There is no denying the fact that the abuse of alcohol can lead to significant health issues physically, mentally, and emotionally. The sooner alcoholics get help for their alcohol abuse, the better. However, how you go about quitting alcohol plays a key role in how safe and effective treatment will be.

There is a reason why it is not recommended for alcoholics who have been abusing alcohol for years to stop drinking on their own in an effort to overcome their addiction. Quitting alcohol “cold turkey” is not only extremely difficult, it can also be incredibly dangerous.

Alcoholics can experience what is known as “delirium tremens (DTs),” which is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves severe mental confusion and hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to heart failure and death in worst-case scenarios.

DTs is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention and care and comes with a very high death rate. For this reason, getting help from Ohio substance abuse treatment resources early on is absolutely essential.

Does Everyone in Alcohol Withdrawal Experience DTs?

About half of alcoholics will experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop drinking, of which between 3 percent to 5 percent will experience DTs, such as significant cognitive confusion and severe tremors.

The reason why not all alcoholics are affected by DTs is that only those who have a long history of heavy alcohol use are prone to DTs. Heavy drinkers are classified as those who drink at least 15 alcoholic beverages per week for men and eight drinks per week for women. Servings that are considered one alcoholic drink include 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor, and 12 ounces of beer.

Those who consume alcohol heavily can experience DTs if they go “cold turkey,” drop their alcohol consumption abruptly, are not eating enough, suffer a head injury, or are ill. People with a history of alcohol withdrawal or DTs and have other health issues are at a higher risk of experiencing DTs.

What Do Alcoholics Experience With DTs?

DTs are associated with a long list of incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms, which can include any of the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing rate
  • Muscle spasms
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Mood swings

These symptoms are extremely difficult to tolerate, and many alcoholics end up relapsing in an effort to stop them.

Where Can Ohioans Go To Detox Safely From Alcohol?

If you have been a heavy drinker and believe you may suffer from DTs when you give up drinking, a number of different treatments may be administered by medical personnel, including intravenous fluids, sedatives, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotic medications. Once the symptoms associated with DTs have been stabilized, it is time to get help from a reputable Ohio alcohol rehab center to enable you to stop drinking once and for all.

DTs can be fatal, which is why it is absolutely imperative that you seek help from professionals rather than quitting the habit on your own. Ohio alcohol rehab centers can provide you with appropriate treatment protocol in a safe and supportive setting while your symptoms are effectively managed and your condition is supervised to detect any potential complications.

The best way to prevent experiencing DTs is to stop drinking the safe and effective way, and the best way to do that is to enroll in an Ohio alcohol rehab center right away. Contact us for help to finally kick the habit and safely detach yourself from alcohol dependence.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.