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Alcohol Withdrawal and Delerium Tremens

answered 07:53 PM EST, Wed May 21, 2014
anonymous anonymous
If I felt like bugs were crawling beneath my skin while I was in alcohol withdrawal does that mean I had the DTs? I detoxed on my own and I thought I was going to die it was absolute hell.

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds
MSED, NCC, LPC

Thank you for your question. I'm sure it was a difficult experience going through alcohol withdrawal at home. The feeling you described of bugs crawling beneath your skin could have been delirium tremens or DTs. They are a severe form of alcohol withdrawal. They can include many symptoms such as hallucinations, tremors, fears, agitation and mood swings. It is dangerous to detox from alcohol without medical attention. Alcohol withdrawal is one type of withdrawal that can be fatal if not treated properly. It is possible to have a seizure which could be life threatening. Even though it sounds like you are through the withdrawal, you should get checked by a doctor. A complete check-up can discover if you have any health problems as a result of your drinking or the alcohol withdrawal itself.

If you should ever relapse and begin drinking again, I urge you to not try detoxing on your own again. Not only is it life threatening but it isn't necessary for you to experience such discomfort without help. A hospital could safely detox you and make you more comfortable than what you experienced at home.

I hope you will consider taking steps to prevent becoming dependent on alcohol again. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and counseling could help you so you don't relapse back into drinking. I'm sure you don't want to go through withdrawal again but this often isn't enough to keep an alcoholic from relapsing. Over time the pain of withdrawal will fade from your memory and it can be easy to convince yourself that it is alright to drink again. Having some kind of support system will lessen the chances of a relapse. I hope you find the support you need. Good luck with your recovery.

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Page last updated May 21, 2014

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