Alcohol abuse and addiction can have substantial negative impacts on an individual physically, mentally and personally. When the time comes to recover, it can be concerning for those who have developed dependencies on alcohol as withdrawal symptoms are a common occurrence.
One of the scarier symptoms is uncontrollable shaking and tremors when alcohol consumption is put to a hard stop. They can start within two to three days of your last drink and for some are barely noticeable while others can experience severe tremors that interfere with their day-to-day activities.
While alcohol withdrawal typically lasts one to two weeks, chronic alcohol abuse can lead to tremors and shakes that extend for weeks beyond that depending on the severity.
How Long Do Withdrawal Tremors Last?
A consideration individuals have to keep in mind is the chance for recovering problem drinkers to experience what is known as Delirium Tremens or DT. DT is a neurological disorder that impacts nearly 5% of those experiencing alcohol withdrawals and comes with its own set of severe symptoms.
These can include hallucinations, disorientation and tremors that spread throughout the entire body and can last much longer than the standard detox. DT tremors and shakes will follow the same timeline as their more common and less severe shakes and start as soon as two days into the detoxification process.
Individuals that are affected by DT as they go through withdrawals can develop permanent mental disorders and brain damage if the detox process is not conducted by medical professionals. Since the severity of DT and tremors can’t be anticipated precisely, it’s recommended that anyone going through alcohol withdrawal do so under the supervision of medical staff. The symptoms can be life-threatening if left unmanaged.
What Are The Signs of Delirium Tremens?
Trying to determine if DT is the cause of tremors or if they are simply regular withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox needs an understanding of the timeline for withdrawal. Mild withdrawal symptoms often start as soon as eight hours into the detox process and can manifest as insomnia, fatigue, headaches and anxiety or depression.
The next stage of symptoms will start becoming more intense and cause greater discomfort. Symptoms such as high blood pressure, nausea, hallucinations and hot flashes or profuse sweating. The next set of symptoms is where the most severe and sometimes life-threatening conditions can set in.
During this period individuals can experience intense chest pains, seizures and delirium tremens in the most severe cases. The window for these symptoms is up to 10 days after the last drink. Whole-body tremors, heavy bouts of confusion and trouble breathing can all be signs of DT.
What Should I Do If I Experience Severe Tremors or DT?
Due to the risk associated with DT symptoms, it’s extremely important to undergo medically-assisted detox at an addiction treatment center. If you’ve stopped drinking on your own and begin to experience these symptoms, contact emergency services or call 911 as hospitalization is the best option at that time.
Going with a treatment center from the start alleviates the need for sudden emergency assistance and can then lead directly into a treatment plan to address the underlying addiction. 24/7 supervision during detox is vital as alcohol withdrawal is one of the most severe types when it comes to ending substance use.
The body can become extremely dehydrated and cause the brain to struggle with various tasks that are typically done automatically for us. Things like regulating breathing and digesting food becomes difficult due to dehydration and these can also increase the frequency and severity of tremors or shakes.
With medically-assisted detox, a team consisting of medical professionals can observe and address symptoms as they come up. The body takes time to naturally remove the toxins left behind by alcohol which is why symptoms slowly ramp up in severity. Medications can be provided to help with aches and pains, mood regulation, nausea and insomnia to make the detox as comfortable as possible.
When you undergo medically-assisted detox for alcohol withdrawal, tremors and other high-risk symptoms are minimized. The entire detox is done in a safe environment surrounded by compassionate staff that works around the clock to ensure your comfort and success throughout the process.
America’s Rehab Campuses offer detox programs as well as treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction no matter how severe of a situation it has become. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions for yourself or a loved one as we offer free, confidential consultations directly over the phone.