We all know that alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, but can it actually kill you? Find out the truth about alcohol withdrawal and the risks involved.
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What are alcohol withdrawals?
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when a person who is dependent on alcohol stops drinking. Alcohol withdrawal can occur in people who drink heavily for weeks, months, or years. It can also occur in people who have only been drinking heavily for a few days.
Withdrawal symptoms usually start within 8 hours of the last drink, peak at 24 to 72 hours, and then subside over the next 7 to 10 days. However, some people experience symptoms for weeks or even months after they stop drinking.
What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?
The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:
-Nausea and vomiting
-Increased heart rate and blood pressure
-Tremors of the hands and feet
-Loss of appetite
alcohol withdrawal can also cause hallucinations, Delirium Tremens (DTs), and seizures. DTs is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal and can be life threatening.
What are the risks of alcohol withdrawal?
In short, yes—alcohol withdrawal can kill you. It is estimated that between 5 and 15 percent of people who experience severe alcohol withdrawal will die from it.1 Alcohol withdrawal kills by causing a series of medical complications, the most serious of which is delirium tremens (DT).
DT is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for weeks, months, or even years. DT typically begins two to three days after a person stops drinking and can last for up to a week. The symptoms of DT include:
-High blood pressure
If DT is not treated promptly, it can lead to death. However, death from DT is relatively rare—it occurs in only 1 to 5 percent of cases.2
Can alcohol withdrawal kill you?
Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be deadly, especially if they’re left untreated.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 8 hours of your last drink, and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can include anxiety, shaking, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations.
Delirium tremens (DTs) is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and can be life-threatening. DTs usually begin 48-72 hours after your last drink, and can include fever, seizures, and delusions.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol withdrawal, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medical supervision and treatment, and the risk of complications from DTs can be greatly reduced.
How can you treat alcohol withdrawal?
If you want to stop drinking, you may be worried about alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mild, such as anxiety and shaking, to more severe symptoms like seizures and hallucinations. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can even be life-threatening.
Withdrawal is different for everyone, and it depends on how much and how often you drink. If you have a history of alcohol abuse or dependence, you’re more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat alcohol withdrawal. The most important thing is to detox under medical supervision. Withdrawal can be dangerous, and it’s important to have trained professionals monitoring your vital signs and keeping you safe.
Detoxing at home is not recommended because it’s difficult to predict how severe your symptoms will be. If you detox at home and start to experience severe symptoms, it may be too late to get help.
After detoxing from alcohol, you may still need treatment to help you stay sober. This may include therapy, medication, or both. Treatment can vary depending on your needs, but the goal is always the same: to help you abstain from drinking and live a healthier life.