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Can Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Hallucinations?

a person rubs his temples as he experiences alcohol withdrawal hallucinations

If you’re trying to recover from a serious drinking problem, professional alcohol detox and rehab are strongly recommended. This is true for a variety of reasons. That includes the possibility of experiencing severe side effects during the withdrawal process. One such side effect is the onset of hallucinations. Hallucinations can occur in connection with two different potential complications of alcohol withdrawal. In both cases, formal detox services can protect your health and well-being.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms – Hallucinations During Alcoholic Hallucinosis

Alcoholic hallucinosis is the basic term for hallucinations related to alcohol use. You can experience these hallucinations:

  • While actively drinking alcohol in excessive amounts
  • During the alcohol withdrawal process

The most common effects are voices that only you can hear. These voices may command or demand that you do certain things. They may also speak to you in demeaning or spiteful ways. Quite often, no other changes in mental status accompany alcohol hallucinosis. But in some cases, you may also experience other kinds of hallucinations.

Alcohol Withdrawal Hallucinations as Part of Delirium Tremens

Hallucinations are also a potential symptom of another, even more serious alcohol withdrawal side effect. This side effect is commonly known as both delirium tremens and DTs. People affected by DTs sometimes experience visual hallucinations. Touch-based hallucinations are also common.

The DTs are a concern because they do much more than trigger hallucinations. Additional hallmarks include:

  • Sudden, profound confusion, i.e., delirium
  • Seizures
  • An unstable mood
  • Trembling muscles
  • Unusual excitement or fear
  • Agitation, irritability, or restlessness

You may also experience unusual sensitivities to sound, touch, or visual stimulation.

The DTs are not common. Most people withdrawing from alcohol are not at risk for them. However, several things can make you more susceptible. For example, your chances rise if you go through alcohol withdrawal multiple times. They also increase if you’ve been drinking heavily for years or longer. In addition, they rise if you drink heavily every day in the months before you decide to get sober.

Delirium tremens can rapidly degrade your health. The impact is potentially severe enough to be fatal. If you’re not enrolled in professional detox, the danger to your safety can be extreme. This is one more reason to seek expert help when quitting drinking.

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Hallucinations Last – What’s Your Timeline?

So, exactly how long do alcohol withdrawal hallucinations last in the average person? Most people affected by the DTs recover in two to seven days with proper treatment. However, in rare cases, your symptoms can take much longer to resolve.

Recovery from alcoholic hallucinosis is typically a lengthier process than recovery from the DTs. The vast majority of people who remain abstinent will stop hallucinating in a few months. However, symptoms sometimes linger beyond this timeframe.

Find Out More About Alcohol Withdrawal Hallucinations at Northpoint Colorado

For people experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, hallucinations are sometimes an issue. They may be the result of alcoholic hallucinosis. They may also occur as part of delirium tremens. In both cases, help is available in supervised detox.

That help may consist of medication. It may also come in the form of temporary physical restraint. And if you’re affected by the DTs, you will also need treatment for your other symptoms.

Do you want more information on alcohol withdrawal hallucinations? Talk to the recovery specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We specialize in customized alcohol detox. No matter your situation, we can answer your questions. We can also provide you with expert care that furthers your recovery. To get started, just call us today at 888.231.1281. You can also make contact us through our online form.