Alcohol Withdrawal: It’s Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

When a heavy drinker suddenly stops alcohol consumption, he needs to go through Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS). These symptoms can range from small cases to the extreme resulting in alcohol withdrawal seizure. Hence, it can also reach to the life-threatening situation when it is at its extreme.

As the dependency of the human body on alcohol is enormous, alcoholics go through a chemical change in their body after they escape from their long and prolonged period of heavy alcohol consumption. The chemical change results in various physical as well have mental issues. This happens because the human brain depends on the frequency of alcohol consumption.

Because the complications of AWS could be fatal, alcoholics should consider visiting a rehabilitation center before they plan on quitting alcohol after they get habituated. Here is what you need to know about alcohol withdrawal and the causes before you get into the treatment procedure.

Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol Withdrawal
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Alcohol Withdrawal Causes

What causes alcohol withdrawal syndrome? If you are concerned about yourself, the first thing you need to know is the effect of alcohol on the brain and the central nervous system.

Certain neurotransmitters on our mind get suppressed because of the irritation of the central nervous system. As a result, people feel easy after they drink. This easiness comes from the feelings that alcohol fills up our hearts.

While you get obsessed with the feeling and easiness that alcohol gives, you will somewhat feel like you need it while you quit. But, as the alcohol level drops after a specific time, you will experience this syndrome.

No matter whether you were consuming a sparkling wine or champagne you will go through this syndrome.  

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms of withdrawal of alcohol vary from person to person and come in a series of the timeline. While they start from 6 to 12 hours after the alcohol leaves your body, it can cause severe problems, including alcohol withdrawal seizure at the later stage.

The symptoms get impacted by factors like the length of alcohol drinking, medical history, history of alcohol consumption, and the frequency of alcohol consumption. Examine its symptoms depending on the timetable.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Symptoms
Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Symptoms Timetable
Image Source: Origins Behavioral Healthcare

First six to 12 hours

  1. At this phase, people might suffer from headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
  2. Later, the headache might result in anxiety and shaking.

12 to 24 hours

  1. With the shaking that follows, there will be hand tremors in the second stage.
  2. Also, people will not be able to escape from disorientation.

48 hours post-ingestion

  1. As this stage will bring up prominent symptoms, you will face insomnia and alcohol withdrawal seizures.
  2. Also, high blood pressure, along with alcohol withdrawal delirium tremors, will follow.
  3. Moreover, people will be the victim of high blood pressure and ultimately face visual hallucinations.
  4. In extreme cases, people will also face excessive sweating, followed by high fever.

However, the symptoms will improve in less than a week. But, some people might be the victim of symptoms that last for a more extended period. The prolonged side effects include delayed reflexes, chronic nausea, memory problems, low energy, emotional outbursts, and irritability. Therefore, alcohol withdrawal management is critical.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

The treatment of this phenomenon will depend on the nature of the symptoms. As the symptoms change their state quickly, the treatment procedure should start fast. Here are a few treatment procedures involved in its treatment.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment
Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment
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1. Inpatient Treatment

The inpatient treatment centers offer alcohol withdrawal management programs to patients who are suffering from alcohol addiction. As it comes to the initial phase, it can have a sensitive impact on the patient. It usually lasts for 30 to 90 days.

2. Outpatient Treatment

This treatment procedure is different from inpatient treatment as it allows the patient free. They can involve in their daily activities while they go through the process of recovery.

3. Individual Counselling

As individual counseling is the best program of recovery from alcohol addiction, it can be influential to addicted people who suffer from alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

4. Medication

Then, comes the support from doctors who help to get back with certain medicines. Doctors provide alcohol withdrawal drugs to deal with the symptoms planning for recovery.