Alcohol addiction is a serious medical condition that can have devastating effects on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. People who are addicted to alcohol may experience a wide range of physical and psychological health problems, one of the most serious being DTS alcohol, also called delirium tremens. But what exactly is this condition, and how does it develop? Keep reading for the answers to frequently asked questions about DTS, and if you struggle with alcohol addiction, there is help, thanks to residential treatment centers, such as The Hope House.
What is DTS?
Delirium tremens (DTS) is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for a long period of time. It usually develops within 48 to 72 hours after the last drink and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If left untreated, DTs can lead to seizures, coma, and even death. The exact cause of DTs is not known, but it is believed to be caused by the body’s reaction to the sudden reduction in alcohol intake. When someone who has been drinking heavily for a long period of time suddenly stops, their brain and body become accustomed to the presence of alcohol. When alcohol is no longer present, the brain and body become confused and can overreact, leading to DTs.
What are the symptoms of DTS?
DTS is characterized by a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including confusion and hallucinations. The most common symptoms of DTS are:
- Confusion: People with DTS may experience confusion and disorientation, including difficulty thinking, speaking, and understanding. They may also have difficulty remembering and concentrating.
- Hallucinations: People with DTS may experience auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations. These can range from mild to severe and can be frightening.
- Agitation: People with DTS may be agitated, restless, and have difficulty sleeping.
- Tremors: People with DTS may experience tremors, which can be mild or severe.
- Seizures: Seizures are a common symptom of DTS and can range from mild to severe.
- Sweating: People with DTS may experience excessive sweating, especially at night.
- Heart palpitations: People with DTS may experience rapid heart rate and palpitations.
- Visual disturbances: People with DTS may experience visual disturbances, including blurred vision and light sensitivity.
- Nausea and vomiting: People with DTS may experience nausea and vomiting.
- Fever: People with DTS may experience a fever.
How is DTS treated?
The most important step in treating delirium tremens is to stop drinking alcohol. This is the only way to prevent further episodes of delirium tremens. The patient should also be monitored closely for signs of withdrawal symptoms, and medical help should be sought immediately if any signs are present. Once a patient has been stabilized, medications are often used to help reduce symptoms and to prevent further episodes. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam, and chlordiazepoxide, are commonly used to reduce anxiety and agitation. Antipsychotics, such as haloperidol, can also be used to help with agitation and psychosis. In addition to medications, supportive care is also an important part of the treatment of delirium tremens. This includes providing a safe and quiet environment, which can help reduce the risk of further episodes. It is also important to provide emotional support and reassurance.
Overall, delirium tremens is a dangerous and potentially fatal condition that can occur when someone suddenly stops drinking alcohol after a period of heavy drinking. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of delirium tremens and to seek immediate medical help if they occur. With appropriate medical care, the risk of death can be significantly reduced.