Surprising Alcohol Withdrawal Facts
Understanding alcohol withdrawal facts is important because withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous or even deadly.
A drug is any kind of substance that once consumed by the body, has a physiological effect on the body, especially the brain in particular. By definition, alcohol is the most widely consumed drug in the U.S. even though we may not see it as such these days. It wasn’t too long ago that there was a prohibition on alcohol in this country and of course, there was certainly a reason for that.
Alcoholics and your friendly neighborhood drunks might add some jazz to a party but what about when the parties over? What about when it’s time to put down your glass and return to being a civil individual? For anyone who suffers from being a heavy drinker putting down the glass isn’t so easy. And when they do manage to put it down the nightmare doesn’t end there.
The following are some alcohol withdrawal facts you might not be aware of.
Withdrawal Happens Very Quickly
When it comes to alcohol withdrawal facts, many people are surprised at how quickly the symptoms can begin.
Alcohol withdrawal can kick in as early as two hours after stopping the consumption of alcohol. Of course most of the time it will take two-four days but in the cases that it’s much sooner than that, addiction is almost guaranteed. When withdrawal kicks in earlier it is usually to a milder degree at first but because you’re basically trying to fight off the urges of your body the mildness of the withdrawal itself tends not to matter.
Failure to fight off the initial urges to start drinking again leads to binge drinking, leading to heavy drinking, which nearly inevitably leads to developing an AUD (Alchohol Use Disorder) thereby becoming an alcoholic. It’s a creeping and crippling disease and because it can happen so quickly and without warning is why it’s such a dangerous condition to suffer from.
Withdrawl Comes in Phases
Alcohol withdrawal starts quickly and ends slowly. As mentioned, it can start as early as two hours after your last drink. Such an early and low-pressure withdrawal is, by comparison, easy to subdue as opposed to a later one. After it starts however you’re now in an at least two-day long war with yourself. Alcohol withdrawal is not by any means an entirely mental demon although it may seem that way in the first phase of the withdrawal.
Among the most relevant alcohol withdrawal facts is the alcohol withdrawal timeline.
What is the Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline?
In the first 6-12 hours after consumption, you’ll start to feel and see things like agitation, anxiety, and even vomiting caused by nausea. Symptoms then progress to be more serious between 12-24 hours with things like general disorientation and in extreme cases, even seizures. 48 hours after ingestion, however, things reach their peak as the risk of seizures increase and is coupled with insomnia, high blood pressure, and hallucinations.
When people are searching for alcohol withdrawal facts, they often look specifically for more information about delirium tremens.
There’s actually a very rare condition people can suffer from that only occurs in alcohol withdrawal patients. This is known as Delirium Tremens or DT for short. DT occurs in about 5% of alcohol withdrawal cases and thankfully those numbers remain low. DT can be a fatal condition to suffer from. It supercharges all of the previous and ordinary symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
With DT, hallucinations are almost guaranteed and even includes tactile hallucinations. Tactile hallucinations are a type of hallucination that mostly concern things on and inside of the body as opposed to a regular hallucination that concerns things outside of the body in the environment. Symptoms include believing that your skin is burning, itchy, your organs are moving, or even that bugs are crawling over you when in reality none of these things are occurring.
It’s a Vicious Cycle
Alcohol is a depressant that relaxes your nervous and puts you into a very easy going state of mind. This kind of state is, of course, a desirable one by most people who drink, it’s mostly the whole reason as to why they drink, especially as much as they do. However, one of the hidden effects of alcohol withdrawal is that it can cause depression. When the withdrawal comes on and the depression follows an unfortunate course of an action that people take is to try to drown out the depressive feelings with another drink, or round of drinks.
Summing Up- Key Alcohol Withdrawal Facts
Alcoholism certainly isn’t given the coverage that it should. Aside from the physiological and psychological negative effects that can add up to it being a life-threating condition, we have to look at it from a social perspective as well. If you ever feel like you really “need” a drink it’s a probably a sign you’re developing AUD and from there it’s only a matter of time before you run the risk of having to suffer withdrawal.