Alcohol withdrawal

Aphrodisiac instead of cold turkey may be needed to get sober

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Alcohol withdrawal

Many people think they can “just” stop drinking, but if you’ve been heavily abusing alcohol, alcohol withdrawal can make this decision difficult. In addition, “a cold turkey” can lead to the risk of convulsions and the development of delirium tremens.

Abstinence only occurs after drinking for a long time and is extremely unpleasant, with body shaking, sweating and stomach upset.

Alcohol withdrawal often lasts 2 to 5 days. If you have these symptoms you need medical treatment and you should seek help immediately.

What is withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is a collective term for several different types of symptoms that can occur when people with a high alcohol consumption reduce – or completely stop – their consumption of alcohol.

Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms most often occur in the first three days after alcohol consumption has stopped. In the following period you may experience so-called “post-acute withdrawal”. It is a condition in which you may experience emotional instability, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and lack of initiative.

As a general rule, the severity of physical withdrawal depends on how much the person has drunk before alcohol withdrawal is started or alcohol consumption is stopped completely.

Read also: Alcohol Rehabilitation

What are the symptoms of withdrawal?

First-degree alcohol withdrawal is characterised by sweating, shaking, inner turmoil and sleep disturbance. In addition, the condition is characterised by a high pulse rate and a slight increase in blood pressure and temperature.

First, untreated withdrawal symptoms make the decision to sober up difficult, as the discomfort can be severe. Failure to treat withdrawal symptoms may also increase the risk of future withdrawal symptoms becoming worse, as well as increasing the risk of seizures and delirium tremens. Remember that it is possible to get counselling and medical help when you are addicted to alcohol.

Treatment of alcohol withdrawal is important

Alcohol withdrawal should be treated with medication to treat withdrawal symptoms (most commonly benzodiazepines in pill form) and carried out by health professionals who ensure that the patient has a sufficient supply of withdrawal medication available.

If you are addicted to alcohol, it can be treated on an outpatient basis, but otherwise alcohol detoxification is also available on a 24-hour basis at Alfa-Fredensborg.

The aim of treating withdrawal symptoms is to calm the patient and reduce the risk of seizures and delirium tremens. Once this state is reached, the actual therapeutic relapse prevention treatment can be started. If you are admitted for day treatment, you should give yourself plenty of time and preferably stay there for at least a month.

See also: The Danish Health Authority’s guidance on prescribing addictive medicines

What is delirium tremens?

There are two types of delirium tremens: threatening delirium and delirium tremens.

Threatening delirium includes symptoms of simple withdrawal as well as hallucinations of sight or hearing or both. Hallucinations can range from illusions, such as intermittent experiences of flashes of light and noise, to more persistent hallucinations, in which the patient sees visions and hears voices.

If withdrawal symptoms are not treated, there is a risk that the patient may develop delirium tremens, which is the most serious complication.

Treatment is important in delirium tremens

Delirium tremens is a serious condition!

If left untreated, it can lead to a life-threatening condition with physical complications and a mortality rate of up to 20 percent. Therefore, it is important to treat withdrawal symptoms and delirium tremens aggressively and quickly.

Treatment can reduce the risk of death to about one percent. Delirium tremens affects less than five percent of patients with alcohol withdrawal.

Help for alcohol withdrawal

Are you wondering if you have alcohol withdrawal or are you a relative of an addict?

At Alfa-Fredensborg you will get help from a professional alcohol counsellor.


Alcohol rehabilitation on Zealand

Alcoholism can lead to many different diseases, both physical and psychological, and it has serious social consequences.

Excessive alcohol consumption will lead to alcohol dependence. It will often require professional alcohol help to get well again.

Symptoms of delirium

Alcohol withdrawal

Delirium tremens includes symptoms of simple withdrawal, hallucinations and clouding of consciousness, in which the patient is disoriented and psychomotorly impaired.

Relatives and addicts get help at Alfa

We offer professional help

Do you need help to cope with cannabis, alcohol, drug or medicine abuse? Or if you need help getting help for a relative, contact us anonymously and we’ll help you through the process.