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Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to life threatening. Alcohol withdrawal can also be physical or psychological. Both kinds of withdrawal send a signal in the form of cravings that the alcohol dependent person needs to take another drink or face worse symptoms.

Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcoholic Withdrawing

Physical Withdrawal

Physical withdrawal can be as mild as simply getting a hangover or even "the shakes" when one has abstained from drinking alcohol for a short period-of-time. Other milder physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include the sweats, nausea, headache, anxiety, a rapid heart beat, and increased blood pressure. Although these symptoms are uncomfortable and enough to send a chemically dependent person back into a binge, they are not, of themselves life threatening.

More serious physical withdrawal symptoms include delirium tremens or the DT's as many call it. The DT's can include visual and auditory hallucinations (and even smell) plus profound confusion, disorientation, hyperactivity, and extreme cardiovascular disturbances. Serious convulsions, Grand mal seizures, stroke and heart attacks can also occur, all of which can be life threatening in nature. Once the DT's begin there is no way to medically treat them.

The good news is that with the help of professional medical treatment, even the most severe of symptoms can be lessened to a great degree. One such medical treatment is to substitute Valium for alcohol and gradually lessen the doses. Milder addiction cases can be treated with vitamin therapy.

Psychological Withdrawal

Psychological alcohol withdrawal symptoms must also be treated if an alcohol dependent person is to recover. Alcohol may be being used by the dependent to self-medicate psychological or emotions problems. If these underlying problems are not dealt with in conjunction with a qualified therapist and treatment program, most likely the dependent will repeat the drinking and self-medicating behavior.

Many see the psychological symptoms such as the anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, hallucinations, delusions and others as the only noteworthy psychological and emotions symptoms. But in a therapeutic setting, beliefs about alcohol and addiction will need to be explored, family history analyzed and behaviors challenged. Many therapists see alcohol abuse as merely a symptom of greater underlying emotional drama and trauma.

No matter what, though, both types of symptoms will need to be dealt with in order to offer the alcohol dependent a good chance at recovery. Alcohol withdrawal needs to take place in a medically and emotionally safe environment in order to ensure the highest odds in recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

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