The truth is this; alcohol withdrawal can be as mild as a few tremors all the way to severe convulsions or even death due to Excitotoxicity. This is a condition where the nerves die or become severely damaged because of the over stimulation of neurotransmitter receptors. Once this happens enzymes are allowed to enter the cell, which damages the cell membrane, even the cell DNA. If that happens, there is no chance for the body to repair the damage. The result is permanent. The damaged nerves will never recover. While this only a brief explanation, the point is this, professional Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment is necessary in hopes to mitigate some of the nerve damage and to make the person a bit more comfortable during the process of discontinuing alcohol use. That is its purpose.
The symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal reflect the above Excitotoxic condition. Obvious symptoms such as tremors, anxiety, irritability, sensitivity to noises and bright light are all overt symptoms of the nervous system’s reaction. The hands may shake, the body may tremble, and the person may find it difficult to concentrate. In the more severe cases, there may be transient hallucinations. The more dire cases can lead to convulsions and then death. A common symptom of alcohol withdrawal is Delirium tremens; also know as the ‘TDs’. The symptoms listed above may be apparent when observing DTs plus some additional symptoms such as increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, increased pulse rate, and high blood pressure. These medical conditions can also be life threatening and become another reason for professional Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment. Therefore, the patient’s body has to fight on two levels. The nervous system is under attack and so are the vital organs. Typically, the DTs continue for anywhere between 48 and 72 hours. However, they can sometimes last as long as 7 days. On average though, the withdrawal time, (in all but the most severe cases), is 2 to 4 days for a healthy adult under treatment.
At the onslaught of symptoms is when the treatment should begin. This is why many folks that have suffered with alcoholism for decades decide to check themselves into an Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment center ahead of time. They have been warned by their doctor about the damage that can result from quitting alone. They have also been warned about the damage being worse if they do not stop drinking. Advice from the doctor will include where to seek treatment and what kind to have. They will also explain to their patient about the detox process and then tell them a bit about the medicines that are used. This is because Pharmacological treatment is usually employed in all cases. Depending on their Doctor’s recommendation, some people can get outpatient treatment today. This was unheard of just a couple of decades ago. Nevertheless, more people will need direct supervision during the withdrawal phase then does not need it. This is because DT’s are more likely to occur in patients with preexisting conditions, which their family doctor will already know about.