If you’ve been a chronic alcoholic for years, seizures are a very scary and very real danger if you attempt to quit drinking. Anyone can get alcohol withdrawal seizures, even if they’ve never had a seizure before in their life.
Do not make the mistake of underestimating withdrawal seizures (also known as delirium tremens). Anyone can experience this common symptom of alcohol withdrawal during detox, and without proper medical treatment, the consequences can be severe.
Delirium tremens will cause dangerous changes to your breathing, temperature regulation, hydration, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause confusion, disorientation, and loss of consciousness, and even hallucinations due to reduced blood flow to the brain. In some cases, it may even lead to death.
Here’s a video showing what alcohol withdrawal seizures can look like:
Taking The Proper Precautions
The most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of harm is to detox at an treatment center. If your hands tend to start shaking after you’ve gone awhile without drinking, then you’re at an even higher risk of experiencing alcohol withdrawal seizures, and its very important that you don’t detox at home.
If for whatever reason you insist on detoxing at home, if you start to get tremors (usually starting about 5-10 hours after your last drink), check yourself into a hospital or detox facility immediately. Know that seizures usually begin about 2-3 days after you’ve had your last drink, but it can happen as late as a week after your last drink.
To put the severity into perspective, even alcoholics with the right prescription medication meant to prevent seizures will still sometimes get seizures. If you don’t have the right medication on hand, the risk is even greater.