How to safely handle alcohol withdrawal symptoms
If you or a loved one is struggling with withdrawal symptoms because of an addiction, then you may want to pay attention to the following tips.
Whether you have realized that your drinking has gone from having a few drinks with friends on the weekend to drinking during the week in a strange bar or drinking alone at odd hours of the day, you may be battling an addiction. You may live in fear that your boss or coworkers may have noticed you drinking, and perhaps you have confrontations with your loved ones concerning your alcohol consumption.
You may feel it is time to stop drinking, but you are concerned about failing and the common withdrawal symptoms that can accompany the cessation of drinking. In addition, you may have heard of the dangers of abruptly stopping drinking and want to know more about safe methods for taming addiction.
Warning signs and symptoms
The first step to fighting an addiction is to acknowledge the problem. For some, denial may be a major obstacle that prevents them from seeking help and stopping their addiction. Others may be aware of their drinking problem but feel withdrawal symptoms are too powerful to deal with on their own. They may have experienced shaking or temper tantrums when deprived of alcohol. They may be aware that they need assistance to treat their addiction but are afraid of the social stigma linked to getting help in an inpatient setting. They may also be worried about the interference with their careers and risks to their professional reputations.
Before physical withdrawal symptoms develop, there are several warning signs that a drinking problem is developing. People who are battling addiction tend to be secretive about their drinking and deny how much alcohol they consume. If they are out with friends, they may have extra drinks at home before or after going out. They will continue drinking despite it affecting their work life and relationships. In addition, other common warning signs include weight loss or weight gain, bloodshot eyes, sleep problems and declining physical appearance.
When symptoms become dangerous
When an addict experiences physical withdrawal symptoms, it is important to focus on safely removing drugs and alcohol from your life. You may experience anxiety, pulsating heart rates, sweating and extreme physical discomfort when you stop drinking, so it is essential that you seek medical help. Although there is a great focus on disorders caused by drinking such as cirrhosis of the liver, many drinking deaths are actually caused by people trying to get off alcohol too abruptly. In extreme cases, this can lead to blood clots and heart attacks. In addition, people who try to stop abruptly may suffer from delirium tremens, which is a condition caused by alcohol withdrawal.
How to seek help
If you have physical withdrawal symptoms, you should see your physician immediately. Both continuing to drink and stopping abruptly can be dangerous. Overcoming the fear of social stigma is important, but there are many medical professionals who are ready to help you. You may want to consider an inpatient setting to recover from alcohol addiction, so your symptoms can be monitored. It is important to seek ongoing support and focus on leading a healthy life.