Treating Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

a woman needs professional help and support to get through her severe and unpleasant alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal is typical in people affected by alcoholism who stop drinking. Some people experience relatively mild or moderate withdrawal symptoms. However, severe symptoms are also possible. In addition, major withdrawal complications sometimes occur. No matter the seriousness of your symptoms or complications, medical alcohol detox and rehab are strongly recommended. These centers provide treatment that helps keep the effects of withdrawal under control. They also help protect you from the worst possible effects of quitting drinking. Contact Northpoint Colorado at 970.579.4569 today for more information.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

In order to be able to tell when someone needs help, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish normal social drinking behavior from problematic or addictive behavior, especially when drinking is so widely accepted in society.

Some warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Intense cravings for or urges to drink alcohol
  • Inability to control drinking, even if they may want to
  • Problems at home, work, or school due to drinking
  • Financial or legal problems related to drinking
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Issues with balance and coordination
  • Aggression, mood swings
  • New or worsening mental illness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Withdrawal symptoms when unable to drink

If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol withdrawal, it is important to get them help right away so the severity of their symptoms can be assessed and managed.

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person who is dependent on alcohol can not drink, they will experience withdrawal symptoms that range in severity from unpleasant to potentially life-threatening. Specific symptoms are fairly common in people going through alcohol withdrawal. The list of these symptoms includes:

  • Unusual shakiness, jitteriness, or jumpiness
  • A nervous or anxious state of mind
  • Rapid changes in your mood
  • Feelings of irritability
  • A depressed mental state
  • Bad dreams
  • Unclear thinking

You may also experience a range of other symptoms. That includes things such as nausea and vomiting, headaches, clammy skin, and hand tremors. Dilated pupils, insomnia, a rapid heartbeat, and appetite loss also frequently occur.

Alcohol Withdrawal Complications

Two alcohol withdrawal symptoms are far less common but much more serious. The first of these symptoms is seizures. A seizure can be mild; however, most affected people withdrawing from alcohol experience powerful grand mal seizures.

The second potential complication is delirium tremens, also known as DTs. People affected by the DTs may also experience seizures. In addition, they may experience things such as:

  • Extreme confusion
  • A very agitated mental state
  • Visual or touch-based hallucinations
  • A high fever

Both seizures and DTs can endanger your health. Left untreated, the DTs can even be fatal. However, only a small percentage of people withdrawing from alcohol are affected. A long history of heavy drinking puts you at significant risk. Be aware that other withdrawal complications are also possible.

Treatment and the Alcohol Detox Process

The alcohol detox process is designed to do several things. First, it helps limit the intensity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It also provides medical oversight that protects you from serious complications. Should complications occur, the same oversight will help safeguard your well-being. Finally, detox acts as a stepping stone to follow-up treatment in alcohol rehab.

Detox professionals take specific steps to reach each of these goals. For example, your doctor may prescribe a sedative to reduce the impact of withdrawal. Benzodiazepine medications are the typical choice in this situation. As you progress toward initial sobriety, you will need less and less of your medication. When detox ends, you will stop taking it. If you experience seizures during detox, you will likely receive an anti-seizure medication. Both sedatives and anti-seizure meds can help treat the DTs.

In addition, all people enrolled in detox receive general supportive care. This care helps ensure that you can tolerate the detox process. It includes things such as vital sign checks and blood tests. When needed, it also includes treatment for dehydration and nutrition issues.

Alcohol rehab is an essential next step after alcohol detox. In rehab, your treatment will help you cope with any lingering withdrawal symptoms. It will also help you develop a stable pattern of long-term sobriety.

Seek Help for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms at Northpoint Colorado

At Northpoint Colorado, we specialize in inpatient medical alcohol detox. The treatments we provide will help you safely withdraw from alcohol. They will also help you meet all other goals of the detox process.

When you complete detox, you can follow up by enrolling in one of our alcohol rehab plans. Your options include inpatient rehab and two kinds of outpatient programs. You’ll get the best-customized care, no matter which fits your needs. Call us today at 970.579.4569 for more information, or use our online form.