Alcohol abuse and eventual withdrawal can lead to many difficulties, each plaguing individuals differently. This makes it so important to turn to a professional alcohol detox program. Many patients struggle with delirium tremens and similar symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Delirium tremens have a 37% mortality rate without the right treatment. While medical professionals can get the help you need, it’s impossible to get the proper help without a keen understanding of the disorder. Let’s take a look at all there is to know about delirium tremens.

What Is It?

Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal, usually occurring after intense heavy drinking and a heightened withdrawal period. It’s a rare condition that doesn’t impact everyone recovering from alcohol use disorders, which is something that contributes to how dangerous it can be. Because not many are aware of it, it’s not common for delirium tremens to be treated like the life-threatening situation that it can be. It usually occurs about 48-72 hours after a long drinking binge and can last for another 2 to 3 days or up to a week.

What Causes Delirium Tremens?

Delirium tremens is caused by an overstimulation of the brain following a period of heavy alcohol consumption (heavy drinking is considered 8 or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more for men). Because the brain and nervous system can’t adjust quickly to the increased body demands, it triggers symptoms like tremors, high blood pressure, seizures, and increased body temperature.

Symptoms of Delirium Tremens

There are many symptoms of delirium tremens, and many of them are either difficult to detect on the surface or similar to other alcohol withdrawal effects. It’s important to get immediate hospital treatment for someone you believe is experiencing any of these symptoms, even if you aren’t certain about the cause.

  • Chest Pain
  • Tremors (Hands or Feet)
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Vomiting or Nausea
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Pale Skin
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty Controlling Eye Muscles
  • Seizures

Diagnosing Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is a serious medical emergency diagnosed by medical professionals examining the patient. They may perform certain tests such as an electrocardiogram, toxicology screening, or tests for blood magnesium and phosphate levels. 

The healthcare provider will also examine for any of the above symptoms and provide a Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment form to fill out. There may also be a focus on any head injuries, lack of vitamins or proper nutrients, and an understanding of the impacts of alcohol on the individual’s body.

How It’s Treated

Delirium is most often treated with benzodiazepines that help calm nervous systems and an influx of important vitamins and nutrients the body may lack. Patients may also get antipsychotic drugs that prevent hallucinations, drugs to regulate an increased heartbeat, and pain medication. Hospital visits may last up to a week, and eventually, it’ll be imperative that the individual finds a quality withdrawal program to help prevent withdrawal seizures, high blood pressure, and the many other effects of delirium tremens.

An Effective Withdrawal Program Can Properly Treat Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

It isn’t all that easy to recover from alcohol addiction, and it’s certainly not something you want to mess around with. Professional treatment is the most important and effective way to fight against delirium tremens and the other effects of alcohol recovery. For residents searching for rehabilitation for alcoholism or other addiction rehab programs near Levittown, PA, Steps to Recovery is here to assist. Call us at 267.209.7312 and get the help you or a loved one needs today.