Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcoholism is a major issue in the United States. Since alcohol is the most addictive stuff in the country, alcoholism can be very dangerous and affect many people. If a person fails to control their drinking behavior, they face alcohol use disorder. Alcohol dependence happens when a person craves to drink alcohol or experiences withdrawal symptoms if they fail to drink. Although detox is an essential process of alcoholism treatment, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. The following are some of the dangers of alcohol withdrawal.

Side Effects

Approximately half of all people struggling with alcohol dependence experience withdrawal. These symptoms can begin within hours after drinking, and a person may experience them for days or weeks. Withdrawals differ based on a person, while various factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed or the abuse duration may influence their severity.

Side effects and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may range from mild to severe. Alcohol detox side effects can influence the mind and the body. This may cause mild to extreme distress when undergoing the process. Alcohol withdrawal side effects include:

  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Clammy or sweaty skin
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Aggression or hostility
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cognitive difficulties

Delirium Tremens

Alcohol detox may cause severe conditions such as delirium tremens. These are fatal symptoms commonly linked with alcohol disorders like struggling with alcoholism for more than ten years. The symptoms may commence within 48 hours after drinking alcohol, and they may last for several days. Some individuals are more prone to delirium tremens than others. However, each person experiences withdrawals differently. Delirium tremens symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Hyperthermia
  • Dangerously high fevers
  • Nausea
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

A combination of delirium tremens with other withdrawals or pre-existing health issues can be life-threatening. If a person decides to quit drinking alcohol suddenly, they should seek medically supervised detox and treatment from a reputable rehab center.


Alcohol detox may lead to severe dehydration. Although alcohol can solely cause dehydration, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can worsen it. Diarrhea and nausea are common symptoms that may lead to appetite loss, poor patterns, or taking water and eventually cause dehydration. Besides, delirium tremens may lead to an increase in blood pressure or heart rate, leading to dehydration.

Dehydration is risky for the mind and the body. As the body eliminates toxins during detoxification, a person should maintain electrolyte balance by remaining hydrated. Dehydration may lead to fatigue, dizziness, rapid breathing, fainting, or rapid heartbeat. Furthermore, withdrawal symptoms can also worsen dehydration effects on the body.

Vitamin Depletion

Alcohol withdrawal can cause a severe reduction of essential nutrients and vitamins. This is because a person may lose their appetite while undergoing alcohol detox. Besides, a person may also opt for comfort food rather than a balanced diet. Malnutrition can worsen the withdrawal symptoms and make it harder for a patient undergoing alcohol addiction treatment.

At rehab centers, doctors offer appropriate nutrients and vitamins. Besides, they can also undertake essential tests to examine a patient’s vitamin levels and offer proper vitamins. Https://www.infiniterecovery.com/austin-outpatient-rehab/ treatment programs also provide healthy and balanced diets to their patients.


Sobriety is an essential step in an individual’s well-being and health. However, failure to handle the process safely may occur due to severe effects like fatal seizures and delirium tremens. Therefore, detox should be conducted in a medically supervised environment since the body’s reaction to alcohol withdrawals cannot be known until the process commences.

Alcohol withdrawals can be painful, uncomfortable, or even fatal in some instances. Therefore, detox should be conducted in a safe and medically supervised environment to avoid various risks, as outlined above.


About Terry J. Patterson

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