Alcohol addiction is one of the most common disorders in the world. Many people who have an addiction can overcome it with the right help. If you’re worried about alcohol abuse in your own life or about somebody you love, you’re in the right place.
Deciding to become sober is always a step worth taking. Quitting is possible for a person no matter their age or background. If you or somebody you love is thinking about quitting drinking for good, you may wonder if alcohol withdrawal is dangerous.
The truth is that, yes, it can be dangerous if done unsupervised and cold turkey. However, in the long term, it is much more hazardous to continue to drink heavily. That’s why it’s important to have supervision or guidance when you first get sober.
Understanding Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the functioning of the central nervous system, causing a feeling of relaxation and less inhibition. When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, they have typically been abusing alcohol for a long time. Repeated alcohol abuse makes their body become conditioned to the presence of alcohol. It’s used to having its fill of drinks, and will give out uncomfortable signals when it senses it is being deprived.
This deprivation sends out warning signals to the body, causing withdrawal symptoms. Many withdrawal symptoms are mild, but there’s no guessing what they will be when you’re in the middle of it.
Alcohol Withdrawal: Is it Dangerous?
Yes, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous under certain conditions.
Alcohol addiction is a disease that changes the brain as well as the body. A person who is addicted to alcohol will develop a tolerance to alcohol. A drinker pneeds to drink more alcohol, more often to get the same effects they seek.
When a person wants to quit drinking, they often think they should do it on their own. Most people who eventually quit have tried several times. Many alcoholics who try to stop will discover that they suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This means that they get shaky, sweat, have tachycardia, experience headaches or fevers, or a host of other medical symptoms.
Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms
Some people with a physical dependence on alcohol are able to quit without any professional intervention. There are many people, for example, that get sober through 12-step meetings. However, there are exceptions that may require medical assistance. A person who has been drinking heavily for years may experience wild mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations or seizures. They may become delusional and aggressive. An alcohol-addicted person may also be masking mental illness symptoms that become exacerbated during withdrawal.
It’s important to have supervision and clinical help available to address any of these issues. Withdrawal symptoms can appear withing just 8-12 hours of not drinking. They can also seem to appear out of nowhere several days after a person’s last drink. Later onset symptoms are usually more severe and can include seizures, delusions and other life-threatening symptoms. This is why it’s important to seek professional help when detoxing from alcohol.
Realizing you need help is the first step to a new beginning. We’ve helped many people find their way to long-term sobriety and reclaim their life without the use of any substances. Learn more about how we can help by calling 619-363-4767.