Although an alcohol detox is a key part of recovery, it can still be dangerous. That’s because some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be severe. Fortunately, medical supervision makes the entire process safer. The risk of certain withdrawal symptoms means that an alcohol detox should never be attempted solo.
Delirium Tremens: A Symptom of Alcohol Withdrawal
Arguably the most severe of all symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens or DTs. Delirium tremens is not common while undergoing treatment at an alcohol detox center. In fact, it occurs in just about five percent of patients.
There is no guaranteed way to tell if a patient will experience DTs during detox. That’s why all patients should choose to detox in a secure and supervised medical facility. Should DTs become an issue, it is vital that emergency care is available.
Delirium tremens can cause many dangerous symptoms. Hallucinations can be common among those who suffer from DTs. Hallucinations can be visual, auditory or even tactile. A person experiencing these hallucinations will not be able to determine reality for that short period of time.
DTs can also lead to extreme confusion. Patients may struggle to understand why they are in detox or what is happening around them. Paranoia or violence is possible in extreme cases. For the safety of the patient and peace of mind of their loved ones, a secure environment has to be provided.
Increased Dehydration is a Concern
Dehydration is one of the most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. During a detox, lots of factors come together to cause dehydration. A high temperature may cause extreme sweating, and nausea or vomiting could prevent adequate hydration. Together, these conditions mean chronic dehydration is an issue.
In the medical sense, dehydration is more than just being thirsty. It can cause weakness, swollen tongue, fainting or heart palpitations. To treat dehydration, it often takes much more than a glass of water.
Treating severe dehydration can be challenging. Fortunately, medical professionals have the resources to adequately hydrate patients. Solutions like electrolyte mixes, IVs, and water-dense foods can also help alleviate the symptoms of dehydration during a detox.
Heart Problems Have to be Closely Monitored
Many symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have to do with the heart. That’s because alcohol addiction already takes a toll on the heart. During detox, there is even more stress. While the heart works overtime to recover, it can act unusually.
During alcohol withdrawal, an increased heart rate is very common. Also common is a big spike in blood pressure. Heart palpitations are also common.
What is less common is serious heart failure. However, it can happen. Heart attacks and strokes may be one symptom of detox. Fortunately, medical professionals can monitor heart conditions throughout detox and recommend treatment for patients who are at high risk.
Confusion and Foggy Thinking
Many people mistakenly believe that detox only impacts the body. In reality, it can definitely impact behavior, thinking, and cognitive function. One of the scariest alcohol detox symptoms is foggy thinking or confusion.
Feeling confused during detox is very disorienting. Coupled with discomfort or medication side effects, this confusion may make patients upset and frustrated. Addiction experts need to be on hand to monitor these situations and respond in a calming and effective way.
Insomnia and Fatigue
Many patients find it incredibly hard to sleep well during an alcohol withdrawal. This makes sense since it can be uncomfortable at times. During the day, fatigue is also common. Patients should prepare for this and take the time to rest during detox rather than trying to handle work or other obligations.
Safe Alcohol Withdrawal at Serenity House Detox
At Serenity House Detox, patients can complete a safe medical detox program. This all important step is the best way to mitigate dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It also lays the foundation for lasting recovery. At Serenity House Detox, patients can expect programs like:
- Evidence-based therapy program
- Talk therapy program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy program
- Dialectical behavior therapy program
- Health and wellness program
Withdrawal is a necessary part of recovery, but the pain doesn’t have to be. Serenity House Detox boasts two Florida locations, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, where you can achieve sobriety. Take back control over your life by calling 866.294.5306.