When you or a loved one decides to begin their alcohol addiction recovery journey, the first significant physical hurdle is alcohol withdrawal. The next step includes flushing alcohol out of your system so you can start the journey to sobriety. However, depending on how accustomed your body has become to the presence of alcohol in your system, the withdrawal effects can be debilitating.
Although withdrawal can be excruciating, can it be fatal? Read on to learn more about the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and how getting the right medical treatment can help.
What Are the Initial Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
Can Alcohol Withdrawal Be Fatal?
Often occurring two to three days after the last drink, delirium tremens is the most severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal and is the most likely to be fatal. It usually affects those with a history of heavy alcohol use and the complications can prove devastating. As the body becomes more dependent on alcohol, any sudden stops in drinking, not eating enough, suffering a head injury, or having an infection can trigger delirium tremens. When an individual is dependent on alcohol, their brain’s neurotransmitters are accustomed to working harder to compensate for the presence of this substance in their system. Although they stop drinking, their body continues to act as though alcohol is still in their system. Some symptoms of delirium tremens include:
- Hand tremors
- Irregular heart rate
Having medical personnel nearby can help identify delirium tremens early and provide the assistance needed to counteract the symptoms before they worsen.