Alcohol abuse and addiction can destroy lives, but detoxing from alcohol also poses some dangers if this process is not carried out properly. A physical tolerance for alcohol can develop over time, especially if you consume this substance on a regular basis or in large amounts. If you try and quit cold turkey then the dangers of alcohol detox can be numerous. Serious medical complications can occur, and there are medications that may be given in order to minimize cravings and prevent serious or permanent harm to your body and internal organs. Initially neurological changes and thought patterns are affected, and this can occur in as little as 6 hours from having your last drink or as long as 2-3 days after you consume the last of the alcohol.
When the neurological changes occur due to detoxing from alcohol hallucinations may occur. You could see, hear, smell, and taste things that are not real. Seizures are also a common issue when alcohol use is stopped, and these can be mild or extremely severe and life threatening. Individuals with chronic alcohol abuse over a long period of time are at the greatest risk and need an alcohol detox program with medical supervision the most. Confusion, irritability, and disorientation can also occur because you stop drinking. Irregular heartbeats and other cardiac rhythm problems can cause a heart attack, and strokes are also a possibility during the detox phase of alcohol addiction treatment. An increase in blood pressure can occur due to the strain on the body, and eventually death is a real risk to the individual who is undergoing detox for alcohol use.