Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

For people who have difficulty controlling their drinking, the advice they receive is simple; just stop drinking. On the surface, it seems easy enough to quit drinking altogether and start the process of recovery. However, stopping drinking altogether can prove very difficult. The withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful to endure. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and can be life-threatening. As shocking as it may sound, alcohol withdrawal can be a matter of life and death.

This article will further answer the question of is alcohol withdrawal dangerous. This article will also outline the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms as well as the importance of an alcohol detox program as part of a long-term recovery program. If you are losing your battle with alcohol abuse, the professional help you need is a phone call away. Sequoia Recovery Centers features Washington medical detox programs and other evidence-based services that will give you the tools you need to stay sober for good.

Call Sequoia Recovery Centers toll-free today and start on the road to recovery.

Why is Alcohol Such a Dangerous Drug?

On the surface, alcohol doesn’t appear to be a dangerous drug. Alcohol is legal and readily available, and alcohol is a major part of many gatherings and social functions.

Appearance can be and is often deceiving. It is estimated that 140,000 people in the United States die yearly due to excessive alcohol use or alcohol-related accidents. Alcohol is an extremely powerful depressant that affects the central nervous system. When consumed, alcohol interferes with the communication between brain cells and slows brain activity as well as autonomous functions such as breathing and heart rate. When large quantities of alcohol are consumed, it can slow heart rate and respiration to a point where breathing becomes shallow and irregular. In some cases, people can quit breathing altogether.

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

Is alcohol withdrawal dangerous? In simple terms, alcohol withdrawal has the potential to become life-threatening, given certain conditions are met. When someone abruptly quits drinking, their brain and nervous system become overstimulated. As a result, they experience a variety of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:

  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • mood changes
  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • rapid abnormal breathing

The question of when alcohol withdrawal is dangerous occurs when drinkers experience a condition known as delirium tremens (commonly known as DTs). This potentially life-threatening condition includes the following symptoms:

  • tremors
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular breathing

It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of drinkers will experience the symptoms associated with delirium tremens. Those who are chronic drinkers have a greater risk of developing this condition if they meet the following conditions:

  • history of DT
  • prior history of seizures
  • the presence of concurrent illness with associated comorbidities
  • prior history of detoxification
  • the prolonged period prior to last drink

Another serious condition associated with alcohol withdrawal is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This nervous system-centered syndrome is caused by a thiamine deficiency as a result of alcohol intake. Those afflicted with this condition experience severe cognitive impairment, delirium, and experience paralysis of the eye muscles.

The Importance of an Alcohol Detox Program

For those deep in the grip of alcohol abuse, the first step toward recovery is going through an alcohol detox program. Through the use of medications, nutritional therapy, and other interventions, clients are able to wean off alcohol in a safe and secure environment. During a client’s stay in alcohol detox, experienced medical staff provide around-the-clock medical care and work to help clients achieve physical and psychological stability. Once stable, clients transition into an intensive alcohol treatment program.

Don’t Let Alcoholism Ruin Your Life

If alcohol is ruining your life, now is the time to act. As one of the Pacific Northwest’s best treatment centers, Sequoia Recovery Centers offer clients evidence-based detox and other programs that give you the tools and support you need to beat alcoholism once and for all. Our evidence-based programs are customized to meet your unique and specific needs. Don’t wait another day to address your alcohol abuse; call Sequoia Recovery Centers today and reclaim your health, happiness, and life. Call now!

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