What are Delirium Tremens (DTs): The Deadliest Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom 

Alcohol Withdrawal can be extremely dangerous. And the fear of Alcohol Withdrawal is what keeps most people drinking. Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. And from case to case. But the worst symptom, and the most deadly symptom of alcohol withdrawal, are Delirium Tremens. Commonly known at DTs, Delirium Tremens are a serious and sometimes fatal symptom of alcohol withdrawal after long term alcohol use disorder. In an alcohol detox program, Delirium Tremens can be treated and managed. But if not treated with alcohol detox, Delirium Tremens can threaten your recovery from alcoholism. And even your life. 

What is alcohol withdrawal?

Unfortunately, after long-term alcohol use disorder (the formal term for alcoholism) some form of alcohol withdrawal is inevitable. That is because habitual alcohol consumption adjusts your body’s baseline and equilibrium. Among other effects, your body burns ethanol (alcohol) for calories in the form of carbohydrates and becomes more efficient in disposing of the byproducts. Alcohol consumption also releases endorphins like dopamine into your system. This alcohol influenced chemical baseline replaces your healthy equilibrium with one dependent on regular alcohol consumption. Returning to a healthy equilibrium takes time. And the constellation of symptoms that define that return are known as alcohol withdrawal. Luckily, all of these symptoms can be treated and managed with alcohol detox. 

Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome presents in a variety of ways. They include both physiological and psychological symptoms. Although there is rarely a clear line between the physiological and psychological. The onset and intensity of these symptoms depend on a wide variety of factors. Such as the amount and duration of alcohol consumption, individual health, and any previous history of alcohol withdrawal. But the most common symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  1. Anxiety: Feelings of nervousness, restlessness, or apprehension. This, when coupled with the 
  2. Nausea and Vomiting: Upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Especially in the beginning of withdrawal. A lack of food puts increased strain on the system, but nausea makes it difficult to eat anything. 
  3. Sweating: Profuse sweating, often accompanied by clammy skin. This symptom can be extremely uncomfortable, but it does not 
  4. Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  5. Headache: Pain or discomfort in the head.
  6. Irritability: Easily annoyed or angered. This emotional dysregulation is exacerbated by the other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. 
  7. Increased Heart Rate: A faster-than-normal heartbeat.
  8. Hypertension: Elevated blood pressure.
  9. Fatigue: General feeling of tiredness or weakness. This is extremely common. But it will pass with time. Once alcohol withdrawal symptoms subsist, people generally begin to report increasingly higher energy levels. Alcoholism isn’t good for you, and replacing alcoholism with substance use recovery makes everything better. 
  10. Mood Swings: Emotional instability, mood swings, or depression.

Delirium Tremens, the most dangerous symptom of Alcohol Withdrawal

DTs usually manifest themselves somewhere between 24 and 96 hours (1-4 days) after regular alcohol consumption ceases. DTs are extremely serious and its wide variety of symptoms must be treated with alcohol detox. These alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: 

  1. Severe Confusion: Individuals with delirium tremens experience profound confusion and disorientation. They may be unaware of their surroundings or have difficulty recognizing familiar people and objects.
  2. Hallucinations: Visual and auditory hallucinations are common during delirium tremens. Individuals may see or hear things that are not present.
  3. Agitation: Restlessness and agitation are prominent symptoms, and individuals may exhibit unpredictable, sub-rational, or purposeless movements.
  4. Fever: Elevated body temperature is a common feature of delirium tremens.
  5. Tremors: This is the most common symptom associated with DTs. Severe tremors or shaking of the hands and other parts of the body may occur. Seizures are also common in severe cases of DTss.

Treating Delirium Tremens and Alcohol Withdrawal with Alcohol Detox

Delirium Tremens are a medical emergency. Period. Full stop. Handcuffing someone to a radiator so they can sweat the poison out of their system makes for great cinema. But coming back Monday morning to find that the person you tried to help has died from a combination of seizures and tachycardia isn’t helping anything. In an alcohol treatment program at ARIA, we have the tools and compassionate, knowledgeable staff to make sure that you can enjoy your recovery without dying first. Your recovery is worth it. Get the care you need at ARIA. Reach out now. Call us today at (844) 973-2611. And get the help you need. 

Get help today with Alcohol Detox at ARIA in West Palm Beach.

At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction treatment specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, right here in West Palm Beach, Florida.

We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain by designing individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

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