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August 18, 2022

10 Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol use disorder can manifest itself in detrimental ways to both physical and mental health.

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August 18, 2022

After an extended period of heavy drinking, the human body will start to form an alcohol dependence. That doesn't necessarily mean an individual has crossed the threshold into alcoholism. What it does mean is the drinker's mind and body will have acquired a strong craving for alcohol that becomes noticeable with any extended period of alcohol abstinence.

That raises the question, "when do alcohol dependence and chronic alcohol abuse turn into alcohol addiction or alcoholism?" The answer to this question is not very complicated. Substance abuse turns to addiction when an individual starts to experience withdrawal symptoms related to their abstinence.

Since symptoms of withdrawal stand as the primary indication of alcohol addiction, we feel it would be prudent to offer some information about the 10 most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. With that in mind, here is some detailed information you can use to determine whether or not you might be suffering from alcohol addiction and its side effects.

10 Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

It's important to reiterate that the presence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms should be counted as a clear indication that an individual is suffering from alcohol addiction or alcoholism. These are symptoms that typically occur after an extended period of alcohol abstinence. It is important to note that the range of

To be very clear, the occurrence of these withdrawal symptoms from a timing standpoint may vary from one person to another. In fact, there are several factors that will play a role in determining exactly when someone might start experiencing withdrawal. These factors include:

  • The duration of an individual's alcohol dependence (months/years)
  • The amount of alcohol consumption and alcohol intake, per day and per drinking session
  • The type of alcohol being consumed (hard liquor creates more issues than beer and wine)
  • An individual's ability to metabolize alcohol

While the onset of withdrawal might vary, most people will start experiencing some withdrawal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours of their last drink. Mild symptoms will be evident early on, increasing in severity over the next 3 to 4 days before starting to subside. In cases of severe alcohol addiction, acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be evident for 2 to 4 weeks before subsiding.

It's also important to point out that the effects of alcohol withdrawal can be physical or psychological. This matters because some withdrawal symptoms are easier to recognize than others and can range from mild to life-threatening. Here are the 10 most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

1. Elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, fast palpations, and hand tremors

2. Profuse sweating on the palms and around the face, hyperactivity

3. Loss of appetite and the ability to sleep

4. Delirium Tremens: DTs - life-threatening complications like sepsis, trouble breathing, seizures, Sensitivity to touch, light, and/or sound, or an electrolyte imbalance

5. Fatigue: Feeling wiped out and low excitability

6. Depression, anxiety, and rapid changes in mood

7. Nausea, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea

8. Inability to think clearly and form constructive thoughts and feelings of disorientation

9. Bad dreams, visual hallucinosis, and auditory hallucinations

10. Difficulty breathing

Dealing with Alcohol Withdrawal

Millions of people have tried to get through alcohol withdrawal on their own by simply stopping drinking "cold turkey" as management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. There are many risk factors involved with a cold turkey approach, some even life-threatening. At Hollywood Hills Recovery, an untreated approach is not something we can recommend. One look at the aforementioned symptoms of withdrawal should serve as a warning that dangers lurk when seeking the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

It's for that very reason that we highly recommend that people seek help with their withdrawal symptoms through a reputable rehab treatment program or alcohol detox center.

Especially when treating severe withdrawal symptoms, our focus is always on the safety of each client. Ideally, we would like each client to go through withdrawal as naturally as possible with a focus on exercise and nutrition. Unfortunately, a lot of clients will encounter severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that require some form of medical intervention.

By medical intervention, we are referring to a process by which one of our medical professionals is standing by to prescribe relief medications. For the most part, clinicians will prescribe relief medications for their treatment of alcohol withdrawal for issues related to sleep and pain.

In our detox facility, we aid our clients clear their symptoms through treatment of alcohol withdrawal within the first week. However, we stay prepared for even the most severe withdrawal symptoms and prepare until we feel each client is ready to deal with the rigors of therapy.

In cases of severe alcohol addiction, treatment options lean towards a long-term detoxification process that might require the use of a "tapering medication" to help a client get through withdrawal at the safest pace possible. Our medical advice and healthcare are rooted in the statement that our client's safety is absolutely vital.

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