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Updated 06 October 2014

Withdrawing from alcohol

Withdrawal from alcohol is dramatic and highly unpleasant. These include from mild hangovers to total withdrawal, including convulsions, and hallucinations.

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Withdrawal from alcohol is dramatic and highly unpleasant. These include from mild hangovers to total withdrawal, including convulsions, and hallucinations.

Hangovers, after a single bout of excessive drinking, can consist of headaches, sleep disturbances, anxiety, nausea, tremors and vomiting.

More severe withdrawal include all of the above with the further possibility of convulsions, loss of consciousness, hallucinations and delirium tremens. These delusions are often terrifying and may produce violent behaviour.

There is a 10 – 20 percent mortality rate associated with the final stages of withdrawal from severe addiction to alcohol. This withdrawal usually requires medical supervision.

With the above facts in mind, it is important to make informed decisions about drinking. It must also be remembered that if someone in your family has a drinking problem, your chances of becoming an alcoholic immediately increase, because the tendency appears to be genetically inherited.

If you are drunk, you are also much more likely to die in a car accident, be run over by a car, to drown or to injure yourself in some way. Alcohol should be consumed with great care and never in great quantities. There is nothing romantic about dying from cirrhosis of the liver, or getting a great big puffy red nose from drinking too much or having regular hangovers.

Organisations that could help, include Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon (for families where drinking is a problem) and Al-Ateen (for helping teenagers cope in families where drinking is a problem). Look in your local telephone directory for the numbers in your area.

 
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