Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, also known as AWS for short, is the name of symptoms that occurs when a heavy drinker suddenly stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake. These range from mild to severe and can include irritability in some cases.
AWS can be life-threatening. The symptoms vary from mild anxiety and fatigue to hallucinations, seizures, or even death if not treated quickly enough with medication for your specific condition (or conditions).
This article will introduce problematic patterns of alcohol consumption in the United States and discuss risks for developing an AUD. It also explores what happens to your brain and body when you are dependent on them.
And symptoms during withdrawal from drinking or reducing intake levels too much over time. Including information such as how DTs affect mental health and what patients should expect after treatment.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal is a process that the body goes through when someone suddenly stops drinking after prolonged and heavy use. Symptoms can include trembling (shakes), insomnia, anxiety, and other physical or mental symptoms.
Alcohol has a slowing effect on the brain. The more you drink, the slower your thinking and reaction time become.
Over time, the brain adjusts its chemistry to compensate for the effect of the alcohol. It does this by producing naturally stimulating chemicals (such as serotonin or norepinephrine, which is a relative of adrenaline) in larger quantities than normal.
The Mainspring of AWS
Alcohol affects many different bodily functions, leading to symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The primary effect that excessive drinking has on the brain is to suppress certain neurotransmitters and cause people to feel at ease after having a drink or two.
Alcohol is a depressant that slows down your brain. When consumed in large quantities, it gradually becomes habit-forming. And the person who drinks will develop a dependence on alcohol over time if they continue to do so long enough.
When someone abruptly quits drinking, their brain is no longer inhibited by alcohol, and the neurotransmitters have an imbalance that they must adjust to.
It causes negative side effects called withdrawal which is separate from “feel good” feelings brought on through the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Withdrawal from alcohol can be painful, but it’s essential to know that medications are available for relief. Alcohol addiction treatment professionals will help ease your pain during this time, so you can focus on getting better and staying sober.
Fear of the unknown, some people are afraid to get help for their addiction. It presents an opportunity that you should not miss out on. There is a lot more information available than ever before, and it can be overwhelming at first glance.
Timeline of Alcohol Detox
Alcohol detox is an essential stage in the process of recovering from alcohol addiction, with withdrawal symptoms, which can begin as early as two hours after your last drink and last for a few weeks or more.
Depending on how severe it was during drinking sessions before then-you will experience pain, but this too should subside with time so long you are committed to staying clean without a relapse.
Here is the breakdown of the detox process:
- First 6 to 12 hours
The symptoms of alcohol detox can be mild or severe, depending on how much you’ve been drinking. Some people experience headaches in their first few days without beer, while others notice an increase in anxiety and shaking during this period.
- Day One
As you approach the end of your first 24 hours, symptoms may become increasingly severe. Alongside effects felt from the 12-hour detoxification process and additional health issues like disorientation, hand tremors, and seizures could be happening too!
- Day Two
The second day of detox is just as painful. If not more so than the first. Hallucinations and panic attacks are common during this time as your body rids alcohol from its system- which can make for some scary moments.
- Days Three To Seven
For the first week of your detox, different withdrawal symptoms may surface. These are also when you’re most at risk for life-threatening signs such as delirium, tremors, and seizures.
The time frame during which these occur is dependent on individual factors like prior use or abuse with alcohol addiction is common among those who have been struggling against their desires.
- After One Week
Most people experience a decrease in symptoms after their first week of detox. In some cases, it can take up to two weeks for all withdrawal signs and symptoms to be minor with the help of medications.
However, if you’re not feeling better after three months or more, then consult your doctor because this may be PAWS- prolonged Acute Withdrawal Syndrome -a common occurrence following extreme drug abuse.
Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and painful. It’s an essential part of the recovery process. When conducted under medical supervision, this can be much safer for you. Discover sober coaching in Florida today and find all options that best work with your needs.
We all have times in our lives where we need someone to guide us through the alcoholic maze. Recovery coaching does not necessarily require degrees or any experience as therapists.
But they will be required onboard with receiving certification from an organization that understands what it takes for people struggling with addiction recovery.
Trusted sober companion services can assess your needs and help you feel more comfortable within sobriety by understanding how different factors affect one’s mental health during this challenging process and providing options to help you in your path to sobriety.