When was the last time you drank alcohol? How many shots did you do?
If you have had one too many or don’t remember anything at all, you can be having alcohol abuse problems. And with that, you can quickly transition to addiction or alcoholism.
Alcohol is one of the most straightforward substances to abuse because products are readily available to anyone. Hence, there are 95,000 annual deaths due to alcohol-related causes in the US alone.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. It’s the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol.
If you become an alcoholic, you will have a strong need or urge to use alcohol.
So those with alcohol use disorder may have problems controlling their drinking, continue to use alcohol even when it causes problems. Also, you can have withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease your dose or stop drinking.
With that, you may have probably ruined many chances and opportunities in your life. And many people with a problem want to stop the cycle but are unable.
One of the reasons is that quitting drinking cold turkey can be significantly DANGEROUS!
- 1 Here are the potential dangers of sudden alcohol cessation and why it’s essential to get professional help.
- 1.1 Danger No.1: Sudden stop has dangerous side effects.
- 1.2 Danger No.2: Dehydration is dangerous and deadly.
- 1.3 Danger No.3: The possibility of delirium tremens is a risk you need to watch out for.
- 1.4 Danger No.4: Your nutrients and vitamins will drop.
- 1.5 Danger No.5: Sudden stop can kill you if unmanaged.
Here are the potential dangers of sudden alcohol cessation and why it’s essential to get professional help.
Danger No.1: Sudden stop has dangerous side effects.
Here are vital things you need to take into account regarding alcohol withdrawal.
- Around 50% of alcohol-dependent people experience withdrawal symptoms. It can start within hours of the last drink and last for days or weeks.
- The stages of alcohol withdrawal will vary per person. Also, the severity of symptoms depends on a variety of factors.
- The amount of alcohol consumed and the length of alcohol abuse can contribute to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. And symptoms and side effects of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe.
- On average, withdrawal symptoms can last for about a week. But for people with more severe or prolonged alcohol use disorders, withdrawal symptoms can last for multiple weeks.
Side effects of alcohol absence in the system can impact the body and mind, causing mild to extreme discomfort throughout the process.
Here are potential side effects of alcohol withdrawal:
- Nausea and dizziness
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Muscle weakness
- Clammy or sweaty skin
- Aggression or hostility
- Depression and anxiety
- Short-term memory loss
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Cognitive difficulties
With the possible side effects, you may occur long-term complications if your body goes into shock because of the withdrawal.
Nobody wants that.
The good thing is that when you are in rehab, you will have round-the-clock medical monitoring to help relieve you from painful and uncomfortable withdrawal.
Danger No.2: Dehydration is dangerous and deadly.
Alcohol withdrawal can cause severe dehydration.
Alcohol alone can dehydrate the body, but the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal make it even worse.
When you are dehydrated, nausea and diarrhoea are typical withdrawal symptoms that may cause someone to lose their appetite, refuse to drink liquids, or become dehydrated.
Dehydration is dangerous for the body and mind.
As your body flushes out the toxins from alcohol during the detox process, it is vital to maintain an electrolyte balance by staying hydrated.
During dehydration, the mind is impacted as dehydration can cause confusion, irritability, and sleepiness.
The symptoms of withdrawal only make the effects of dehydration on the body worse throughout the process.
You can experience the following during dehydrations:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
This is why detoxing at home can be dangerous. People are often unaware and knowledgeable of the effects of withdrawal and how to treat it.
So it’s best to get professional help when ceasing alcohol abuse.
Alcohol rehabilitation or treatment programs are designed to take care of the mind and body during detox.
In a facility, medical staff and professionals can help ensure a person is adequately hydrated throughout alcohol detox.
Danger No.3: The possibility of delirium tremens is a risk you need to watch out for.
Aside from uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, alcohol detox can also bring about more severe effects, including delirium tremens.
Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal. It involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes.
It is commonly associated with long-term alcohol use disorders, such as people who have had an alcohol addiction for more than 10 years.
These symptoms can begin 48 hours after the last drink and last for multiple days.
Of those going through alcohol withdrawal, about one in every 20 people exhibit delirium tremens symptoms.
Symptoms of delirium tremens include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Dangerously high fevers
- Cardiac arrhythmias
Delirium tremens, especially when combined with other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and preexisting health conditions, can be fatal.
If someone decides to suddenly stop drinking alcohol, they need to go through the detox process under medical supervision.
Danger No.4: Your nutrients and vitamins will drop.
Withdrawal can also lead to a severe decrease in essential vitamins and nutrients. Also, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are all possible withdrawal symptoms.
These can all lead to malnutrition and even starvation when unmanaged.
Worsening things, the lack of proper nutrition can exacerbate the symptoms of withdrawal and make it more difficult for a person recovering from alcoholism.
Of people battling alcohol abuse or addiction, about 80% report a deficiency of thiamine or vitamin B1 or Thiamine.
A deficiency of this nutrient can lead to Wernicke’s encephalopathy. This disorder can cause mental confusion, lack of control over eye movement, and impaired coordination.
Then, Wernicke’s encephalopathy can then lead to Korsakoff syndrome, which causes difficulties with memory, learning, and mental confusion.
You need help to save yourself from these consequences.
In centres, doctors are able to provide the correct vitamins and nutrients to make up for any deficiencies caused by alcohol.
Also, treatment programs include regular meals that are balanced and healthy. Patients receive the nutrients and fuel they need to make it through the detox and recovery process.
Danger No.5: Sudden stop can kill you if unmanaged.
Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can potentially lead to death during the addiction recovery process. And while not very common, this can happen in a number of different ways, risking mainly a tiny percent of severe alcoholics attempting recovery without medical supervision.
Getting sober is the main goal to achieve for a person’s health and wellbeing. However, if the process is not handled safely and correctly, it can lead to death.
During the process of detox, delirium tremens and fatal seizures are possible during withdrawal.
The effects of alcohol withdrawal are potentially fatal, so alcohol detox should be done in a safe and medically supervised environment.
With supervised alcohol withdrawal, medical professionals can assess your condition and determine the proper method of detox.
In a detox centre, doctors and nurses can inform you of the potential symptoms of withdrawal and provide help and support to reduce any discomfort.
What can you do?
If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, you may feel like you’re in somewhat of a bind. You could be thinking if you should continue to use alcohol and bear its direct effects on your body or quit and risk yourself to the discomforts and dangers of withdrawal.
The best thing to do is to seek help.
Find a detox centre that will help you. With a complete cessation program and aftercare, a centre will help you not just with stopping drinking and cleansing but also in getting your life back.
Reclaim your life and live it to the fullest!
Have you got questions in mind? Get our answers here addictionanswers.com.