Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms – Duration and Effects

Alcoholism 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.

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.

The withdrawal symptoms can be from mild to life-threatening; usually this directly corresponds with the alcohol use. The length of the problem and the amount typically consumed will have a large effect on the severity of the symptoms. Everyone will experience some level of physical discomfort when the drinking stops. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms duration usually start within a few hours, get serious in 6 to 48 hours and may only last a few days or for weeks depending on the person and the addiction problem.

Medical help is available and withdrawing from alcohol should be done under medical supervision. Most people under a physician’s care are sent home with a four day supply of anti-anxiety medications. 95% of the people have mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. In that 95%, 15 to 20% with moderate Benzo Withdrawal Symptomsmay still have hallucinations or brief seizures.

A mild reaction would include shakes, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, sweats or night sweats, anxiety and increased blood pressure. In 6 to 48 hours more serious reactions start which include hallucinations. These hallucinations are usually visual but can include smells and sounds. During the same timeframe a person experiencing a more serious reaction could have convulsions or seizures.

For chronic alcoholism the symptoms may be severe and are delirium tremens known as DTs. These start 3 to 5 days after the alcohol was stopped. Once DTs start the medical profession has no way to stop them. DTs include profound confusion, hallucinations, hyperactivity, disorientation and extreme cardiovascular disturbances which include changes in breathing, circulation and body temperature, racing heart, high blood pressure and dehydration. DTs can lead to a Grand Mal seizure, heart attacks and strokes, creating fatalities.

There are many medical facilities and alcohol detoxification centers that can assist and protect the alcoholic going through the alcohol withdrawal symptoms duration []. There is no need for anyone to go through this process alone; caring, competent people are trained in assisting with this process.


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