Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

man experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic illness that affects millions of people around the world. At Lake Ave Recovery, we understand that alcohol misuse can have devastating consequences when left untreated. Our expert team approaches treating alcoholism with a personalized approach, guiding clients through every stage of recovery, from detox to treatment to aftercare.

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

When the brain and body become dependent on chronic alcohol consumption, suddenly stopping drinking or sharply limiting intake can have severe and dangerous side effects, known as Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal appear in different stages, with the severity increasing with time.

Stage 1: Symptoms appear around 8-12 hours after the last alcoholic drink.

The initial symptoms of alcohol withdrawal appear within 8 hours of the last alcoholic beverage. They can include:

  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue and Muscle Ache
  • Mild shakiness
  • Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Extreme sweating
  • Loss of appetite

Stage 2: Symptoms appear around 12-24 hours after the last drink. The symptoms of withdrawal in stage 2 include symptoms from stage 1 in addition to the following increasingly dangerous side effects:

  • Dehydration due to extreme sweating, urination, and diarrhea
  • Malnutrition due to loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations due to low blood sugar and increased dopamine release

Stage 3: The third stage of alcohol withdrawal occurs around 24 hours after the last alcoholic beverage and is the most dangerous stage of detox. Symptoms in this stage often require immediate medical attention. They can include:

  • Trembling
  • Confusion/Lack of focus
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Sleep deprivation

How Can I Detox Safely?

Alcohol withdrawal is a challenging feat, and you should never attempt it alone. When detoxing from alcohol, it is imperative that you are monitored by medical or professional staff. At Lake Ave Recovery, we take your recovery very seriously and will work with you closely to find a detox program that is most suitable to your needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Our Lake Ave Recovery team with remain in touch with you and your program team throughout the detox process until you are ready to begin outpatient treatment.

Why Choose Lake Ave Recovery to Treat Alcohol Dependence?

When you choose Lake Avenue Recovery to treat your alcohol use disorder, you begin with a brief assessment to determine the appropriate level of care for your needs.  If your course of treatment requires detox under medical supervision, you will be matched with a trained medical staff to ensure you are receiving adequate care for your stage of recovery.

At Lake Ave Recovery, we incorporate experiential and mindfulness services into our treatment programs. You have the option to experience boat rides, nature walks, light strength and fitness training, yoga, Tai-Chi, Qigong, massage, reiki, and a variety of new and ever-changing activities. Our on-site therapy dogs assist our clinical professional team in providing the comforting and uplifting atmosphere we pride ourselves on.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol use disorder or addiction of any kind, you are not alone. Call 508-794-4400 to learn how to break the cycle today.

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We have a longstanding foundation in the treatment and recovery community

Lake Avenue Recovery is a state licensed and Joint Commission accredited organization committed to promoting, maintaining, and restoring the dignity, well-being and mental health for those with substance use disorders and their families serving greater Worcester county and beyond.

  • 132 Years Clinical Excellence
  • 105 Years Recovery Experience
  • 8:1 Ratio Client to Staff
  • 12 Publications on Alcohol and Drug Use

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