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Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Contents

Alcohol Detox, Importance, Timeline, Process, Medications, Treatment & Withdrawal Timeline

What is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol use disorder is a dangerous condition that can ultimately become life-threatening.  Alcohol detox allows the body to eliminate the presence of all alcohol in the body and return to its usual way of functioning.  An individual struggling with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder (alcohol addiction) has a significant likelihood of developing alcohol withdrawal brain fog symptoms and could benefit from the help of an alcohol detox program.  The longer and heavier the drinking, the more prolonged and more severe detox will be.  For this reason, going through the process sooner than later, and getting help, is critical to recovery.

Some people are apprehensive about quitting drinking due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but medical detox is the first step in treating alcoholism.

Importance Of Alcohol Detox

The alcohol detox stage is the first step in treating alcoholism.  Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically subside within approximately one to two weeks after starting detox; however, this could take longer, depending on the severity of your AUD.  From there, you can focus on other aspects of the recovery process, such as different activities, therapies, counseling sessions, and support options.

alcohol withdrawal timeline
The benefits of alcohol detox are a life-saving experience.

Alcohol is a depressant that your body begins to rely on over months and years of drinking.  Your brain eventually stops producing certain chemicals that it receives from alcohol, becoming dependent on the drug.  That’s why when you quit drinking; it takes time for your body to adjust.  This causes alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, irregular heartbeat, and hallucinations.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can change quickly and aggressively, which is why it’s important to detox under the care of medical professionals.  Treatment professionals at a residential rehab facility will be able to help you manage your pain with different medications.  This allows you to focus on your recovery and get better.

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How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawals Last?

According to the National Institute of Health [1], alcohol dependence is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, second only to major depression. Approximately 14% of the general population has a lifetime history of alcohol dependence. Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS) is one of the most common presentations of Alcohol Dependence Syndrome. AWS is a cluster of symptoms that happens in alcohol-dependent people after cessation or reduction in heavy or prolonged alcohol consumption.

The alcohol detox phase can involve alcohol withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to life-threatening.  The longevity and severity of your alcohol use disorder (AUD) will often play a role in the alcohol withdrawal symptoms you experience.  For example, individuals who have struggled with years of heavy drinking are more likely to develop severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens. 

The first 6 hours after you stop drinking can be a little rough. You might experience mild symptoms that start as early as 6 hours after you stop drinking. Symptoms of alcoholism withdrawal, such as headache and dizziness will go away on their own in 1-3 days, but more severe ones may come up later if not treated quickly with treatment like benzodiazepines or antiemetics (which help prevent nausea).

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

The timeline of withdrawal from alcohol begins as soon as the level of alcohol in the blood comes down, and the effects of intoxication begin to wear off. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start to show up as early as 2 hours after having the last drink. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually show up in various stages. The following is the timeline for the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:

6 hours

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline may also vary significantly from one person to another but can include any of the following physical and psychological symptoms: 

Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin about six hours after your last drink. A person with a long history of heavy drinking could have seizures six hours after stopping drinking.

These first symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Mild or moderate anxiety
  • Shaking
  • Upset stomach

12 to 24 hours

A small percentage of people going through alcohol withdrawal have hallucinations at this point. They may hear or see things that aren’t there. While this symptom can be scary, doctors don’t consider it a severe complication. This stage of alcohol withdrawal includes the previous symptoms plus the following moderate symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute)
  • Confusion
  • Increased systolic blood pressure
  • Mild tremor
  • Moderate anxiety
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

24 to 48 hours

Minor withdrawal symptoms usually continue during this time. These symptoms may include headache, tremors, and stomach upset. If a person goes through only minor withdrawal, their symptoms usually peak at 18 to 24 hours and decrease after four to five days.

48 hours to 72 hours

Some people experience a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that doctors call delirium tremens (DTs) or alcohol withdrawal delirium. This condition can have a very high heart rate, seizures, or a high body temperature.

72 hours

This is the time when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst. In rare cases, moderate withdrawal symptoms can last for a month. These include rapid heart rate and alcohol-induced psychosis (seeing things that aren’t there).

Physical Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Alcohol-induced insomnia
  • Fever
  • Shakiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Appetite loss
  • Pale skin
  • Tremor
  • Seizures

Psychological Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Feeling irritable
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling wiped out and tired
  • Not being able to think clearly
  • Having nightmares
  • Extreme agitation
  • Alcohol-induced psychosis (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)

Treatable Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Professional medical supervised treatment can mitigate alcohol withdrawal symptoms with a team of professionals. However, alcohol withdrawal symptoms that you may suffer from without help include:

  • Seizures
  • Physical tremors
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased agitation and anxiety
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Increased heartbeat

Although uncommon, the most severe effect of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens. It can start within two to five days after your last drink and can be life-threatening.  However, less than five percent of people will develop delirium tremens when quitting drinking.

Due to the severity of some alcohol withdrawal symptoms, alcohol detox should be monitored by a medical professional.  This is especially true for those with a history of lung or heart diseases, or other medical conditions, as alcohol withdrawal symptoms can quickly worsen.  Your treatment specialist will be able to track your blood pressure and heart rate to make sure your situation doesn’t worsen.  You can also talk with them about the symptoms you are experiencing and if you are in any pain.  This information helps your medical team determine which medicine will help alleviate your discomfort.

alcohol withdrawal timeline
Alcohol Withdrawal is one of the most dangerous alcohol detox processes.

Alcohol Withdrawal Seizure

Between 2% and 5% of alcoholics experience withdrawal seizures, which are usually generalized. These seizures typically occur within 48 hours of the last drink but may occur anytime within the first week of withdrawal. The risk of withdrawal seizures appears to be genetically determined and is increased in patients with a history of prior withdrawal seizures or in those undergoing concurrent withdrawal from benzodiazepines or other sedative-hypnotic drugs. There also is evidence that the risk of seizures increases as an individual undergoes repeated withdrawals. This association has been described as a “kindling effect.”

How do I know if I had a withdrawal seizure?

  • Sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Severe disorientation, confusion, hallucinations
  • Heart racing or irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Heavy sweating
  • Seizures
  • Coma and death

Alcohol Withdrawal Headache

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include mild to severe withdrawal headaches. What causes alcohol withdrawal headaches? People experiencing alcohol withdrawal will often be dehydrated due to vomiting or diarrhea. Losing fluid too fast in the body can cause headaches. Inflammation spurred by the immune system may also cause headaches. This is due to a chemical in alcohol called histamine, which may take days or longer to rebalance from prolonged unhealthy drinking habits.

For most people, alcohol withdrawal headaches will begin four to six hours after drinking and last around three days. In more severe withdrawal cases, debilitating headaches may last longer. When people experience intense headaches from alcohol withdrawal that last longer than a few days, they should seek medical care from a qualified healthcare provider immediately.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can surface as early as two hours after your last drink.  While the most painful symptoms typically subside within the first week, some mild symptoms (such as dry drunk syndrome and kindling alcohol withdrawal) can last several weeks to a year. 

Unfortunately, there is no exact timeline for when or what alcohol withdrawal symptoms you will experience; however, there’s a general outline of what to expect.

Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

Stage 1  (mild):

6-12 hоurѕ аftеr thе lаѕt drink:  You will begin feeling іrrіtаtіng symptoms, enough to be bothersome and noticeable: аnxіеtу, insomnia, nаuѕеа, lоѕѕ оf арреtіtе, ѕwеаtіng, hеаdасhе, аnd іnсrеаѕеd оr іrrеgulаr heartbeat. Sometimes agitation and mood swings are also experienced.

Stage 2 (moderate):

12-24 hоurѕ аftеr thе lаѕt drіnk:  This stage is often аѕѕосіаtеd wіth assorted types of hаlluсіnаtіоnѕ: tасtіlе, аudіtоrу, аnd vіѕuаl.  You may experience a ѕеnѕе оf іtсhіng, burnіng, оr numbnеѕѕ, hear ѕоundѕ which dо nоt еxіѕt or see things which aren’t there.

Stage 3 (severe)

Thе uѕеr ѕtаrtѕ еxреrіеnсіng wіthdrаwаl ѕеіzurеѕ and dеlіrіum trеmеnѕ. This is the most dangerous stage of alcohol withdrawal, and the intensity will depend on the client and their use of alcohol.  If not treated by a professional medical staff, аlсоhоl dеtоxіfісаtіоn mау rеѕult іn coma or dеаth.

Delerium Tremens

Refers to the onset of confusion and severe hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal syndrome.  It usually takes place during the second stage of alcohol detox, or three days after the last alcohol consumption, and can last up to three more days. 

It is common for people to hallucinate and have physical symptoms such as irregular heart rate, high blood pressure, shaking, shivering, and sweating.  These conditions can lead to increased body temperature and seizures, which can be fatal. 

PAWS

PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) refers to the long-term side effect of alcohol abuse, which is potentially challenging and affects a person’s life. Symptoms might continue years after withdrawal and initial detox. That is why it is highly recommended to continue treatment after the initial seven-day detox.

These symptoms include:

  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Low levels of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Chronic pain

These symptoms are mainly psychological and have been known to continue for months or years after alcohol cessation. They tend to ‘come and go in waves or episodes and can be triggered by specific circumstances, memories, smells, or people.

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Alcohol Detox Timeline

Thе wіthdrаwаl may іnvоlvе a lоt оf аgоnу аnd раіn if done without medical detox supervision.  Untrеаtеd аnd unmаnаgеd ѕуmрtоmѕ саn bе lіfе-thrеаtеnіng.  Alcohol Detox should not rush the treatment process as each person’s symptoms subside at their rate.  In general, inpatient detox risks are most significant during the first 3-7 days but can persist much longer. Alcohol withdrawal for severe cases may require multiple weeks of treatment before the transition into stabilized inpatient or outpatient treatment can proceed. Moreover, cases with irregular heart rates or high blood pressure and other ongoing risk factors may prolong inpatient alcohol withdrawal management for multiple weeks.

Medications Used During Alcohol Detox

Medications can also help keep a person’s body chemicals balanced, lowering the risk of severe complications.  A medical professional will administer the medication and monitor its effects in rehab.  In addition, alcohol detox can use another remedy if the drug begins to cause unwanted side effects or interferes with the detox process.

Several Medications Commonly Administered During The Detox Phase

Benzodiazepines

It is the most frequently used drug to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the alcohol detox phase.  In addition, they are used to help calm your central nervous system and may also be prescribed to treat insomnia, anxiety, and muscle spasms.  The medication comes in two forms: short-acting and long-acting. 

Naltrexone

It helps reduce alcohol cravings during the detox stage.  However, in the event of a relapse, naltrexone works by inhibiting the high feeling that alcohol may cause.  Since the medication can stimulate alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that you wait for seven to 10 days before taking naltrexone.  It comes in two forms: a tablet and an injectable.  The pill form of naltrexone is sold under the brand name ReVia and Depade, while the injectable form is Vivitrol.

Acamprosate

Years of heavy drinking can significantly alter how the brain looks and works.  Acamprosate, sold under the name Campral, is prescribed to help your brain begin to function normally again after you quit drinking.  Research studies have also examined whether acamprosate helps reduce PAWS symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.  It also reduces alcohol cravings; however, it will not produce an unwanted effect if alcohol is consumed.

Disulfiram

Another medication used in the treatment of alcoholism is disulfiram.  Unlike other medications, disulfiram works by producing severe reactions if alcohol is consumed.  For instance, if you drink while on disulfiram, you will experience unwanted effects like facial flushing, nausea, headache, weakness, and low blood pressure.  The adverse effects are meant to deter you from continuing your drinking pattern.  Disulfiram is not meant to reduce your alcohol cravings or restore brain functions like some other medications.

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Alcohol Detox Treatment

Treatments can take multiple approaches to treat alcohol detox.  This can vary from a medicalized approach to a more alternative approach.  With a holistic view of addiction treatment, our detox facilities provide various therapies from one end of the spectrum to the other.  This allows us to provide each client with the best treatment possible.

Medically Assisted Detox

Medication-based options are available for clients who face severe detox symptoms or are open to a more medicalized approach to managing their comfort.  Benzodiazepines and sedatives are examples of 2 types of medications sometimes used to help relax the brain and body when at the peak of detox.  In addition, naltrexone is one of the few medications drugs can give to help curb the cravings accompanied by alcohol detox. 

Additionally, prescription medications are not the only means of beneficial medical interventions during detox.  For instance, heavy sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and further complications.  An IV drip can quickly solve this issue and help keep fluid levels up.  Detox facilities typically provide nutritional supplements that carry numerous benefits for a healing body.

Alternative Therapies

Yoga, Chiropractors, Massage, and Acupuncture are a few alternative therapies offered at We Level Up.  These evidence-based practices have been shown to progress detox faster and provide much-needed comfort for individuals with alcohol withdrawal.  Not only do these therapies help with detox, but they also promote overall health and well-being.  Many clients take these practices with them into their everyday life as a tool to maintain their sobriety.

As alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside and a client’s detox stay closes, the last detox stage is aftercare.  Again, an individualized treatment plan is progressing to help provide support, education, and therapy for relapse prevention.

Quick Q&A of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Timeline

Can massage therapy help with alcohol detox?

Withdrawing from alcohol can be difficult and uncomfortable. Research indicates that massage therapy can manage withdrawal symptoms, improve sleep and digestion, reduce joint and muscle pain, and create a more positive detoxification experience at the earliest stages of recovery.

Those receiving massage generally showed reductions in pulse rate on 3 of the 4 days of treatment compared to the control group [2]. Massage for addiction treatment was also more effective in reducing Alcohol Withdrawal Scale scores in the early stages of the detoxification process. Respiration in the massage group was reduced toward the end of the detoxification admission.

What is alcohol withdrawal hypnic jerk?

What is hypnic (hypnagogic) jerking? Hypnagogic jerking refers to involuntary muscle contractions that cause sudden and brief twitches when you’re trying to fall asleep. The word “hypnagogic” describes the time immediately before you fall asleep, while “hypnopompic” would be when you wake up. Hypnic jerks could easily disrupt your bedtime, leaving you feeling wide awake because they are so startling.

According to the NCBI [3] Sleep-wake (S-W) disturbances (such as hypnic jerks) are frequently associated with alcohol use disorders (AUD), occurring during periods of active drinking, withdrawal, and abstinence. These S-W disturbances can persist after months or even years of abstinence, suggesting that chronic alcohol consumption may have enduring adverse effects on both homeostatic and circadian sleep processes.

Does Ibuprofen help with alcohol withdrawal?

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs refer to a group of medications used to treat pain, fevers, and health issues, including arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, and more.

For those who have chronic pain, some people may turn to alcohol. According to one research, about 1 in 4 substance misusers in a study of 343 veterans used alcohol to alleviate their suffering. Another study found that those with more severe discomfort were more likely to use alcohol for treatment.

Is it safe to take Ibuprofen and drink alcohol? The short answer is no. alcohol should always be considered when using ibuprofen as it may cause liver damage or other side effects. Regular ibuprofen use and excessive alcohol consumption may result in adverse effects that range from mild to severe.

What are alcohol withdrawal muscle cramps?

Alcoholic myopathy is a muscle condition that can affect people with alcoholism or binge drinkers. Myopathy is a general term for diseases that affect your muscles. The muscle fibers don’t work properly, which leads to muscle weakness and other symptoms.

Alcoholic myopathy happens in about one-third of people who have alcoholism. It’s more common in people with other alcohol-related diseases like alcoholic cirrhosis. Alcoholic myopathy is a condition that causes loss of function and strength in your skeletal muscles in response to long-term or heavy drinking.

Are muscle cramps a symptom of alcohol withdrawal?

One of the most familiar symptoms of AWS is muscle tremors or spasms. If you struggle with alcohol addiction and stop drinking suddenly, you might experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, or AWS, and will usually start within a few hours of your last drink and last up to a few days. Many different symptoms of AWS exist, all of which can vary in severity. Alcohol-related tremors can also develop independently of AWS if chronic heavy drinking has harmed a part of the brain called the cerebellum. 

These chemical changes in your brain result in various symptoms of AWS, including muscle tremors. Muscle tremors in AWS can differ in how severe they are. You may experience:

  • No tremor at all
  • A tremor that other people cannot see, but which you can feel in both hands
  • A tremor that occurs only when you hold your arms up
  • A severe tremor that occurs even when your arms are at rest
Is homeopathy a safe remedy for alcohol withdrawal?

According to the National Institute of Health [4], Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is a medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. It’s based on two unconventional theories:

  • “Like cures like”—the notion that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
  • “Law of minimum dose”—the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic products are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.

Homeopathy is a controversial topic. A number of the key concepts 

Does Subutex help with alcohol withdrawal?

Subutex may help with alcohol withdrawal. However, it’s essential to understand that Subutex is not a magic pill and will not work for everyone. The moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with, and many potential complications can occur. Therefore, consulting with a medical professional before beginning any detoxification program is essential, especially if you plan on using Subutex.

The problem is that Subutex is addictive. The effects of mixing Subutex and alcohol are way beyond the individual effects when each is taken independently. It is never a good idea to take any other medicine or substance while on Subutex treatment unless supervised by a health professional.

Does Benadryl help with alcohol withdrawal?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a brand name for an over-the-counter (OTC) medication classified as an antihistamine. It is often used to treat vomiting, allergic rhinitis, nausea, mild to severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, and mild sleep aid. Benadryl may help to relieve some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including anxiety and agitation. Diphenhydramine can also help to reduce nausea and vomiting. 

Can you mix Benadryl and Alcohol? The combination of Benadryl and alcohol can be dangerous. While Benadryl doesn’t affect the liver, it is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. When Benadryl and alcohol are taken simultaneously, the impact on the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) can lead to severe and heightened side effects. In some cases, this combination can be deadly. Drugs classified as depressants slow down the body’s nerve and brain function.

Can alcohol withdrawal cause eye twitch?

The technical term for an eye-twitch, which is an eyelid twitch, is myokymia, and it can be brought on by excessive alcohol intake. It’s a temporary but irritating side effect of drinking too much. Excessive drinking affects the way the liver absorbs vitamins needed for healthy eyesight. For example, a deficiency in vitamin A caused by alcoholism can cause dryness, thinning or perforation of the cornea, night blindness, or blindness from retinal damage. A deficiency of vitamin B-1 caused by excessive drinking of alcohol can cause the eye muscles to become weak or paralyzed.

Can exercise help with alcohol withdrawal?

Exercise is one of the most valuable tools you can access during alcohol withdrawal. As well as being a positive life choice, it is also beneficial in keeping people on track in their long-term recovery. It is entirely safe to exercise during withdrawal for most people. However, people with physical health issues who have lived sedentary lives for an extended period should seek professional medical advice before exercising.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) [7], exercise may represent a potentially useful and relatively unexplored alternative behavior for alcoholics working toward long-term recovery. Exercise may benefit alcoholics attempting recovery from alcohol problems through several different mechanisms of action.
Exercise may:

  • Provide pleasurable states without the use of alcohol
  • Reduce depressive symptoms and negative mood
  • Increase self-efficacy
  • Provide positive alternatives to drinking
  • Decrease stress reactivity and improve coping
  • Decrease urges to drink
Can alcohol withdrawals cause chest pain?

Alcohol withdrawal can cause pain in the chest, including chest tightness. Cardiologists know that alcohol can harm the heart and often tell their patients to avoid alcohol for this reason. However, it is also crucial for people who drink alcohol to understand that alcohol withdrawal also harms the heart. Alcohol withdrawal can increase your risk of heart-related issues. Heart-related symptoms can be dangerous and may lead to heart attack, stroke or even sudden death. People who struggle with chronic alcohol use face a higher risk of sudden death than the population. In addition, studies show that some of the heart problems related to alcohol use, like heart rhythm problems, are also linked to sudden death.

Does using Kratom for alcohol withdrawal work?

There is no specific evidence that proves that Kratom works with alcohol withdrawal. Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects. What does Kratom look like? It is not currently an illegal substance and people suffering from 

Kratom addiction can easily order it on the internet. It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum. Is Kratom addictive? Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, Kratom might cause dependence, which means users will feel physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication. However, some users have reported becoming addicted to Kratom.

Does alcohol withdrawal cause nightmares?

Withdrawal from medications and substances, including alcohol and tranquilizers, may trigger nightmares. This particular symptom can make things pretty scary and may cause you to relapse. Nightmares are part of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are often neglected and disregarded, but it’s good to mention that you could experience them in vivid dreams that alcohol withdrawal can lead to. Alcohol withdrawal nightmares refer to a pattern of having sleep disturbances when you try to fall asleep.

Nightmare disorder is, however, more than having bad dreams when falling asleep; it can be a pattern of night terrors in the initial stages of treatment for recovering alcoholics. When the nightmares co-occur with other symptoms such as high blood pressure, mental health issues, anxiety, headaches, etc., you may need additional treatment options from an inpatient rehab to deal with the onset of these symptoms since your last drink.

Does alcohol withdrawal cause stroke?

Alcohol and tranquilizers produce the most dangerous physical withdrawal. Suddenly stopping alcohol or tranquilizers can lead to seizures, strokes, or heart attacks in high-risk patients. A medically supervised detox can minimize your withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of dangerous complications.

Most of the severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal warrant medical intervention. For instance, effects like high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and irregular heartbeat can cause a life-threatening stroke or cardiac arrest if not treated promptly. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for stroke, and drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure.

Can alcohol withdrawal cause irregular heartbeat?

Regularly drinking even small amounts of alcohol may boost the risk of an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation. The results are significant since some people consume one to two glasses of alcohol daily and may not realize they are at risk for an irregular heartbeat. In addition, people who continue to drink alcohol at moderate rates may also notice their irregular heartbeat becoming more frequent.

Withdrawal can cause heart problems down the line in multiple ways. First, the effects of alcohol withdrawal can lead to low electrolyte levels. Low electrolytes can eventually cause cardiac issues. Also, you can see above that withdrawal causes complications with the metabolism. These metabolism issues can subsequently make the heart stop completely.

Is the drug Ativan used as an alcohol withdrawal drug?

Ativan is the brand name of lorazepam, a benzodiazepine used to treat people with anxiety disorder. Ativan is used to treat symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. The drug itself works as a relaxant that calms the central nervous system. People who struggle with jitters take Ativan to sleep better and get through the day with better peace of mind. Likewise, Ativan helps people who struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) get through the day without alcohol.

The problem is that Ativan is addictive. Because Ativan is legal to use with a prescription, some people may not realize they’re abusing the drug. Taking more significant amounts of Ativan, taking more often than prescribed, and taking the medication for longer than prescribed are considered abuse. Using Ativan without a prescription to achieve a high is also abuse. When Ativan and alcohol are combined, it may produce a quick, potent high—mixing the two increases central nervous system depression, leading to over-sedation, respiratory failure, coma, and even death.

Can you die from alcohol withdrawal?

While severe alcohol withdrawal can sometimes lead to death, most people’s chances of dying during withdrawal are relatively low. The overall risk of death during alcohol withdrawal is less than 3 in 100 people with proper treatment. But the mortality rate can be much higher for those who don’t seek appropriate medical treatment and have severe alcohol withdrawals.

Risk factors for alcohol withdrawal death may include:

  • Having a history of delirium tremens (DT), a serious stage of alcohol withdrawal that causes sudden, severe confusion and agitation, fast heart rate, and high blood pressure.
  • Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver.
  • Needing to be intubated, especially if you have pneumonia
  • Older age
  • History of other medical issues

The lack of these risk factors is not a guarantee that you won’t have any more serious withdrawal symptoms. Predicting who will have severe withdrawal or who is at greater risk of dying is complicated. Your doctor can use special assessment tools to help predict your specific risk, as well as the proper course of treatment to prevent complications. Alcohol withdrawal deaths can be prevented or reduced with proper medical attention and care.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Treatment

Alcohol detox can be dangerous, especially if it is finished without the help of a professional. Delirium Tremens and other alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may afflict the detoxing client are hazardous and may even be fatal.  It is advisable to detox in a rehab center where you have access to experienced professionals who can manage alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal complications.  The medically supervised and comfortable detox processes allow the body to process the alcohol in the system and gently wean the body off its dependence.  It is the first stage of alcohol treatment and one you should seek before your addiction worsens.

Those suffering from addiction for long periods at high use rates usually experience more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, making the process more difficult.  The symptoms may seem to get worse through the detox process.  They need constant care and attention to help manage the symptoms.  Alcohol Addiction Treatment is within your reach to ensure your recovery starts on a comfortable and safe step.

We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  We work as an integrated team providing support through alcohol detox and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

alcohol withdrawal timeline
When the use of alcohol ends, severe alcohol withdrawal pains may begin. Medical alcohol detox is critical to ensure the alcohol withdrawal is manageable and completed. As well as ensuring that the alcohol withdrawals do not become dangerous and life-threatening.

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Sources:

[1] NIH – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606320/
[2] NCBI – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15865498/
[3] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4179982/
[5] NIH – https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/homeopathy#:~:text=Homeopathy%2C%20also%20known%20as%20homeopathic,similar%20symptoms%20in%20healthy%20people.
[6] NCBI – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9432423/
[7] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829243/
[8] Alcohol Detox – We Level Up NJ – Alcohol Detox – We Level Up Fl