Quote from thghtsreal:Well, it sounds absolutely awfull. How could anyone go through that kind of detox experience and then drink alchohol (or use drugs) again?
Asking this is like asking why anyone who went through the pain and trauma of childbirth would ever do it more than once. In addition to the brain illness that is addiction, the human mind has an amazing ability to forget pain. Besides, most people who have DT's remember very little of what happened, if they survive.
I helped open the first detox in my region in 1972. DT's were not uncommon in those early days. Few people realize that alcohol withdrawal is the most dangerous of any withdrawal, followed by benzodiazipines (Valium
, Librium, Zanax.) The benzo withdrawal often doesn't kick in for 1 to 2 weeks and the first symptom is often an epileptic seizure. Alcohol withdrawal can progress from high blood pressure, shakes and sweats to seizures to hallucinosis (mentioned in an earlier post) and finally DT's. In detox, we medicate just enough to keep the withdrawal syndrome from progressing - so medical supervision of detox is very important. Once DT's set in, the body is completely haywire and dramatic medical intervention is needed. Even then, the mortality rate of people in DT's approaches 50%!
Withdrawal from other drugs like opiates is uncomfortable, but rarely dangerous unless there is some serious underlying medical condition. One statement earlier that is innacurate is that DT's are more of a problem for older drinkers. While it is true that nutrition plays a role, some young alcoholics are particularly susceptible to DT's despite their age and length of problem.