Many people who are battling addiction to alcohol face some challenging decisions. Should they enter into treatment? Questions like these are common. Can you die from alcohol withdrawals? Can you die from alcohol detox itself? In a professional treatment program, you are going to be as well protected as possible with the medical guidance and support you need to get through this difficult time. Here’s what you need to know about these risks.
So, Can You Die from Alcohol Withdrawals?
It is very rare for people to die from alcohol withdrawals. There are situations where the body is so dependent on the substance that suddenly stopping its availability can lead to psychosis as well as physical challenges.
It’s important to note, too, that sudden alcohol death can occur if you continue to use. Organ failure is more likely in those who continue to use than dying from the withdrawal process.
What can happen?
There are situations where withdrawal can lead to challenging life situations. Withdrawal itself will not kill you, but there are some challenges that could occur that may lead to life threatening outcomes:
- Seizures: Some people may experience a seizure during the withdrawal process. This can lead to physical injury if you hit your head or suffer a car accident during one. It can also create permanent brain damage in some people.
- Delirium Tremens: This condition occurs when withdrawal from serious addictions occurs. It can lead to serious confusion, hyperactivity, disorientation, heart attack, or strokes.
Though these situations are rare, there are cases when someone may suffer death as a result of no longer using the substance.
Can You Die from Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is the process in which your body goes through a re-learning period. Your body has to learn how to function again without the presence of substances. That means you are likely to feel physical ailments such as chills, nausea, and headaches. Many people also experience mental health challenges during this time. That could include the onset of intense cravings, paranoia, and depression.
You are not likely to die from alcohol detox, but it can be painful, and in many situations, that is a reason why many people cannot overcome it on their own. This often leads to relapse.
Can relapsing be fatal?
A person relapses from alcohol addiction recovery when they have a drink again. However, relapse after detoxing (or during it) is very risky. Often, the body’s tolerance has adjusted downward in terms of how much of the substance it can handle. Yet, a person may attempt to drink the same amount or even more than they used to. This leads to a high risk of overdose and toxicity, which in itself can be fatal.
What Can Lower the Risk of Death from Withdrawal?
You may realize that continuing to use alcohol is going to shorten your lifespan. Yet, you’re worried about what could happen during withdrawal and detox. There’s some help available to you.
During treatment in a professional setting, your team will work closely with you to address your physical needs, ensuring that your medical needs are met even as you begin to feel changes and withdrawal. Medications may be available to ease you through those periods of withdrawal, too, making it easier for you to go through the detox process.
By alleviating a lot of the stress and strain of detox through a controlled environment, most people will not be at risk for any negative health outcomes. More so, you will also have more control over what is occurring. That means you are less likely to stop in the middle of the process and relapse, which also can help to minimize your risks in the long term.
You Can’t Do it Alone
Many people who experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using alcohol for any length of time are at high risk for dependence. If your body or brain is dependent on alcohol, it is very difficult to stop using on your own. However, treatment in a professional setting can be highly effective and life changing.
Though it can be scary to think about what detox and withdrawal could be like, the future is more worrisome if you do not stop using substances, even if you think you can control it or even stop when you want to do so. Get the care you need to minimize the risks to your health and future.
Finding Help for Alcohol Use Disorder Is an Option
Questions like, “Can you die from alcohol withdrawals?” are scary. They often mean you or someone you know needs help. Avoid the risk of relapse and health complications. Instead, reach out to speak to an admissions counselor today to learn more about treatment options that can protect your life. Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health or call at (855) 425-4846 to learn more about how we can help you. Speak to an admissions counselor to get started.