Alcohol withdrawal is not only uncomfortable – it can also be dangerous. Learn about withdrawal causes and symptoms to understand why receiving professional treatment for alcohol addiction is so important.
Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal
Withdrawal is a physiologic process that individuals undergo when they attempt to stop using substances like alcohol after period of heavy and/or chronic use. Although the consumption of alcohol is legal for adults over the age of 21 in the United States, there are many women who discover that they are incapable of using this substance in a way that is not problematic. As a widely accepted practice in various settings, many individuals can consume wine, beer, or liquor on occasion without suffering any negative consequences. However, others find themselves stuck in a pattern of ongoing alcohol use or binge drinking without even realizing it.
When alcohol is consumed on a frequent basis, an individual develops tolerance to the presence of the alcohol in the body. This tolerance requires the person to consume greater amounts in order to achieve the desired effects or to simply avoid feeling withdrawal symptoms. As this pattern continues, an individual can become physically dependent on alcohol, meaning that her body is no longer able to function as it once did unless alcohol is consumed. As a result, when the body is denied alcohol, the individual will go into a period of withdrawal as the body attempts to re-adjust to fun coming without alcohol.
Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal
Withdrawing from alcohol is known to be an extremely uncomfortable, even painful, and potentially fatal process. Signs that indicate that an individual is going through alcohol withdrawal will vary from one person to the next, but can include the following:
- Hand tremors
- Overwhelming cravings
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased pulse rate (exceeding 100 beats per minute)
- Psychomotor agitation
When any of these symptoms are exhibited, it should be viewed as a warning sign that a person is experiencing withdrawal and is in need of medical attention.
Why Seek Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
When an addiction to alcohol is left untreated, all areas of a woman’s life can be negatively impacted in significant ways. Alcohol can prevent individuals from performing to expectation at work, or can hinder them from attending work altogether, ultimately placing their careers in jeopardy. Daily responsibilities often fall to the wayside, eliciting the onset of marital strife, family problems, neglected or abused children and friendship disturbances. Furthermore, the ongoing use of alcohol leaves individuals susceptible to experiencing any number of health detriments. Conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, and brain damage have all been known to result from chronic alcohol use. Additionally, a weakened immune system, jaundice, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal bleeding can affect the health of those trapped in the cycle of repeated alcohol use and addiction. The longer a person has an untreated alcohol use disorder, the more likely it is that she will experience an alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, which, tragically, has the potential to be deadly.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can help women put an end to their problematic use of alcohol. Residential treatment can be one of the most beneficial options, as it affords women the opportunity to step away from the stresses and triggers associated with their home environment, provides a setting with restricted access to alcohol, and a place for women to focus solely on their recovery. At Timberline Knolls, we recognize how difficult it can be to come to terms with the fact that one needs help in overcoming an addiction to alcohol, and we realize how painful the experience of withdrawal can be. For these reasons and more, we are dedicated to offering comprehensive programming that allows women to be evaluated for safe detoxification from alcohol, and to focus on their minds, bodies, and spirits as they develop the skills needed to overcome their addictions and move forward towards a new life of freedom in recovery.