Get Help Now! Call 949-288-4654

Alcoholic man
The Clinical Types of Alcoholism
August 22, 2019
Addiction Support Groups Orange County
How Do Support Groups Help Addiction Recovery?
October 25, 2019
Show all

The Dangers of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

Orange County Alcohol Detox

Alcohol is a poison

Yes, we realize it’s a bit harsh to make this statement forthright, but it is true. Despite this underlying knowledge, so many societies in the world forget this fact and only see alcohol for its dopamine-encouraging tendencies. Many cultures, including American culture, deem it as a social pastime rooted in tradition, daily life, and even religious functions. That which would typically be clinically-diagnosed as alcohol abuse may be accepted in specific communities worldwide.

Not everyone can sip alcohol in moderation. For these individuals, the grave illness of alcoholism is likely in sight. After drinking heavily, quitting cold turkey can be one of the most challenging feats a person can overcome. Everyone knows that addiction can prove fatal, yet not everyone knows exactly why this disease can have such alarming mortality rates. Surprisingly, a large part of its destructive tendencies lies not just in its usage, but also in its discontinuation.

Discontinuation requires patience, professional mental health treatment, and medical supervision. 

Alcohol Detox in Orange County

The Dangers of Alcohol

When someone has been drinking alcohol in excess every day for many weeks, months, or years, their systems adapt to having this external substance in their body. Adaptation, of course, is simply a means of survival no matter what species is in question. Adapting to alcohol, however, might be one of the worst tasks to ever achieve for someone’s health.

Liver disease is, of course, one of the most common consequences that chronic alcohol abusers suffer from. However, most clinically-diagnosed alcoholics are deficient in the essential vitamin Thiamine. Insufficient thiamine levels can result in the development of extreme brain disorders such as an illness called Wernicke–Korsakoff Syndrome. This syndrome is especially dangerous. 

Most people who develop Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome end up with persistent memory problems for the rest of their lives – even once the alcoholic has stopped drinking. Not only this, but it can also cause difficulties in walking, concentration, and fine motor skills. Brain scans have proven that alcohol results in diminished gray matter in the brain. 

Even if someone doesn’t develop Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can prove to be just as dangerous. According to an article regarding the symptoms of certain drug withdrawals, withdrawal symptoms from quitting alcohol cold turkey can begin as early as hours after halting a drinking habit. Not only can these withdrawals start soon, but they can also last for weeks.

When the body is physically addicted to a substance like alcohol, it is entirely reliant on it to continue carrying out its normal functions. Alcohol encourages drastic changes in the brain after extended use. After someone who is physically addicted to this substance quits cold turkey, they can soon expect to feel:

  • Shakes and tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Bouts of anxiety
  • Chills 
  • Intense sweating
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Seizures
  • Nervousness
  • Panic Attacks

The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms revolves around several different factors, including how often one drank, the amount that was drunk, their age, their metabolism, and their overall state of health.

Orange County Alcohol Detox Center

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens is unarguably one of the most dangerous aspects of quitting alcohol quickly and entirely. This condition is severe and must be taken seriously. Delirium tremens has the potential to cause life-threatening seizures that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on alcoholics. Delirium tremens is most common between 48 and 72 hours after the last drink an alcoholic takes. Much similarly, the seizures associated with delirium tremens often occur between 24-48 hours after discontinuation of alcohol use.

Other symptoms of Delirium Tremens include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Severe body tremors
  • Drastic changes in overall mental function
  • Large amounts of excitement or fear
  • Restlessness
  • Tonic-clonic 
  • Sudden, severe confusion (delirium)

Alcohol Detox Treatment in Orange County

Treating Alcohol Withdrawals and Delirium Tremens

In assisting with the alleviation of alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens, there are several different measures one can take. 

For example, it’s especially helpful for those who are looking to quickly rid alcohol of their system to seek a reputable drug and alcohol detoxification service. Often in detox programs, to ensure a safe alcohol aridification, medication may be used that will:

  • Prevent seizures
  • Treat mental illness
  • Relieve discomfort
  • Help sleeplessness
  • Prevent any further physical or psychological complications

After alcohol detox, multiple measures can be taken to prevent any further or future issues. After alcohol detox, many alcoholics choose to seek a long-term rehabilitation program or an addiction outpatient service, as well as alcoholics anonymous meetings or other abstinence-based programs. There are plenty of support groups available after quitting alcohol cold turkey, as well as for any mental illnesses that may be existing comorbidly with alcoholism.

Staying abstinent is highly recommended after detoxing from alcohol. When someone was highly addicted to alcohol to the point of their withdrawal symptoms becoming life-threatening, they must practice abstinence for an extended period of time- if not for the rest of their lives. Alcoholism is not merely a mental illness, but a physically-threatening disease that can wreak irreversible havoc on someone’s body. Taking professional measures while quitting alcohol cold turkey can prevent harmful complications that are associated with its withdrawal process.