Delirium Tremens (DTs): What is it, Signs, Timeline, Risk Factors & Treatment

Delirium Tremens

What is Delirium Tremens?

When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, a professional will diagnose an alcohol use disorder. One of the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder is the experience of withdrawal, or unpleasant side effects, when a person reduces alcohol consumption or stops drinking. Withdrawal occurs because the body becomes dependent upon alcohol and then does not function properly without it.

Sometimes alcohol withdrawal is mild and includes symptoms such as tremor, headache, and upset stomach, which pass within a few days, according to the Industrial Psychiatry Journal. On the other hand, severe cases of withdrawal can lead to a serious condition called delirium tremens. Experts report that only about 5 percent of people who suffer from alcohol withdrawal will experience delirium tremens, but those who do will require immediate medical treatment.

How I Got Sober: A Story of Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol by Wallace R.

How I Got Sober - A Story of Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol by Wallace R.

Addiction is never just one thing.

It’s not just the positive presence of a problem, but also the negative absence of some human necessities.

A lack of security.

A lack of self-esteem.

A lack of dignity.

If we are happy in ourselves and with our place in the world and before others, addiction can be less of a temptation.

But it we’re not on solid ground, addiction can be truly devastating…

So like all sobering stories, let’s go back to the beginning!

I grew up during the Troubles, in Northern Ireland.

Some of my earliest memories are a constant deluge of disturbing news on the TV.

So consumed was my consciousness with this conflict in my early years, that often enough, when watching newsreaders on the television, I was scared that a terrorist might burst in and start shooting them…

Irish Republican and Ulster Loyalist terrorists, of course, were known for their unpredictability.

Another early memory of mine, which is more of a general ‘archetype’ or ‘model’ than any specific instance, is when there were emergency checks run by the army, which occurred whenever there was suspicion a terrorist attack was about to occur.

While it’s hard to blame the authorities for doing whatever was needed to keep people safe, and true blame lies with the terrorist organizations, it was certainly very frightening for a young child to have the family car stopped by armed soldiers, asking who we were and where we were going.

Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol

Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol

Moderate drinking, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has defined as one drink per day for women and two per day for men, can be safe for people who are of legal drinking age and who do not have health conditions that make alcohol consumption dangerous.

While moderate drinking is generally acceptable from a health standpoint, drinking more than a moderate amount can result in health consequences, such as injuries, increased risk of cancer, and even alcohol addiction.

When a person develops an alcohol addiction, which medical professionals diagnose as an alcohol use disorder, he or she is likely to undergo alcohol withdrawal when alcohol consumption is reduced or stopped.

In cases of alcohol withdrawal, it is important to seek the advice and care of a medical professional to prevent complications. Professionals who treat alcohol withdrawal will follow an alcohol withdrawal protocol to ensure the best outcomes for patients.

Xanax (Alprazolam) Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

Xanax Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

Xanax is used to treat individuals with anxiety disorders, panic disorders, PTSD, and a host of other conditions. This popular drug helps ease patient’s mental distress and can even help you sleep better at night. However, this substance is not meant to be used over a long period of time.

In fact, those who use Xanax longer than they should will experience symptoms of dependence and even withdrawal. Drug withdrawal, with any substance, can be difficult. However, with a benzodiazepine like Xanax (Alprazolam), the struggles of breaking free from this drug can be especially brutal. Xanax can create intense withdrawal symptoms that make it extremely difficult to quit.

Alcohol Withdrawal Complications: What Can Happen

Alcohol Withdrawal Complications

While alcohol can be safe in moderation, alcohol abuse is dangerous and can lead to various problems, such motor vehicle crashes, health issues, and even alcohol addiction. The development of an alcohol addiction, which medical professionals refer to as an alcohol use disorder, is more likely when a person drinks heavily.

Heavy drinking, as described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as women consuming more than three drinks in a day and men consuming more than four drinks on a given day, can lead a person to become dependent upon alcohol. This means that when a person stops drinking, he or she will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Undergoing alcohol withdrawal is one of the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder. While withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be mild and relatively harmless, there are cases when a person can experience complications from alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Tremors “The Shakes”: What Are They?

Alcohol Withdrawal Tremors The Shakes

Most experts agree that alcohol consumption is safe in moderation. However, drinking large quantities of alcohol and drinking to the point of intoxication, especially if done repeatedly, can be dangerous.

Eventually, repeated heavy drinking can lead to a clinical condition called an alcohol use disorder, the medical term for alcoholism or an alcohol addiction. One of the signs of an alcohol addiction is withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal occurs because over time, the body can become dependent upon alcohol, meaning that it does not function properly without it. When a person who is dependent upon alcohol stops drinking or reduces the amount of alcohol that he or she consumes, it can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Tremors are one such symptom.

Alcohol Withdrawal Medications: Common Medications Used For Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Medications

Alcohol can be safe in moderation, but too much alcohol can be harmful. When people abuse alcohol over the long-term, they may develop an alcohol addiction.

One of the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder, or addiction to alcohol, is withdrawal. This occurs when the body becomes dependent upon alcohol and cannot function properly without it. When a person develops and alcohol dependence, he or she will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is stopped or significantly reduced.

According to a report in the Industrial Psychology Journal, mild alcohol withdrawal begins about six hours after a person stops using alcohol and involves symptoms such as tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, upset stomach, headache, and anxiety. Some people may also experience hallucinations when they withdraw from alcohol. In some cases, withdrawal may progress to more severe symptoms, such as withdrawal seizures or a serious condition called delirium tremens, which causes severe confusion and may be fatal.

What Brought Me to Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol by Clarissa O.

Woman running on beach

Strange as it is, I had an exceedingly difficult time actually sitting down to think about where I came from to be where I am today. I’ve told my story, numerous times, but still there was a major block in my mind to be successful in the telling of it through my words. I have been sober for over a year now. Still, one thing I face is the difficulty presented by my mental health. Depression and anxiety are only the surface-level issues; there is no limit to the many ways in which my brain tries to trick, limit and discourage me. I have dealt with these issues for most of my life, but I am leaps and bounds from where my addiction took me.

What to Expect When Withdrawing from Alcohol

What to Expect When Withdrawing from Alcohol

So, you’ve made the decision to stop drinking or are looking to help someone stop drinking. This is an amazing first step towards recovery from alcohol abuse or addiction. The fear that comes along with quitting alcohol is normal. People might be are scared to quit drinking because all they can think about is the alcohol withdrawal symptoms they are going to experience. Everyone experiences alcohol detox in their own way. With this being said, there are some things that you can expect when detoxing from alcohol.

Importance of Detoxing from Alcohol

The first part of treatment for an alcohol addiction is the detox stage. During this stage, the alcohol will be flushed out of the body. For most people, the symptoms of withdrawal are going to subside between 1 to 2 weeks after beginning detox. However, for some people, this can take a bit longer. This is usually dependent upon how severe your alcohol use disorder has been. After detoxing from alcohol, it is important that you consider other courses of treatment such as counseling, recovery activities, and other support options.

The Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

When consumed occasionally or in moderation, alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, people who drink heavily may be at risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, heavy drinking can be defined as a man consuming more than four drinks in a given day and a woman consuming more than three drinks in a day.

When people drink heavily and develop an alcohol addiction, their bodies can become dependent upon alcohol, meaning they will not function properly in the absence of alcohol. This can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when a person gives up drinking. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous or even fatal.