Withdrawing from Alcohol: What to Expect

As soon as they quit drinking, alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that individuals who have had an alcohol abuse issue for months, years or weeks may experience. Individuals that only drink once in a while rarely have withdrawal symptoms. Individuals that have gone through withdrawal in the past are actually much more likely to get withdrawal symptoms every time they ceased drinking. What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome?

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Symptoms can be extreme or moderate, and could include:

Shakiness Perspiring Anxiety Irritation Fatigue Depression Headaches Insomnia Nightmares Reduced appetite

More severe withdrawal symptoms may also include high temperature, convulsions and delirium tremens (also called DTs). Individuals that have DTs may suffer from mental confusion, anxiousness or even hallucinations (seeing, feeling, or hearing things that are not actually there). DTs can be extremely dangerous if they aren't cared for by a physician.

Do men and women going through withdrawal should see a physician?

Yes. Your physician ought to know you're going through withdrawal so he or she can ensure it does not bring on more serious health-related problems. Your symptoms could worsen each time if you go through withdrawal a number of times without getting the right treatment. So even if your withdrawal signs and symptoms don't seem that harmful, it's crucial to see your medical professional. This is especially true for individuals that have had injurious withdrawal signs and symptoms before and individuals who have other health-related problems, like infections, heart disease, lung disease or a past history of convulsions.

People that quit using other drugs (like tobacco, injected substances or cocaine) at the same time they stop drinking alcohol might have severe withdrawal issues. They should see a medical professional before they quit.

How can my medical professional help me if I'm in withdrawal?

Your medical professional can supply the moral support you will need to be successful in your efforts to stop drinking. He or she can monitor your withdrawal symptoms to help prevent more dangerous health issues.

Your doctor can also prescribe medicines to control the trembling, anxiousness and mental confusion that can accompany alcohol withdrawal. They could keep your signs and symptoms from getting worse if you take these medications at an early stage of the withdrawal.

What can my family and friends do to help me if I'm going through withdrawal?

The impulse to drink again during withdrawal can be profoundly powerful. After withdrawal symptoms go away, it's essential to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (see contact information under "Other Organizations").

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Signs?

More severe withdrawal signs and symptoms could also include fever, convulsions and delirium tremens (also called DTs). If you go through withdrawal a number of times without getting the appropriate treatment, your signs and symptoms may get more severe each time. Even if your withdrawal symptoms don't seem that harmful, it's important to see your physician. After withdrawal symptoms go away, it's essential to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as alcoholics Anonymous (see contact information under "Other Organizations").

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