Category Archives: Substance Addiction

Woman asks her therapist how dangerous is alcohol withdrawal

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

Making the decision to get help to overcome addiction to alcohol is a positive step. But it is not an easy one to make. And you’re probably wondering what’s in store for you. Before any treatment program can begin, you may first have to undergo detoxification to clear alcohol from your body. Perhaps you think you can detox on your own to save time and money. But this can be dangerous. Just how dangerous is alcohol withdrawal? Can you die from alcohol withdrawal?

The short answer is yes, you can die from alcohol withdrawal. The effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. Symptoms begin within two hours of cessation of alcohol use. They can also persist for weeks.

Alcohol Detox Can Be Fatal

The worst outcome from alcohol detox done improperly is that you can die from alcohol withdrawal. In order to be safe, professionals need to medically monitor your alcohol detox. They will be there to assist in the event of an emergency and to ensure comfort and ease symptoms during withdrawal.

Why is alcohol withdrawal so dangerous? How can you die from alcohol withdrawal? An alcoholic relies on alcohol both physically and mentally in order to function. This is a compulsion that becomes an alcoholic’s basic need for survival.

Alcohol is physically addicting. This means that when your body doesn’t have what years of alcohol abuse have given it, you get sick. And this can kill you. For example, alcohol withdrawal can lead to heart arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems) and kidney or liver dysfunction. Sometimes, this can prove to be fatal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

If you try to detox on your own, without medical supervision and assistance, it can be very unsafe. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include both physical and psychological symptoms. The following symptoms are common for those suffering from alcohol withdrawal syndrome:

Physical Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Excessive vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Tactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations
  • Hand tremors (also called “the shakes”)
  • Repeated seizures, called delirium tremens, or DTs, which can kill you in alcohol withdrawal

Risk factors for delirium tremens increase with multiple alcohol detox attempts. These risk factors include a history of seizures, older age, liver abnormalities and functioning, and acute medical illness.

Symptoms of delirium tremens usually peak at five days and include:

  • Severe tremors
  • Racing heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever of a low grade
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures

Psychological Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Intense cravings
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation

Post-Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

If you have an alcohol addiction, you may experience chronic alcohol withdrawal symptoms after the initial symptoms have subsided. This is known as post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These withdrawal symptoms can last a few weeks to a year. Symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Being more accident prone

Recovering From Alcohol Withdrawal the Safe Way

The important thing to keep in mind is that you want to get clean and sober. This requires eliminating alcohol from your body during detox and overcoming alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But getting sober doesn’t have to be done alone. There are inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment facilities that can direct you to effective medically monitored detox programs.

Getting rid of the alcohol in your system is the first step in your overall goal to live clean and sober. You also need to learn coping skills, understand the disease of addiction and start incorporating healthier habits into your life. Participating in 12-step support groups or other self-help groups will also help you maintain your commitment to living in sobriety. The encouragement and support you receive in alcohol rehab and support groups is invaluable in your journey to live free of substance abuse.

How Meth Use Can Lead to Cheating

How Meth Use Can Lead to Cheating

Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or simply meth, is a terrible drug that ruins lives. A controlled substance, meth is rarely prescribed, but most abusers get it from amateur labs that crank out the substance from household chemicals. Meth is a stimulant and has a number of effects on the user. One common effect is an increased sex drive, often to extreme levels. Sex addiction and methamphetamine use often go together, and anyone abusing meth runs the risk of having affairs. There are so many reasons not to use meth. Ruining your relationship with extramarital affairs is just one of many.
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Women With Strong Support Network More Susceptible to Substance Abuse, Study Finds

This entry was posted in Substance Addiction on October 22, 2014 and modified on April 30, 2019

Women-With-Strong-Support-Network-More-Susceptible-to-Substance-Abuse-Study-FindsWomen and men have gender-specific differences in their rate of susceptibility to substance abuse, as well as differences in the types of substances that function as abuse targets. Other known influences on substance abuse risks include genetic inheritance and environmental influences encountered by each individual. In a study presented Aug. 18, 2014, to the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, researchers from Indiana University used information from a federally funded project called the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism to further explore gender’s impact on the mixture of substance abuse risks for any given person.

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Are 12-Step Groups Safe for Women?

Are 12-Step Groups Safe for Women?Support groups, especially those using the 12 steps, are loved by many and rejected by others. For addicts, a support group is an important part of an overall treatment program. The support group provides emotional and social connections with other people with similar experiences. Support groups give recovering addicts a place to go time and again to shore up their sobriety and help them resist the temptations to relapse. One of the most serious controversies surrounding traditional, 12-step support groups is the idea that they may not be safe for women.
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Can Animal-Assisted Therapy Help People Affected by Substance Abuse or Addiction?

Can Animal-Assisted Therapy Help People Affected by Substance Abuse or Addiction?Animal-assisted therapy is a term used to describe the use of trained dogs or other animals in structured therapeutic practices aimed at helping human beings with specific health problems. Current evidence indicates that several groups of people—including individuals with cancer, serious heart problems and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—can benefit from this form of therapy. In a study published in 2009 in Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, researchers from Mississippi State University and Lindsey Wilson College assessed the potential of animal-assisted therapy to help people affected by substance abuse or substance addiction. The researchers concluded that this form of therapy can improve substance treatment by strengthening the therapeutic alliance that forms between therapists and their patients/clients.
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Explaining Parent’s Addiction to a Child

Explaining Parent’s Addiction to a ChildOn Father’s Day, kids take the time to show their appreciation for all of the things their fathers do for them every day of the year. But for the child of an alcoholic or drug abuser, the day may be fraught with confusion and mixed emotions. Addiction is a serious, complex issue, and this can leave many parents feeling as though it’s impossible to adequately explain the problem to children. However, if you approach the topic with tact, honesty and openness, you can help your child understand why their dad is in rehab for Father’s Day or why he isn’t manning the barbecue with a beer in hand like last year.
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Drug Addiction, Alcoholism, and Immigration Medical Exams

Drug Addiction, Alcoholism, and Immigration Medical ExamsAll applicants for immigrant visas, as well as certain non-immigrant applicants, are required to undergo a medical exam performed by a civil surgeon that has been designated by authorities to be qualified to administer the exams. During the exam, physicians are allowed (and sometimes required) to ask questions about an applicant’s prior or current drug and alcohol use. Pursuant to 42 CFR 34.1, medical examinations are allowable for a.) aliens applying for a visa at an embassy or consulate outside the United States; b) aliens arriving in the United States; c.) aliens required by immigration officials to have a medical exam in connection with determination of their admissibility; and d.) aliens applying for adjustment of status in the US.

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