Alcohol withdrawal delirium, also known as delirium tremens (DTs), is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication that can occur when an individual who is physically dependent on alcohol stops drinking abruptly or significantly reduces their alcohol consumption.
Delirium tremens symptoms start within 4 to 5 days after your last drink. The symptoms can include misperception, shivers, fever, sweating, hallucinations, tremors, and seizures. If left untreated, these symptoms can progress to a state of delirium, where the individual may become disoriented, paranoid, and experience severe agitation and potentially life-threatening physical symptoms.
DTs requires immediate medical attention, as it can lead to serious complications, including dehydration, seizures, and cardiovascular collapse. Treatment typically involves hospitalization and administration of medications, such as benzodiazepines, to manage symptoms and prevent seizures and other complications.
Can a supportive community help in DTs?
In addition to medical treatment, a supportive community [family members, friends, support groups, and mental health professionals] can provide emotional support and encouragement during the recovery process. Support groups like Detox to Rehab can be particularly helpful for those going through alcohol withdrawal delirium. It is an online platform, where support and guidance to individuals who are struggling with alcohol addiction is offered. Members share their experiences, offer support, and provide encouragement to each other.
Overall, having a supportive community can make a significant difference in the recovery process for someone going through delirium tremens. It can provide a sense of connection, understanding, and support, which can help individuals stay motivated and focused on their recovery.
Who is at risk of DTs?
Everyone experiences withdrawal symptoms after they quit drinking alcohol but only a few will develop DTs. There are certain factors that can intensify the risk of DTs.
- People who have been drinking heavily for a prolonged period are more likely to develop DTs.
- People who have experienced withdrawal from alcohol in the past are at a higher risk of developing DTs during subsequent withdrawal episodes.
- DTs are more common in people over the age of 30.
- People with a history of seizures or other neurological conditions, liver disease, or pancreatitis are at an increased risk of developing DTs.
- People with a history of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, are at a higher risk of developing DTs.
It is important to note that anyone who is undergoing alcohol withdrawal should seek medical attention and monitoring, as the symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening.