If you have decided that it is time to attack alcoholism, then you should be aware of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms you will go through. If someone you love is making the effort to quit, knowing what to expect will empower you to help them stay committed to this decision.
Once you have been drinking alcohol for a prolonged period of time, there is no way to predict how many symptoms you will experience, or to what extent. It is highly recommended that you work with your doctor to help control these symptoms rather than going “cold turkey” on your own.
Once you take that last drink, expect withdrawal symptoms to start between 12-24 hours later. This will include reactions such as agitation and difficulty sleeping. And while these alcohol withdrawal symptoms will usually peak at 72 hours and run the course by 96 hours, sometimes they can persist for a while longer. In my case I usually felt rough for around a week, after that though, WOW what a difference!
I know the thought of putting yourself through this is scary. You and I both know however that continuing to drink will make you feel a great deal worse. The reality is you mustn’t be frightened by the thought of experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the very short term.
These symptoms aren’t always too bad and are over relatively quickly. I’ve been through this several times and can tell you from experience that not stopping will make you feel far worse.
Anyway on with the facts……..
Detoxification can be aided with medication to help the process, sometimes alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even fatal since your body has become addicted to the alcohol in your bloodstream.
Other symptoms that may occur besides the agitation and changes in sleep may be:
- depression and fatigue
- inability to think clearly
- flu-like symptoms including headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting
- ale skin
The individual may also have:
- an increased heart rate
- trembling hands
More severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include the individual having:
- a possible fever
These symptoms may cause alarm for the person experiencing them, and for the family watching the person suffering. While normally these symptoms are mild to moderate, there are cases when it can be extreme. Knowing what to watch for, seeking treatment, and sticking it out while you are going through this turmoil will help ensure that you are not suffering needlessly.
Trust me this isn’t something you would want to go through again if you can help it. With outpatient treatment and a strong support system, there is a way to beat the addiction. Just remember that the sweats, jitters, agitation, and sleep deprivation are short-term alcohol withdrawal symptoms that will go away. And you can have a brighter future where you won’t be at risk for all of the other health and social risks associated with alcoholism.
I must stress once more, get your doctor involved. With a carefully worked out detox plan you need not suffer too much.