Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment - All American Detox

Have you or a loved one been struggling with a drinking problem for some time? Despite seeming innocent at first, alcohol can quickly become part of your daily routine and before you know it, you are having several drinks just to get through the day.

Despite being legal, alcohol poses several risks to your health: the worst of which occur when you drink too much. In the short term, binge drinking can lead to dangerous and irresponsible behaviors such as driving while intoxicated, blacking out, fighting or overdosing. In the long-term, alcohol misuse can cause heart problems, several types of cancer, memory and learning problems, poor mental health, and addiction.1

In addition, the wear on the body, heavy and long-term drinkers seeking sobriety must also contend with alcohol withdrawals. More so than any other drug, the side-effects of alcohol withdrawal are destructive and potentially lethal.

Fortunately, with proper care and dedication, it is possible to overcome alcohol addiction once and for all. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, treatment and timeline of alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol blocks glutamate receptors and increases the inhibitory receptors in the brain. This decreases neuronal firing and slows down the brain’s response to stimuli.2 This is the reason we feel relaxed when we drink. It’s also the reason why we get dizzy and exhibit poor judgement.

In cases where long term drinking occurs, brain chemistry is completely altered. When a person stops drinking, their brain can no longer regulate itself and becomes overexcited. This process is what is referred to as alcohol withdrawal.2

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are most pronounced for people who have abused alcohol for an extended amount of time.2 Withdrawals begin to set in within the first hour and are usually mild, however they will get worse as time goes on.

Alcohol withdrawals range from mild to severe and are physical as well as mental. Here are many of the symptoms than can occur when a person stops using alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal Common Symptoms

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sustaining sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Heart rate
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Anger or irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Alcohol withdrawal Severe Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Body tremors
  • Cardiac Arrythmia
  • Delirium tremens
  • Severe dehydration
  • Thoughts of suicide

Alcohol withdrawals, if not treated properly can result in permanent damage or even death. People who are older, have chronic health conditions and those who are severe or long-term drinkers are at a higher risk of experiencing complications during alcohol detoxification and may need to enroll in a medical detox program to safely detox.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

There are several factors that can impact the duration of alcohol withdrawal. Among them, the number of years the person drank for, the amount of alcohol they regularly consumed, their physical and mental health state, and the presence of other substances or addictions.

6-12 Hours

During the first few hours the signs of alcohol withdrawal begin to set in. At first these early symptoms are mild and may include anxiety, nausea, changes to blood pressure, discomfort, heavy breathing and difficulty sleeping.3

12-48 Hours

During this stage some may also experience visual and auditory hallucinations and seizures.

48-72 Hours

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms peak during this time and can result in fever, quickened heart rate and high blood pressure. Out of those who experience severe withdrawal symptoms, 3 to 5 percent will develop delirium tremens: a condition that occurs as a result of heavy prolonged drinking. Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Body tremors
  • Seizures
  • Autonomic Overstimulation (nausea, sweating and rapid heart rate)
  • Hallucinations
  • Changes in mental state
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Death

Post-acute Withdrawal (72 hours or more)

After about 5 to 7 days, withdrawal symptoms return to more manageable levels making it possible for those to leave medical care without the risk of any health complications.

From this point on, individuals experience some lingering effects called post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS. These symptoms are mostly psychological and may include depression, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, difficulty sleeping and mood swings.4

Those completing alcohol detox will also find that the urge to use alcohol remains. For this reason, enrollment in an inpatient rehab program or intensive outpatient program is highly recommended.

How Is Alcohol Withdrawal Treated

When an alcoholic is finally ready to quit, they will have to decide how to approach it. Many are convinced that quitting cold turkey with little to no support will work out fine, but as we just discussed, alcohol withdrawals have significant health risks for those that try to quit.

Medical detox programs, on the other hand, are equipped to handle the latent complications of alcohol withdrawal and can adapt treatment quickly if things start to go south. Those in medical detox also receive preventive care–they are watched around the clock, their vitals are monitored, and they are given nutritional support so that the body more properly heal itself.

When necessary, patients are also given medication to ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. And in the case of a medical emergency, drugs like anti-convulsant may be administered to stop seizures.

Also Read: How to deal with depression and anxiety

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Conclusion – Get Help

Attempting to quit alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous, especially if you are a heavy or long-term drinker. Alcohol abuse can drastically alter the brain leading to an overexcitement in brain activity that can cause seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens. It can also negatively impact behavior causing irritability, mood swings, anxiety and depression.

Are you finally ready to quit drugs and alcohol once and for all? All American Detox is a drug and alcohol treatment and rehab center in Los Angeles California. Our detox and residential inpatient programs can help you overcome substance abuse in comfort and with confidence. For more information, call us today at (844) 570-1301.

Citations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 14). Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. learn the facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Newman RK, Stobart Gallagher MA, Gomez AE. Alcohol Withdrawal. [Updated 2021 Nov 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441882/

Tietz, G., & Khan, G. (n.d.). Alcohol withdrawal symptoms: What you need to know. WebMD. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/alcohol/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline

What is post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)? What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)? | Hazelden Betty Ford. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome

When does Alcohol Become an Addiction

When does Alcohol Become an Addiction - All American Detox

Most people, when asked can recall at least a few memorable events when they took their drinking too far. But after a few “I’m never drinking again” level hangovers, most people return to drinking in moderation, at least most of the time. So, why is it harder for others to walk this fine line?

The truth is, the signs of alcohol and other drug dependence can be difficult to identity, more than likely because it is hard for us to accept when we’ve lost control.

Going through the motions of an alcohol addiction can start to feel very much like stages of grief, where so much time is spent denying the problem.  Attacking the ones who are trying to help and bargaining with ourselves over a few “insignificant” drinks before ending up back where we started.

If any of this sounds familiar, read on to learn about the signs of alcohol and other drug dependence.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction and its Dependance:

You are Drinking Frequently or Heavily

There are several patterns of unhealthy drinking that may indicate alcoholism. The first of which is binge drinking, also known as heavy episodic drinking.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) defines binge drinking as consuming five or more standard drinks in one hour for men or four or more drinks for females.1 In other words, binge drinking can be defined as drinking a large number of drinks over a short period of time.

The other, heavy drinking, is defined as drinking more than four drinks daily or fourteen drinks a week for men and seven drinks a week for women.1

While binge drinking or heavy drinking does not always mean alcohol addiction, engaging in behaviors along with these and getting black out drunk or drinking until you pass out are strong indicators. Another criterion for alcoholism, is continuing to use alcohol despite social and legal repercussions (i.e. loss of job, DUI, and serious health issues).

Also Read: How to deal with depression and anxiety

Friends and Family are Concerned About Your Drinking

People often notice things about us that we miss about ourselves. Not everyone will risk their relationship to confront a friend or loved one about a drug or alcohol problem, but when it’s people that you love and trust, it is time to start paying attention.

If your drinking has reached the point where it is causing harm to others, you may also find yourself being the subject of an intervention with multiple friends and family at once.

You Often Drink More Than You Mean To

How many times have you said, “I’ll just have just a few drinks” and ended up binge drinking anyways?  Not being able to moderate your drinking is a strong indicator of waning self-control–a problem associated with alcohol addiction.2

You Are Engaging in Dangerous or Unlawful Behaviors

It’s no secret that heavy alcohol consumption can result in poor life choices. From DUI’s, infidelity or causing injury to yourself or others, alcohol can result in some pretty life changing consequences.

Normally, these events are a wakeup call, but if a person refuses to get their drinking under control despite repeated negative consequences, this could be a tell-tale sign of alcoholism.

You Feel Terrible When You Aren’t Drinking

As anybody who has spent a night out of heavy drinking can tell you, the morning after hangover can make you regret ever drinking. Heavy drinkers, however, spend a lot of time dealing with the negative health effects of overindulging.

Some of the effects that heavy drinkers and alcoholics regularly experience include3

  • Stomach pain and nausea
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • Low energy
  • Haziness and difficulty concentrating
  • Weakened immune system
  • Numbness of limbs
  • Memory loss
  • Withdrawals (when not drinking)

You Have underlying Mental Health Issues

If you have one or more diagnosed mental health disorders and are abusing alcohol or other drugs, the risk for developing substance use disorder (SUD) is higher. According to the American Medical Association, approximately 50% of those with severe mental disorders also have substance abuse issues.4

The reason for this varies but using alcohol as a substitution for treatment is common. For example, a person might drink when they are feeling depressed or anxious so that they can take the edge off.4

When people lean on substances in this way, sobriety can become unpleasant, making it more likely that the person will spend more of their time drinking.

Alcoholism Runs in Your Family

Research indicates that genetics account for 40-60 percent of a person’s addiction risk. Given this fact, if you are addicted to alcohol, it’s possible that your addiction didn’t start with you.

Addiction is similar to other inheritable diseases with treatment outcomes similar to diabetes.5

Rehab Center for Alcohol Addiction

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When the signs of alcohol and other drug dependance becomes obvious, the next step is to look for addiction treatment.

Alcohol dependency can be dangerous and often requires medical detox, just to be on the safe side. People who attend inpatient alcohol rehab have better access to relapse prevention, medical support, lifesaving medications, and mental health services like individual therapy and peer support.

All American Detox Center, center is a rehab center in California that provides inpatient rehabilitation and detox services for those seeking treatment for alcohol addiction and other substances. For more information about our quality service and facilities. Call us today at (844) 570-1301.

Conclusion

It is not always easy to accept when an alcohol problem has become an addiction, but when it has, there are several signs that serve as indicators. People who are falling into alcoholism begin to drink more and binge heavily.  They also tend to lack the ability to stop drinking once they’ve started.

This may also be an indicator that alcoholism runs in your family or stems from a preexisting mental health issue as well. As a result of heavy and frequent drinking, alcoholics may do things that cause danger to themselves or others and risk life altering consequences if they continue to use.

Citations

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Drinking levels defined. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking 

Verywell Mind. (2021, July 8). Types of drinking habits to avoid. Verywell Mind. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-alcohol-problems-63139 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 18). Alcohol use disorder. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20369243 

Robinson, L., Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2022, August 18). Dual diagnosis: Substance abuse and mental health. HelpGuide.org. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/substance-abuse-and-mental-health.htm 

Retooling our comparisons of addiction to other illnesses. Recovery Research Institute. (2020, July 3). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/addiction-treatment-policy-expert-suggests-comparisons-addiction-illness-may-need-retooled/ 

Short And Long-Term Effects Of Binge Drinking

Short And Long-Term Effects Of Binge Drinking- All AMerican

We are witnessing the wave of evolution and changes, but sometimes changes bring new mindsets and beliefs; today, binge drinking has become a trend in college or elsewhere. And indeed, it is now drastically becoming a problem for all.

Binge drinking is prevalent today, and it’s easy to influence young minds to develop it. Thus, it has increased in the students. Unfortunately, reports have verified that binge drinking can cause severe problems to the individual even one time. Therefore, when an individual develops a habit of binge drinking regularly, it makes them vulnerable to short and long-term effects.

What is Binge Drinking?

Excessive alcohol drinking is the most dangerous type of addiction. Binge drinking is a term primarily denoted to address the extreme pattern of alcohol consumption that gradually brings the individual’s blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 grams per deciliter. Though the consumption between men and women is slightly different.

Though drinking might be a dangerous addiction, it is also preventive. An alcohol detox center that provides help for the people who are in from getting rid of the alcohol. It has been helpful for the people who are tired of the addiction and want to change for good.

 

Short term effects of binge drinking

effects of binge drinking

Binge drinking does bring a lot of harm and risk to good health, even if it is short term; some of the consequences are:

  • There is an acute inflammation of the liver, stomach, and pancreas. Unfortunately, a critical condition can also become a life-risking situation.
  • The habitat of pattern drinking can cause high blood pressure; it has been reported that excessive drinking can severely affect blood pressure.
  • American Detox Center understands the effect of the excessive use of alcohol and creates treatment to help with those health consequences.
  • Regular drinking can fluctuate the heartbeats; it can cause irregularity to the manual heartbeat, increasing or decreasing in time. An irregular heartbeat can also become the reason for sudden heart failure.
  • It can also dehydrate the body completely, which can cause unconsciousness and a decrease in glucose. Dehydration can damage the body’s regular glucose routine, which can be dangerous.
  • Short-term effects can dangerously lower the blood sugar, which can bring the individual a concussion; this can also turn terrifying at any moment.
  • Short-term drinking can increase the risk of getting injured or, worst-case scenario, even death. Mostly these are acute level problems, but they can be dangerous at the same time.

Long term effects of binge drinking

The long-term effects of binge drinking can become a cause of chronic illness; this can negatively affect individuals’ lives and gradually become dependent upon drinking. Some of the long term effects are:

  • The long-term effect includes a vanquished immunity system. It can create a high risk for the individual because of a weak immunity system, and they would not be able to recover from their illness that well.
  • Excessive drinking can cause Malnutrition and anemia. When the individual would not be able to absorb nutrition from the food and anemia, Malnutrition can cause problems to their blood. Both of these are chronic diseases in healthcare, and they need special care.
  • The detox center is aware of the consequences of long-term effects of binge drinking and provides a better program of treatment and professional help to recover.
  • It can also become a high risk of chronic stroke. Stokes can malfunction with the whole body in limited time duration. Thus, this can be terrifying for regular alcohol intake.
  • Similarly, many other casualties are reported, such as damaged nerve systems, liver disease, seizures, etc.

Are you struggling to overcome this?

If you find it challenging to eliminate the excessive usage of alcohol and need help, you can contact the All American Detox Center. At All American Detox Center, we try to understand the issue with the usage of excessive alcohol intake while figuring out the best option to create a program that will help the individual.

All American Detox Center is one of the most reliable detox centers. We bring the best and optimum treatment and medication for a patient’s speedy recovery with a fun activity. You can contact us now just by calling our recovery helpline number at +1-844-570-1301.