There are countless alcohol rehabilitation programs throughout the nation that may help someone to break free of alcohol addiction. However, most people who have never experienced it have no idea what alcohol withdrawal feels like. To give you a better understanding, we will provide you with a brief overview.
The Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
If someone struggling with alcohol dependence does not drink between six hours and several days, he or she is going to experience a number of different symptoms. The length that this person has struggled with dependence and how heavily he or she drank to excess every day will determine the severity of the symptoms. Of the following symptoms, most people struggling with alcohol withdrawal are going to experience at least two of the following:
- Anxiety – One of the primary symptoms is anxiety. If the person was not heavily dependent on alcohol (mild cases), the anxiety may not even be noticeable. However, people who have spent years drinking every day may experience full-fledged panic attacks.
- Nausea – Because the body demands alcohol, those who are recovering may feel sick to their stomachs. In severe cases, this may be accompanied by vomiting and dry heaving.
- Tremors – In serious cases (moderate to severe), these tremors can be noticeable. However, someone that only recently developed dependence may only feel tremors in his or her fingertips.
- Headache – The headaches associated with alcohol withdrawal are commonly described as ‘having a tight band around your head that keeps getting tighter and tighter’.
- Confusion – Alcohol withdrawal affects both the physique and the psyche, patients in recovery may be unsure where they are or feel confused.
- Irritability – People who have been drinking for years may begin to pace around and feel extremely agitated while those who are relatively new to alcoholism might be a little fidgety.
- Insomnia – Because their bodies constantly require alcohol, patients in recovery may suffer from insomnia. When they do sleep, nightmares associated with alcohol withdrawal may wake them up again.
Some patients in recovery deal with some of the more severe side effects aside from the common symptoms previously described. These include:
- Depression – The aforementioned alcohol withdrawal symptoms may make someone feel as though suffering through withdrawal is too difficult, making them feel even less confident about recovery.
- Blackouts – Because alcohol does serious damage to the brain, a long-time user may experience blackouts when they stop drinking. In many long-term rehabilitation facilities, it will be determined whether the brain damage is reversible or not.
- Delirium tremens – This is by far the most serious reaction when it comes to ceasing alcohol intake. Some of the key symptoms include visual, tactile, and auditory hallucinations, seizures, fever and extreme confusion. Because these symptoms can be life threatening, proper supervision and medical assistance are essential.
As you can tell, going through alcohol withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant and may even be dangerous. This is the reason that it is always important to undergo recovery in a treatment facility. Not only are there medical professionals available in case things go wrong, but being at an inpatient facility will drastically lower the chance of a relapse.