Alcohol Withdrawal & Death

Photo by Karen Blue

RIP Amy Winehouse – A brilliant and troubled musical protege and when she died her family blamed Alcohol Withdrawal.

The tabloids quoted her family as saying the lethal seizure that killed her was the result of a hasty and ill-conceived detox. Was this fact? Let’s explore the morbid realm of death from Alcohol Withdrawal.

Professionals agree that individuals who consume a great deal of alcohol for many years and then suddenly stop can have severe seizures. These acute seizures can cause the person to aspirate food from the stomach into the trachea and this can cause choking and death. (Sadly three of my favorite musicians met the fate of choking on their own vomit from heavy drinking: The late Bon Scott from AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix and John Bonham the drummer in Led Zeppelin). In addition a severe seizure can cause head injury, which can also be fatal.

The most common Alcohol Withdrawal side effects are less severe, they include; Insomnia, excessive sweating, irregular heart rate, hallucinations, high blood pressure and hyperventilation.

Alcohol is very damaging to your body, it negatively impacts your digestive and central nervous system. The bodies of heavy drinkers adjust to this over time and learn to accommodate these changes. For this reason going “cold turkey” can cause serious problems and even lead to injury or death.

Your body is so amazing that it can adjust to the poisons of Alcohol and keep a balance that allows you to function somewhat normally. A long-time drinker who stops suddenly will usually experience shock and a state of “hyperarousal”. Instead of the sedating effects of the drug Alcohol, the individual will experience the polar opposite, a hyperactivity of the senses. In serious cases Alcohol Withdrawal can cause heart arrhythmias, major kidney and liver damage, in the worst cases it can cause death.

If you are a heavy drinker, consider the risks and don’t gamble with your life. Seek professional help from a Doctor or trained professional in the field of rehab and recovery. These experts can help you with the mental and physical effects of Alcohol Withdrawal. They can also recommend and prescribe the appropriate medication to help ease Alcohol Withdrawal side effects.

Experienced professionals can monitor your health during the Alcohol Withdrawal process in a controlled, safe and secure environment. Detox is a serious business and trying to do it alone is risky and can lead to severe complications. This is a situation which needs to be taken seriously.

Alcohol Withdrawal has and can cause death in certain cases. To do it responsibly this should not be undertaken alone without professional help and supervision.