When you drink too much on a regular basis, it changes how your body operates. Since alcohol is a depressant, your body amps up activity in your brain and nervous system. It helps you stay awake and keeps signals moving through your nervous system. When you reduce or stop your alcohol intake, that amped up activity doesn’t go away, which creates alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Severity
Your symptoms may prove stronger or less intense than someone else’s based on how much you drink. A man who drinks three beers a day is probably suffering from alcohol use disorder. If he stops drinking, he’ll likely experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Yet, he can probably expect milder symptoms than a similar man who drinks four or five beers a day.
Similarly, the amount of time you spent drinking too much can affect your symptoms. Let’s say Bill spent six months drinking four shots of vodka a day. John spent six years drinking four shots of vodka a day. All other things being equal, John can expect more severe symptoms than Bill.
Assuming your drinking wasn’t too extreme for too long, your symptoms should fall into the mild range. That means within six hours or so of your last drink, you’ll experience some of the following symptoms:
- Trouble sleeping
- Shaking hands
- Moderate Symptoms
If your drinking was heavier, you can expect all of the mild symptoms and a few extra. Within a day or two you’ll likely experience increased blood pressure, confusion or hallucinations, severe mood swings, and possibly seizures.
Very heavy drinkers experience more severe versions of all of the mild and moderate symptoms. A small percentage of people get delirium tremens, the most serious of all alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This condition creates delusions, along with fever, racing pulse, and very heavy sweating.
Delirium tremens typically starts after three days without a drink and generally last from 48-72 hours. Delirium tremens often prove deadly without medical care. This is one of the reasons why anyone with an alcohol abuse problem shouldn’t go cold turkey at home.
Withdrawal-related hallucinations and delirium tremens aren’t the same thing. Many people withdrawing from alcohol experience hallucinations. Only around 5% of all individuals going through withdrawal experience delirium tremens.
After you finish detox and the physical symptoms go away, you still need a good rehab program. Rehab programs help you discover the reasons you drink too much. They also arm you with coping techniques that help you stay clean when you leave the program.
If you’re looking for rehab in Colorado, you might go to Denver Recovery Center. Here, we offer several therapy options, such as:
Don’t leave alcohol in charge of your life. You can put it behind you with detox and a solid rehab program. Call Denver Recovery today at (844) 602-3175 and start your recovery.