The Hazards of Delirium Tremens
Delirium tremens most often happens to long-term heavy drinkers. In the 1700s, it was colloquially known as the “drunken horrors”.
Delirium tremens characteristics:
- Rapid onset of symptoms, usually 2-3 days after the last drink. The worst manifestations occur on Day 4-5.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Autonomic hyperactivity
- Profuse sweating
- Extreme fever
- Panic attacks
- Terrifying nightmares
- Acute disorientation
- Global confusion
- Hallucinations – disconnection from the real world
- Perceptual disturbances
- The sensation that small insects are crawling on/under the skin
- An overwhelming feeling of impending doom/death
Who Is Most at Risk for Delirium Tremens?
DTs happen to 20% of alcohol detoxification patients and 33% of those patients already suffering withdrawal seizures.
DTs is most common in those individuals who:
- Have a history of alcohol withdrawal
- Drank heavily daily for several months
- Have a 10+ year history of alcoholism/chronic alcohol abuse
What Can Reduce the Danger of Delirium Tremens?
The dangers alcohol withdrawal syndrome means that alcohol abusers should NEVER quit abruptly unless they are under medical supervision. NEVER try to detox from alcohol on your own.
Without treatment, up to 40% of sufferers will die. Even with treatment, there is still a 4% chance of death. Symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal should ALWAYS be treated as a medical emergency to avoid possibly fatal complications.
You or someone you care about is struggling with problem drinking, contact Lasting Recovery to be referred to a medically-supervised detox facility. After detox, the professional staff at Lasting Recovery can give you the help and support you need to deal with your addiction to alcohol.