and begins 12-24 hours after your last drink.
- Although not as common as other symptoms, some sufferers of alcohol withdrawal experience seizures. These can occur between 12 – 48 hours after you have your last drink and they can actually last for hours at a time.
- You will likely experience confusion and general disorientation 2-3 days after your last drink. The technical term for this is “delirium tremens”, and it occurs due to a temporary reduction in blood going to the brain.
|Elevated blood pressure||Anxiety|
|Elevated body temperature||Illusions|
|Tremulousness of body||Paranoid ideas|
|Elevated blood pressure||Anxiety|
|Grand mal seizure|
How to Get Over Alcohol Withdrawals
If you have any alcohol withdrawal symptoms, this is a clear sign that you have damaged your organs due to your excessive drinking. Although the withdrawal feels tremendously bad at the time, try to remember why they are happening. Alcohol withdrawal is basically your body fighting against your detox, it has become used to alcohol so it is having a tough time adjusting. For the milder symptoms that you experience, you pretty much have to ride out the storm – but there are things that you can do to help. Staying hydrated is important and will help lessen your symptoms and also help you get over them quicker. This means that you should be drinking plenty of water. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and sip from it throughout the day, juice and broth are also said to help with alcohol withdrawal.
Eating well can also help your body to recover and overtime, become healthy again. Ensure that you are getting lots of vitamin B-12 rich foods, this is essential for helping your body make new cells. These foods include eggs, nuts, peas, beans and cereals. Leafy greens, fruits and meats also give you lots of folic acid, which is something else that is essential to getting over your alcohol withdrawal safely. Omega 3 is another important thing that you should be getting, so this means consuming fish such as salmon or mackerel. Generally choosing healthier foods over processed junk is advised, it will make you feel much healthier in the long run and you will feel more energized in your fight against alcohol.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol is addicting and in order to withdrawal from its use, the person has to bear a lot of after effects which include distressing symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to quite severe and also they are not life-threatening, can cause a great deal of trouble for the person withdrawing from alcohol use.
It is a fact that depending upon the consumption of alcohol, not everyone is subjected to the same symptoms as another person who withdraws does. But, for those who are addicted to alcohol and are habitual of its consumption on daily basis, may experience severe after effects due to the fact that alcohol has become a part of their life, their routine and their body depend on it, both physically and mentally.
Common of the symptoms
Anxiety or nervousness
Anxiety and nervousness are very common human experiences. Anxiety when happens makes no sense to the person who experiences it, it makes a person feel terrified and weak. While on the other hand, nervousness makes the person feel scared about things he is doubtful about both of these feelings are experienced commonly among the alcohol withdrawers.
Weakness is the body’s way of telling that it’s tired and need some rest to get going. Weakness disables a person to move adequately and a person experiencing weakness may experience tremors, twitches in the particular areas of the body. Withdrawing alcohol causes a person to feel weak inside as a result of which he experiences tremors and fatigue.
When a person withdraws from alcohol, he administers a strong urge (craving) to discontinue the withdrawal and take alcohol again.
Insomnia which is another name for sleeplessness, is a popular sleep disorder which is experienced by alcohol withdrawers, people who withdraw from alcohol consumption find it very difficult to sleep at night, or have trouble sleeping or staying asleep. Hence, they are insomniac.
A nightmare which usually occurs during REM or rapid eye movement (a sleeping state) results in frightening and feelings of terror and distress. Nightmares are common to people who withdraws from alcohol.
Confusion leads to the inability to think clearly and properly. Alcohol withdrawers experience a stark confusion for what they feel as so many emotions blur their mind, and they are unable to think clearly.
The uneasy sensation of vomiting is termed as Nausea. It may urge the person to vomit. This situation is particular to alcohol withdrawers as they experience nausea most of the time in the first few weeks of withdrawing from alcohol.
Headaches which occur in any part of the brain are the most common symptom of alcohol withdrawing.
Tremors (whole body or parts of the body)
Tremors are the unintentional muscle movements of the parts of the body. In some situations, tremors can be dangerous. Withdrawers of alcohol who have a long history of consumption may suffer this symptom more than usual.
Quick mood changes
Mood swings and changes which are quick are common among those who withdraw from alcohol usage.
Agitation may be perceived as the state of mixed emotions and restlessness. When a withdrawer leaves alcohol, he experiences agitation at multiple times due to urging to drink alcohol again and continuing the withdrawal further.
Fear is the human response in face of danger. A person who withdraws alcohol feels fear of going back to it again and not having enough strength to continue the withdrawal further, all the time.
Heart palpitations occur when the heart is beating too fast and too hard to comprehend. Heart palpitations may be noticed in chest, ear, neck or throat. They occur when body craves for the alcohol which it couldn’t get.
Excessive sweating may be experienced when alcohol users withdraw from its use.
Hallucinations (alcoholic hallucinosis)
Hallucinations are the dreams or visions which are actually not there. A person suffering from withdrawal of alcohol hallucinated about alcohol drinking sometimes.
Seizures (commonly occur in the first 48 hours)
They depict a brain problem. They occur due to sudden activity which is caused by an abnormality in the brain. They may be experienced by the withdrawers.
All of the above-mentioned symptoms are common, however, there may be severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. A severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens can cause:
The mixed emotions can cause a person to behave unnaturally and longtime users can cause a severe problem for themselves due to high levels of agitation.
High pitched fever may be experienced which can lead to other body ailments in the process of alcohol withdrawal.
Seeing or feeling things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
Hallucinating is common, and it occurs more often during the withdrawal period.
A person suffers uncontrollable convulsions and become difficult to stabilize his condition.
A high rate of confusion may be experienced which may lead to other symptoms such as high fever, hallucinations, and others. A person may confuse the reality from his dream world in the withdrawal process.
Exams and Tests
There are various exams and tests which could be conducted by your health care provider, who will you’re your physical exam. Your physical exam may reveal:
Abnormal eye movements
Which occur as a symptom of alcohol withdrawal or due to the excess amount of alcohol consumed.
Abnormal heart rhythms
Which means a heart may beat too fast or too slow and can be dangerous for keeping the medical condition of the alcoholic/ withdrawer stable
Dehydration (not enough fluids in the body)
Alcohol causes the body to run less on fluids, and when the body doesn’t have enough water, it will not function properly.
A high pitched fever is expected for alcoholics.
Breathing may become fast and uneasy, which would be detected in the medical examination.
Rapid heart rate
Heart rate may be abnormal and could report the state of the person.
Hands may tremor after alcohol consumption and can also be seen as s symptom of withdrawing.
Blood and urine tests, including a toxicology screen, may be done in order to correctly judge the level of alcohol consumption and the effect of withdrawal on the person.
The 12- Steps Model
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome has been effectively used to prevent people from engaging in heavy drinking and alcohol abuse. Despite its achievement in combating the menace of alcohol use and abuse, it has led to a shortchange in treating the disease of alcohol addiction. For the syndrome to be effective, it should be followed by intensive alcohol treatment abuse or reliance.
Overcoming alcohol abuse and addiction need workable interventions to be put in place for one to be successful in fighting the menace of addiction. These measures will be helpful in overcoming alcohol abuse but a more distinct therapy may be needed to treat alcohol dependence. Various medications are available for effective treatment. These medications can be prescribed by qualified doctors and medical practitioners and are effective in reversing alcohol addiction and abuse. Some of the interventions include advising the addicts to enroll with 12-step-group like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. They may also get confined at any inclusive treatment facility offering cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step model or even family therapy.
The 12- Steps Model
12-steps model consists of various steps that addicts undergo while trying to overcome alcohol use and addiction. After critically studying the process, Alcoholics Anonymous published the following 12 steps that the addicts underwent towards championing alcohol dependence and addiction;
- They agreed to being over powered by alcohol to the extent it devoured their lives and made them unworthy and even alcohol took control of their lives.
- They could not believe that any other treatment or intervention was worth enough to rescue them but only power greater than humanity could save them.
- After their lives were wrecked by alcohol, they turned to God and dedicated their lives for salvation as they understood Him more than anything.
- They initiated a courageous search for their moral accountability and responsibility.
- Acknowledged their wrong doing to God and to themselves and even opened up to other people about their mistakes.
- They put their trust in God to help them overcome the addiction and change their behavior for the better.
- They modestly asked God to help them overcome their weakness that lead them to alcohol
- They made a list of all the wrong doings they had committed and even listed people they had harmed and agreed to make peace with them and mend their ways.
- They decided to seek for forgiveness from people they had hurt with their past mistakes unless if such reminder would bring an ugly memory.
- Ensured continued personal accountability and immediately came clean on their wrong doing and accepted the mistake.
- Conducted prayer sessions and interactions and ensured they were more close to God than ever in order for Gods will to guide and lead them.
- Having had a first-hand encounter with spiritual wellbeing, agreed to spread the message to other addicts and put these principals in to practice.
These steps has been the guiding principle in overcoming addiction, although the steps has been revised to include a more comprehensive and meaningful ideologies and eliminate gender-biased language.
Seek Proper and effective Medical Attention
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms have proved to be effectual and therefore it is highly advisable to consider confining one to proper medical care in order to bring success. The success of this process will only be felt if administered at a treatment facility in order to get comprehensive medical care at any time. This will also help in alleviating pain and other defects as a result of the treatment. For those in the mild alcohol withdrawal symptom stage, outpatient treatment can also be considered but will require close monitoring when the person is out of the treatment facility.
Health Problems of Alcohol Abuse
People undergoing alcohol withdrawal process may need to be placed under medical care during the entire withdrawal process. Studies have revealed that nearly five percent of these people develop delirium tremens. Health problems associated with heavy alcohol dependence include liver problems, nerve damage, malnutrition, cardiovascular disfunctioning, distorted blood cell levels, stomach and digestive problems and many more. The extent of these health problems vary depending on amount of alcohol intake and the frequency of intake. It may lead to slight complications to life threatening health problems.
There are many people who are trying as much as possible to reduce or avoid alcohol. Due to addiction and alcoholism, there are some who are advised by medics to stop drinking completely. However, when quitting, there are some symptoms you may not be able to handle on your own. It is advisable that if you experience some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should seek medical attention within the shortest time possible.
When Should You Seek Medical Attention?
There are some symptoms that can occur immediately you stop taking alcohol that calls for the assistance from a medic. Some of the common symptoms include fever, seizures, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations, and severe confusion. It is a fact that some of the people who had been addicted may experience such symptoms to the extent of threatening their lives. You should immediately go to the emergency room or dial the emergency number when you are in alcohol withdrawal and you experience such severe symptoms.
Is It Necessary To Undergo A Detox Program?
There are many people who may think that they can quit drinking on their own which is not usually the case. You may require being on a strictly supervised detox program offered by a professional medic especially if you have been a heavy drinker.
There are many places where you can get Detox programs such as hospitals, outpatients, alcohol treatment center and many other places. You just have to compare the services offered and choose the best where you get quality services at the best rates.
By undergoing a detox program, you will be able to get medication that can assist you get rid of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
You can approach your medical practitioner to guide you on the detox programs available locally and the nature of services offered.
It is advisable to be fully prepared whether your symptoms are mild or severe so as to avoid the alcohol withdrawal symptoms and achieve your objectives.
For many people, drinking is a leisure activity. However, there are people whose drinking is far from a leisure activity. To them, it is mandatory to drink alcohol if they are to be functional human beings. They are generally referred to as alcohol addicts. Alcohol addiction therefore comes about when the body is dependent on alcohol in order to function correctly. It is characterized by a lack of control of how much alcohol one takes or continuous excessive consumption of alcohol.
People start drinking for many reasons. For some, it starts as a harmless habit that develops into full- fledged addiction. Some are curious as to how it feels to be drunk. Others drink out of sheer peer pressure. For others yet, drinking is a means of escape from the many harsh realities of life. Regardless of how one starts drinking, everyone who starts drinking is susceptible to the disease known as alcoholism. Once one becomes an alcoholic, it is difficult, but possible, for one to quit drinking. Here are some signs of alcoholism that you should be wary of:
What are the signs of alcoholism?
The first warning sign that you could end up getting addicted to alcohol is when you cannot control how much alcohol you take. You may find yourself gradually increasing the number of bottles you empty in order to feel the same excitement you once felt with one bottle of alcohol. In addition to the amount of alcohol you take, you may find yourself drinking much more frequently. If you used to go out to drink once a week, you may find yourself drinking several times within one week. At its worst, you could also find yourself drinking bottles of alcohol several times in a day.
Another thing that points to addiction is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms every time you try quitting the habit. There is no denying the fact that the symptoms can be painful, or even devastating. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include trembling, shaking, insomnia, anxiety and at worst, delirium tremens. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms can shatter your willpower, and you may find yourself feeling immensely helpless against the addiction.
What are the consequences of alcohol addiction?
Addiction can disrupt your life in many ways. One of the most direct impacts that alcoholism has on you is that it causes a number of diseases. Alcohol addiction has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, gout and many other lifestyle diseases. It is also known to be the leading cause of liver cirrhosis, which is a condition that is characterized by a hardened liver.
Alcoholism can also negatively impact one’s earning capacity. This happens when an addict would rather spend time drinking rather than working. Because of their addiction, they may not really be able to concentrate on other tasks before they have taken their dose of the drug. Additionally, if you have to be high in order to work, it more likely than not that you will always end up doing a shoddy job and this in most cases leads to getting fired or the collapse of your business.
Alcoholism also leads to broken relationships. Alcohol addiction is a leading cause of divorces and dysfunctional families. Alcoholics have a hard time connecting with other people, and they also have a high tendency to be depressed.