Delirium Tremens Symptoms

If you’ve relied on alcohol for several years, you have probably already noticed it impacting your health in various ways. Paradoxically, trying to quit drinking can also adversely affect your well-being because the sudden absence of alcohol causes withdrawal, possibly including a condition known as delirium tremens.

What Is Delirium Tremens?

Delirium tremens is a form of alcohol withdrawal that involves acute, dangerous changes to the brain and central nervous systems. Often, these symptoms manifest in people who drank excessively for a decade or more and suddenly stopped or tried to taper off their alcohol use too quickly.

As the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptom, delirium tremens affects people with a history of heavy drinking. People who are physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol suffer from delirium tremens because their bodies have trouble adjusting to the lack of the substance in their system.

How Long Does Delirium Tremens Last?

Those who want to quit drinking and are worried about withdrawal often ask this question. The duration of delirium tremens symptoms after ceasing alcohol consumption varies, based on factors such as how long you relied on alcohol before trying to quit and how much you typically drank.

The best-known delirium tremens symptom is body tremors, also known as “the shakes.” Other issues include:

  • Disorientation
  • Shortened attention span
  • Deep sleep lasting longer than a day
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue

In the most severe cases, violent seizures are a symptom of delirium tremens.

Medically Supervised Alcohol Detoxification

Abruptly quitting long-term alcohol use is not only dangerous; it can also be fatal. Medical research indicates it’s possible to die from delirium tremens. That’s why it is so risky to quit cold turkey or try a DIY detox at home.

Medically supervised detox is the safest way to minimize the severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In a clinical setting, health professionals with experience in addiction medicine can monitor your vital signs and offer comfort and remedies whenever necessary. Once you are medically stable and your system is free of all traces of alcohol, you can begin inpatient addiction treatment.

Making Recovery Possible for More Than 50 Years

Successfully healing from an alcohol use disorder requires time, patience and an environment where you can fully focus on all aspects of your health. At Cumberland Heights, we provide single-gender programming for men and women who have struggled with the disease of addiction and co-occurring mental health issues.

Our specialists have training in evidence-based therapies such as dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, family systems work, trauma-informed care and 12-step facilitation. To learn more about our services and what you can expect when you come to our Tennessee addiction recovery campus, please reach out to our team today.