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How Long Does Delirium Tremens Last For?

a woman suffers from serious symptoms of delirium tremens as a result of chronic alcohol abuse

Alcohol addiction can be a severe and destructive condition. People who drink alcohol chronically can develop a condition called alcohol use disorder (AUD), formerly called ‘alcoholism.’ What many people do not realize is that alcohol is actually one of the most dangerous drugs to quit abruptly and that serious health problems can occur if not given proper and timely treatment. While most people are able to quit drinking alcohol with unpleasant but tolerable withdrawal symptoms, others may experience a condition called delirium tremens.

For those experiencing delirium tremens, treatment programs can only help once they have gotten through the acute phase. Once a person has decided to get help for drinking, they should be evaluated by an alcohol addiction treatment professional to assess whether or not they are at risk for developing delirium tremens. Contact Northpoint Seattle today at 888.483.6031 to learn more.

What Is Delirium Tremens?

Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system. This means that alcohol has the effect of slowing down and inhibiting nerve signals. As a person becomes physically dependent on alcohol, their body starts to make adjustments to compensate for this slowing process. When the person then decides to abruptly stop drinking, it takes time for the body to reverse those adjustments, resulting in a period of time where nerve signals are overly excited. For many people, this simply causes some uncomfortable symptoms, but for others, it can lead to serious illness and seizures, which can be fatal in some cases. These severe symptoms are referred to as delirium tremens.

Some facts to know about delirium tremens are:

  • Delirium tremens usually happens when a person has been drinking heavily for a period longer than one month.
  • Delirium tremens usually occurs around three days after a person’s final drink of alcohol.
  • This condition is uncommon but potentially fatal. It is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment at a hospital.
  • Delirium tremens can last between 3-5 days.
  • The most common treatment for the condition is benzodiazepine therapy, which helps calm the over-excited nerve signals and prevent or stop seizures.
  • If a person has other medical conditions, that may increase the likelihood that they will develop delirium tremens.

What Should You Do If You Are Concerned About Delirium Tremens?

If you or someone you care about wants to stop drinking alcohol but is concerned about going through withdrawal, it is a wise choice to consult with a licensed alcohol addiction clinician. Often, you can contact an alcohol addiction treatment program in your area and speak to someone about your concerns.

Alcohol addiction is a serious but treatable condition, and people often benefit from getting help when they want to stop drinking. In fact, studies suggest that those who receive treatment from a professional treatment program have the best results when it comes to maintaining recovery over time.

There are many benefits to participating in alcohol addiction treatment, but the most important benefits are being able to return to a state of health and directing one’s own life.

Northpoint Seattle: Offering Recovery Care for Alcohol Addiction

At our treatment centers in Bellevue and Seattle, our patients can access a range of outpatient recovery care programming designed to provide cutting-edge treatment in a way that works with real people’s lives. We are dedicated to helping individuals and families dealing with alcohol addiction in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with drinking and wants to stop, reach out to our caring and compassionate staff today at 888.483.6031 or by filling out our online form. The best time to seek help for drinking is right now, and with support and care, recovery is possible.