That’s because people with alcohol dependence, and abrupt cessation of drinking untreated can cause, during withdrawal, among other serious problems, delirium, shock, preload, seizures (which may be recurrent), and even death.
On the other hand, the risks of withdrawal for the patient and society are not limited to the severity of natural disturbances, especially when detoxification is conducted on an outpatient basis. Because patients in outpatient alcohol detoxification are at risk of self-medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and the interplay between this self-medication and physician-prescribed medicines may cause overdose or brain damage.
Some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that may occur within a few hours after the last intake of alcohol, and typically peak between 24 and 36 hours after the last intake. Early withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, agitation, insomnia, diaphoresis, nausea, vomiting, tremors, tachycardia and hypertension.
But these early signs may be followed by attacks product of alcohol withdrawal, which can be recurrent and occur mostly within 48 hours after you have stopped drinking alcohol. The delirium alcohol withdrawal or delirium tremens, usually begins between 48 and 72 hours after the last intake, and is preceded by the first signs and symptoms of abstinence, although these symptoms can be masked or delayed by associated diseases or taking medication. Signs of sympathetic hyperactivity (such as tachycardia, hypertension, fever and diaphoresis or excessive sweating), are hallmarks of alcohol withdrawal delirium, and often profound. The mortality rate is estimated between 1% and 5%, but increases if diagnosis is delayed, if carried out inadequate treatment, or concurrent medical conditions.
In summary, alcohol withdrawal symptoms produces opposed to direct pharmacological effects of alcohol. In the central nervous system, alcohol interferes with the processes by which certain nerve cells are ordered to be turned on or aroused. Similarly, intensifies the processes by ordering certain cells to show restraint. Thus, ethanol acts as a nonspecific biochemical inhibitor of the central nervous system activity.
During withdrawal, as noted, the central nervous system experiences a reversal of this effect: the process of excitation is increased while the inhibitory processes are reduced. Such changes can result in a hyper activation of the central nervous system is suppressed when alcohol intake.
They have found that even in people with moderate withdrawal symptoms, you may feel that hyperactivity in the sympathetic nervous system, together with increased production of adrenal hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which can be toxic to nerve cells. Cortisol, on the other hand, can damage neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is considered especially important for memory and control of affective states.
Thus, repeated untreated alcohol withdrawal can result in direct damage of the hippocampus. And here we must remember that the hardness of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome carries a high risk of relapse, especially during its early stages. In part, because the craving for the consumption of alcohols l is easily provoked by thoughts of stimuli associated with the drug. Studies have shown that these relapses, ie, repeated periods of abstinence in the same person without proper treatment can lead to future abstinence with serious negative consequences. Many researchers believe that alcoholics who can not maintain abstinence should receive treatment centers specialized alcoholism, drug therapy to control symptoms of the withdrawal and thus reduce potential attacks and brain damage.
For these reasons, alcohol detoxification treatment without medical management and an appropriate level of care is a major health risk and even the lives of patients. Therefore, the specialized treatment centers for alcohol detoxification is the best alternative available today.