Heavy drinkers or people who have become dependent on alcohol are at risk of experiencing alcohol withdrawal once they suddenly decide to quit drinking. The sudden decision to quit drinking, also known as cold turkey, could make the sufferer exhibit physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually range from being mild up to severe and fatal withdrawal symptoms.
If you are a self-confessed alcoholic and you have suddenly decided to go cold turkey, you should know everything about alcohol withdrawal first. Once you have become familiar with its common symptoms and signs, it would be easier for you to battle alcohol withdrawal and say goodbye to your alcoholic tendencies for good.
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol.
Incessant urge to drink
Heavy drinkers usually end their stressful days by bingeing on alcohol. After bingeing on alcoholic drinks and vomiting all over their clothes, they usually promise themselves that this would be the last time they would drink. Since they usually sound sincere about their intent to quit, their friends and family would usually support them with their decision to stop drinking.
However, when they start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, they would feel an unstoppable craving for more alcohol. Sometimes, they reason out their craving for alcohol by telling others that they do not want to drink but their body needs it. This leads to a vicious cycle of not wanting to drink ever again, feeling the urge to grab another beer, and then back to feeling the need to quit their incessant drinking.
The shakes and the sweats
The onset of minor withdrawal usually starts when a person experiences uncontrollable shaking and sweating. Sometimes, a person experiencing the withdrawal stage could also experience other symptoms such as headache, nausea, anxiety, and abnormal heart rate and blood pressure.
Even though these symptoms are somehow uncomfortable, they are not really dangerous and life-threatening. However, because of their craving for more alcohol, they usually experience the need to break their promise of abstaining from alcohol forever.
Those who experience severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually develop hallucinations after two days of abstaining from alcohol. Usually, these hallucinations involve visual images, but sometimes they could involve sounds and smells, too. In minor cases, hallucinations last for a few hours, while visual hallucinations last for about a week in severe cases of withdrawal.
Visual hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal could also be accompanied by seizures or convulsions. At this point, alcohol withdrawal could lead to life-threatening cases if not treated as soon as possible. These symptoms could also turn into delirium tremens, which involves continuous disorientation, confusion, hyperactivity, and cardiovascular disturbances.
The proper medical treatment
In order to battle the effects of alcohol withdrawal, a person needs to receive proper medical attention. During a series of treatments for alcoholism, patients are usually provided with adequate doses of Thiamine and a proper diet. This is enough to stop the symptoms of mild cases of withdrawal.
However, those who are experiencing severe cases of withdrawal are advised to use Valium as a substitute for alcohol, slowly decreasing the dosage until the patients finally become drug-free and alcohol-free.
Now that you know all the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well as the series of treatments used for it, it would be easier for you to battle alcohol withdrawal and to abstain from alcohol for the rest of your lifetime.
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