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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: What To Expect When You Quit Drinking

Feb 21, 2008
Making the decision to quit drinking is one of the best decisions you could make for yourself. However quitting alcohol is not easy and sometimes it is not something that you can do alone. Be prepared to go through alcohol withdrawal, which is the change your body is going to go through after you stop drinking

Alcohol as most of us know has a sedating effect the brain and after long term h use your brain is going to be constantly exposed to that sedating effect. In fact, as time goes on and you continue to drink, your brain is going to start producing naturally stimulating chemicals like serotonin to compensate for the alcohol effect. When you stop drinking, your brain keeps producing the serotonin in a large amount of qualities because it is over stimulated. This is why withdrawal symptoms occur.

Once you stop drinking, expect your body to go through some sensations while your brain is adjusting back to a normal state without alcohol. About five to ten hours after your last drink, you might begin to experience tremors or shakes. They do not last long and are usually gone within one to two days. You might also find that you are experiencing a rapid pulse, anxiety, and some insomnia. Some of you might experience others symptoms while others of you might experience none of these.

Within twelve to twenty hours after your last drink, you may have alcohol hallucinosis. This is when you hallucinate or see and feel things that are not there. You might think that you see crawling insects such as ants or bees. Some hallucinations can be very detailed also. These hallucinations can last up to two days after they begin.

You might also experience alcohol withdrawal seizures that can happen from anywhere from six to forty eight hours after your last drink and can last for several hours. Seizures peak at about twenty four hours from the first one that you have.

Perhaps the most dangerous form of withdrawal is delirium tremens. This condition usually begins about two to three days after your last drink, but it is possible that you might not see signs of it until a week after your last drink. Delirium tremens is when your brain is unable to make a smooth readjustment to its chemistry after you've stopped drinking. It causes your heart to race, or a dramatic rise in blood pressure. Delirium tremens has also been said to cause dangerous dehydration and reduce the amount of blood flow to your brain. You may suffer from confusion, irrational beliefs, sweats, and hallucinations.

Due to the severity of some of these symptoms, the safest place for you to be while you are going through withdrawal is in a hospital. If you are experiencing delirium tremens your doctor might want you in the ICU so that your heart rate and blood pressure can be monitored. Delirium tremens can be fatal in some cases. Some doctors may prescribe you some medicine such as Valium or Librium to help lessen the symptoms.

Going through withdrawal is not a easy thing to do and doing it cold turkey without some sort of support system might only be setting you up for a relapse. If you have decided to stop drinking, talk to your doctor and your family to make sure you get the support you deserve.

Jeff(at)alcoholabusehelpguide.com
About the Author
For more information on dealing with alcoholic teens visit http://www.alcoholabusehelpguide.com, a popular website that provides help on selecting an alcohol rehab treatment center to help you become free of the alcohol addiction.
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