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What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is caused by a neurotransmitter rebound when an alcoholic stops drinking. Withdrawal from alcohol is dangerous, and our alcohol rehab in Florida is here to help those struggling with alcoholism.

When alcohol suppresses the action of a neurotransmitter system over a long period of time the neurotransmitter system adapts by working harder and harder to overcome the effect of the alcohol and to try and function at normal levels in spite of the presence of the alcohol. When the alcohol is suddenly removed from the body, the neurotransmitter system still continues to function far in excess of normal levels.

Read More: 10 Signs of Alcoholism

Since the alcohol is no longer present to suppress the effects of this hyperactivity, what we now see are effects which are precisely the opposite of those caused by alcohol. As an example, it is much like two people playing tug-of-war who are equally balanced–if one person suddenly lets go of the rope the other goes flying in the opposite direction.

When alcohol is suddenly removed from a neurotransmitter system which has been fighting to overcome its effects, the neurotransmitter system goes flying off in the opposite direction.

Alcohol Withdrawal and the GABA System

The main neurotransmitter system involved in alcohol withdrawal is the GABA system. Alcohol’s effect on the GABA system leads to relaxation, sleep, calm, and the soothing of panic. When alcohol is suddenly removed from the brain then the neurotransmitter rebound in the GABA system leads to insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations, anxiety, panic, muscle cramps, and seizures. Benzodiazepines affect the GABA system in much the same way as alcohol does and this is why benzodiazepine withdrawal is also life-threatening.

Learn More: Alcohol Abuse and its Physical Effects on the Body

General Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Listed below are the clinical manifestations of alcohol withdrawal after the last drink. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, seeking help from our alcohol rehab in Florida may be something to consider seriously.

  • Tremulousness
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Diaphoresis
  • Palpitations
  • GI symptoms including diarrhea
  • Anorexia

Alcohol Related Seizures

Occur in approximately 3 % of chronic alcoholics
Generalized, tonic-clonic, rarely status epilepticus (3% of those with seizures)

Alcoholic Hallucinosis

Alcoholic hallucinosis refers to hallucinations that develop within 12 to 24 hours of abstinence and resolve within 24 to 48 hours (which is the earliest point at which delirium tremens typically develops)
Hallucinations are usually visual, although auditory and tactile phenomena may also occur. In contrast to delirium tremens, alcoholic hallucinosis is not associated with global clouding of the sensorium, but with specific hallucinations.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens (DT’s), seen in approximately 5% of those in alcohol withdrawal. Has a mortality rate of 5%. Death is usually due to arrhythmias or complicating illnesses such as pneumonia.

DT’s generally produce hallucinations, disorientation, tachycardia, hypertension, low-grade fever, agitation, and diaphoresis. Withdrawal may also have an important impact on fluid and electrolyte status. Almost all patients in acute withdrawal are dehydrated as a result of diaphoresis, hyperthermia, vomiting, and tachypnea.

Our Alcohol Rehab in Florida is Here to Help

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2017-07-13T15:34:12+00:00 July 13th, 2017|Alcohol Addiction, Detox, Rehabilitation|