Alcohol addiction is one of the most common cases of substance abuse. Despite its legality, alcohol addiction is just as dangerous as any illegal substance due to it being socially acceptable while having similar effects to other, illegal drugs. Alcohol users are far less likely to seek addiction treatment. This is mostly due to its stigma in society, being widely advertised and not seen as an “ordinary” drug itself.
Alcohol is a depressant that has a heavy effect on neurotransmitters. It creates a numbing effect on emotions, which is often why people who abuse alcohol tend to “drink their sorrows away.” After repeated use, the brain develops a dependency on alcohol and will have trouble functioning without it.
Alcohol withdrawal comes in many different levels. Some, not all people going through alcohol withdrawal may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression and headaches. Severe symptoms can include seizures and hallucinations. When it reaches the most severe stage, it becomes a condition referred to as Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium, or AWD.
AWD usually occurs in individuals who have a history in heavy alcohol indulgence and repeated use. These symptoms occur when the user suddenly stops drinking alcohol, or greatly reduces their intake at once. There are a number of severe symptoms one with AWD may experience, including mood swings, hallucinating, trouble with muscle and body movement, disturbance and the loss of what is real and what is not.
In severe cases, stopping alcohol cold turkey can be fatal. It is highly recommended you seek professional help when detoxing alcohol, as a specialist can examine your behaviors and determine what the right course of action should be.
If withdraw symptoms are severe enough after alcohol detox, you will likely need prescription medication to help combat the mental and physical effects. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can lead to alcoholic liver disease and additional detoxification and treatment will be needed.
Depending on the severity of alcohol withdrawal, you may or may not have to be heavily monitored during detoxification. If you are planning on quitting alcohol have any questions, feel free to contact us below.