If your spouse is an alcoholic, rehab is the best place for him or her to be. Withdrawals from an alcohol addiction are not an issue you should play around with. Not only can they be very severe, but some symptoms can be deadly without proper medical supervision. However, not every person is going to want to go to rehab. Your spouse may believe that they can get through the withdrawals on their own. You may have to carefully watch your spouse if they want to go through the process in their home.
If this is the case for you and your spouse, then you will need to carefully monitor them while they are going through withdrawal. Being prepared for the worst is important. Ask yourself this question- If my spouse is going through alcohol withdrawal at home, what are emergency signs I need to call 911? Knowing what to look for is vital to the health of your spouse. When in doubt, call your local emergency room for information. If you believe your spouse is in serious danger, do not hesitate to call 911.
Before your spouse decides to quit alcohol on his or her own, you should both read the following signs.
Understanding the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
The longer and heavier you have used alcohol, the higher chance you will suffer from withdrawal when you decide to quit. Your withdrawal symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on your personal situation. Withdrawal can start anywhere from six to eight hours after you have consumed your last alcoholic beverage.
The early stages of withdrawal can include the following:
• Excess sweating
• Pupil dilation
• Mild confusion
• Mood swings
• Pale or clammy skin
• Loss of appetite
While the above symptoms are normal for a person to develop during alcohol withdrawal, monitor them carefully. If any of these symptoms become worse over time, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or local emergency room for guidance.
When to Call 911
The second-stage symptoms are the ones that are generally more severe. If this is the case, professional care is almost always needed. These symptoms typically begin between 12 and 24 hours after the drinking has stopped. Call 911 if your spouse experiences any of the following:
• Muscle rigidity
• Trouble breathing
• Loss of bowel control
• Uncontrolled jaw clenching
What is Delirium Tremens?
If your spouse has been a heavy drinker for a long period of time, they may develop a condition called delirium tremens. Also knows as DTs, this condition can occur within two to three days of their last drink. However, some patients experience them a week or more later after their last drink. Once DT symptoms appear, they can rapidly become worse.
The usual signs of DTs include:
• Heavy sweating
• Delirium (very severe confusion)
• Rapid heart rate and muscle tremors
• Irregular heartbeat
• Being sensitive to sounds and lights
If your spouse is exhibiting any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Without proper medical supervision, DTs can be life-threatening.
After the Hospital Stay
If your spouse goes to the hospital for alcohol withdrawal, it is crucial that you set up a stay in a residential detox center. The staff will help your spouse feel better while they are a patient, but they will soon release them. He or she will still be going through withdrawals, so having medical support in a facility is crucial at this time. Find a facility that can take care of your spouse after he or she is discharged from the hospital.
The staff at a rehab facility will carefully monitor your spouse during the rest of their detox. They may or may not give them medication to help ease whatever symptoms they have. If possible, an inpatient rehab is your best bet, especially if your spouse was hospitalized for alcohol withdrawals. The staff will be able to monitor your spouse day and night. This also takes the pressure off of you.
What Happens Next?
Once your spouse gets through the withdrawal symptoms, they will move on to the therapeutic portion of rehab. This is an important part of any rehab stay. It includes dual diagnosis, private and group therapy sessions, family counseling, and often holistic treatments. The rehab will also help your spouse find aftercare services when it comes time to leave.
Are you ready to get the help you need for alcohol addiction? Give us a call at 772-266-5320, and get started today!