Delirium Tremens (DTs): Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Delirium tremens (DTs) is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and can lead to hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. Effective treatment is available for those who may be suffering from alcohol abuse and withdrawal.

What Is Delirium Tremens (DTs)?

Delirium tremens, often called DTs, is the most severe symptom associated with alcohol withdrawal. When someone drinks heavily, their body becomes dependent on alcohol in order to function; if alcohol use stops suddenly, acute withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens may occur. DTs may be referred to as alcohol withdrawal delirium, or “having the shakes.”

DTs are characterized by a serious onset of symptoms, including extreme confusion, seizures, or mental disturbance. Researchers estimate that 50 percent of those suffering from alcohol abuse will exhibit alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they decrease their usage, and between three and five percent will experience DTs.

What Causes Delirium Tremens (DTs)?

Delirium tremens can occur when someone with heavy alcohol use stops drinking suddenly. Heavy alcohol consumption, especially over a length of time, can lead to a host of medical issues, in addition to DTs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines excessive drinking as consuming 15 drinks per week for men, and 8 drinks per week for women. Some individuals may not understand what constitutes a standard drink, thereby minimizing their actual alcohol consumption.

A standard drink refers to:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor

Alcohol use interferes with the way the body regulates GABA, an essential neurotransmitter. The body may mistake alcohol for GABA, and stop production of GABA as a result. If someone struggling with heavy alcohol use stops drinking, their body believes there is not enough GABA to function, which can lead to symptoms associated with delirium tremens.

Additional risk factors for developing delirium tremens include:

  • Drinking history: Those with a history of alcohol withdrawal are at an increased risk of DTs. If someone drinks heavily and quits multiple times, they may have experienced multiple instances of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Length of alcohol use: Those who have been drinking heavily for a period of 10 years or more are at an increased risk for DTs.
  • Malnutrition: Individuals with heavy alcohol usage may have replaced food with alcohol, leading to a higher risk of delirium tremens.
  • Medical complications: Those who have a history of seizures, or are currently battling an illness or infection, are at a greater risk for DTs.
  • Age and gender: Older adult men have the highest prevalence of delirium tremens.
  • Ethnicity and race: Research indicates that Caucasian men are more likely to develop DTs.

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Symptoms Of Delirium Tremens (DTs)

DTs can begin as early as 48 hours after abrupt alcohol cessation, and can last up to five days. If treatment is not sought, this condition is associated with a 37 percent mortality rate. Delirium tremens is a medical emergency, and knowing the symptoms of DTs can save someone’s life. If someone experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Delirium Tremens_Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • agitation
  • body tremors
  • confusion
  • change in mental ability
  • disorientation
  • irregular heartbeat
  • trouble breathing
  • hallucinations
  • stomach pain
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • mood swings
  • restlessness
  • extreme fatigue
  • change in attention span
  • delusion (believing irrational things)
  • delirium (extreme mental disturbance)
  • seizure

Diagnosis And Treatment of Delirium Tremens (DTs)

Delirium tremens affect thousands of Americans every year. Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the U.S., and DTs affect three to five percent of those suffering from alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and every year, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related health issues like DTs. Because DTs can be difficult to manage, the medical community now focuses on preventing DTs with routine alcohol screenings.

Diagnosis of DTs can be completed by a healthcare professional, and will likely include a physical exam to check for fever, dehydration, tremors, and irregular heartbeat. The physician may ask questions regarding the patient’s history with alcohol and alcohol withdrawal.

If you or someone close to you is exhibiting signs of delirium tremens, seek medical attention immediately. Hospitals and emergency response teams are equipped to treat DTs through the use of medication like benzodiazepines, in order to sedate and stabilize the patient. Being in a medical setting allows healthcare providers to monitor the patient, preventing further any complication.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

While many people attempt to detox from alcohol at home, this can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal and DTs can be life-threatening, and should be supervised in a medical setting. Fortunately, there is treatment available throughout the U.S., including alcohol detox programs and addiction rehab centers.

Once someone has successfully detoxed from alcohol, they are encouraged to explore options for entering an alcohol treatment center. Private insurance and public assistance programs help ensure that affordable, effective treatment is available to all.

For more information on preventing delirium tremens, or to learn more about treatment options near you, contact us today.



Prednisone is prescribed to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. This drug comes with a lengthy list of side effects, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can amplify any possible complications.

Over-the-counter medications such as prednisone can cause adverse reactions when taken with other drugs, including alcohol. Both prednisone and alcohol have been linked to health complications, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a generic steroid (corticosteroid) drug available by prescription only. Prednisone comes in a delayed-release tablet or an oral liquid, and should be taken with food or milk. The drug is classified as an immunosuppressant, and can be prescribed to treat conditions ranging from allergies to arthritis.

The brand names of prednisone include:

  • Contrast Allergy PreMed Pack
  • Deltasone
  • Prednicot
  • Prednisone Intensol
  • Rayos
  • Sterapred
  • Sterapred DS

Due to its many uses, prednisone may be prescribed to treat medical issues such as breathing trouble, inflammation, and symptoms of an allergic reaction, like itching and swelling.

Some additional conditions that can be treated by prednisone include:

  • asthma
  • inflammation
  • hormonal problems
  • eye and vision issues
  • digestive trouble
  • lupus
  • skin conditions
  • kidney problems
  • multiple sclerosis

Can You Mix Prednisone And Alcohol?

Prednisone is a powerful steroid, and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, including blood thinners, anti-inflammatories, birth control pills, and alcohol. Prednisone comes with a list of potential side effects, and mixing alcohol with prednisone can increase the severity of these reactions.

Side effects that may be caused by prednisone include:

  • mood swings
  • behavior changes
  • bloating
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • insomnia
  • shortness of breath
  • euphoria
  • swelling of face, arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • osteoporosis
  • muscle weakness

Due to the intensity of the potential side effects, prednisone should only be taken under the care of a physician. Mixing prednisone with alcohol can further increase these risks, as the negative side effects from both drugs can be magnified.

Mixing Prednisone and other drugs

Mixing prednisone and alcohol could lead to potentially harmful side effects, such as:

  • depression
  • worsening of a health condition that prednisone was prescribed to treat
  • increased danger of diabetes
  • compromised immune system
  • heightened chance of developing osteoporosis

Long-Term Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Prednisone

Alcohol is a depressant, and can have a major effect on an individual’s physical and mental well-being. Prednisone is another powerful drug, and mixing these two substances can result in long-term negative effects on an individual’s health.

Mixing prednisone and alcohol can result in long-term dangers, including:

  • diminished effectiveness of prednisone
  • missed doses of prednisone, causing steroid withdrawal
  • higher chance of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
  • elevated chance of developing an alcohol addiction
  • increased risk of overdose and death

Individuals may be prescribed prednisone for the treatment of a potentially life-threatening illness. When prednisone is mixed with alcohol, treatment for the original health condition may be interrupted, resulting in further health risks. Make sure to approach your doctor with any questions you may have about drinking alcohol while taking prednisone.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

More than 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse. If someone is struggling with mixing prednisone and alcohol, it may be a sign they are battling an alcohol use disorder. For those who are open to seeking help for their alcohol abuse and addiction, treatment is available.

The first step in seeking treatment is to ensure the individual safely withdraws from alcohol. When someone drinks heavily, their body becomes dependent on the drug, and quitting alcohol suddenly can result in acute withdrawal symptoms.

While some may believe you can successfully withdraw at home, alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and should always be medically supervised.

Some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • hallucinations
  • nightmares
  • uncontrollable shaking
  • delirium tremens (“DTs”), including fever, seizures, and confusion

Medically supervised detox programs provide a sheltered environment for individuals to safely detox from alcohol. Medical staff will provide sound support throughout the withdrawal process, and access to healthcare equipment keeps the individual stable.

Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a complicated yet treatable disease that changes the way the brain and body function. While no single treatment program type is appropriate for everyone, there are several types of addiction programs that can be effective in helping individuals recover.

Residential Treatment

Sometimes called inpatient treatment, these programs provide addiction treatment in a highly structured environment. Residential rehab programs usually include individual, family, and couples counseling, as well as 12-Step recovery meetings. Inpatient rehab programs also offer therapies such as medication-assisted treatment, creative arts and nature therapy, and faith-based recovery tracks.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) 

Some individuals may have personal commitments that prevent them from attending residential treatment programs. Partial hospitalization programs offer flexible program schedules, allowing those who have day jobs or young families the opportunity to attend treatment. PHPs are usually offered five days per week, for up to six hours per day.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Much like PHPs, intensive outpatient treatment caters to those with demanding schedules. Typically offered in both day and evening sessions, IOPs provide support through individual and group counseling, motivational interviewing, and recovery speakers.

For more information on mixing prednisone and alcohol, or to learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, contact us today.


Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are one of the most commonly prescribed types of antidepressants, but they can often include uncomfortable side effects. Mixing Celexa and alcohol can not only increase the severity of these side effects, but can also result in other health complications.

More than 43 million Americans suffer from mental health concerns, including several forms of depression. Treatment and medications such as Celexa (citalopram) are often prescribed to help those struggling with depression.

What Is Celexa (Citalopram)?

Celexa is a brand name for the antidepressant drug, citalopram. Because it is an SSRI, Celexa works to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that promotes a sense of mental balance.

Doctors may prescribe Celexa to treat mild to moderate depression. When an individual starts a new medication like Celexa, it can take up to four weeks to notice a difference in mood.

Be patient while your body adjusts to its new medication, and do not stop taking Celexa without first speaking to your doctor. Even if you don’t think the medication is working, stopping use suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with Celexa include:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • anxiety
  • shaking
  • confusion
  • irritation
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping

Can You Mix Celexa And Alcohol?

Any time someone is taking a medication, they are subject to a range of potential side effects. Alcohol has certain side effects of its own, and drinking alcohol can further intensify the side effects of citalopram.

Celexa And Alcohol Affects Many Americans

Alcohol is a depressant, and taking it in combination with other powerful drugs like Celexa can have adverse effects on your health. The FDA recommends avoiding alcohol while on Celexa.

Some of the hazards of taking Celexa with alcohol include:

  • stupor
  • intoxication
  • impaired judgment
  • feeling dazed, lethargic
  • increased risk of overdose

Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Celexa

Alcohol can have strong effects on one’s physical and mental health. When alcohol is combined with another drug, these negative effects have a higher chance of developing. Mixing Celexa and alcohol increases the chance and severity of the side effects of both substances.

Some of the long-term effects of mixing Celexa with alcohol include:

  • decreased effectiveness of Celexa
  • increased risk of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
  • higher chance of developing an addiction to alcohol
  • increased risk of overdose, coma, and death

Many people may not realize that even small amounts of alcohol mixed with Celexa can cause an adverse reaction. If you are prescribed Celexa, make sure to talk with your doctor about any questions you may have regarding alcohol use.

It’s important to prioritize your mental health. If your doctor has prescribed Celexa, consider taking a break from alcohol in order to treat your depression properly with medication.

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Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

Combining alcohol with any medication can result in severe health risks, and mixing alcohol with antidepressants like Celexa can be a warning sign of potential alcohol abuse. More than 18 percent of the U.S. adult population has experienced mental illness, and 7.9 million of these individuals also struggle with substance abuse.

Alcohol detox programs, combined with innovative, dual-diagnosis treatment, can be a life-saving option for those suffering from depression and alcohol abuse. When someone regularly ingests large amounts of alcohol, their body becomes dependent on having that substance in order to properly perform. If an alcohol-dependent individual suddenly quits drinking, it can propel them into life-threatening alcohol withdrawal.

Someone withdrawing from alcohol will likely experience symptoms such as:

  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • clouded thinking
  • compromised judgment
  • shakiness
  • poor appetite
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • mood swings
  • trembling hands
  • rapid heartbeat

Medical detox programs exist in order to monitor and safely guide patients through the withdrawal process. These stabilizing environments provide support, education, and medication-assisted treatment to help patients in withdrawal from alcohol successfully detox.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Detox is the first step, but it is not addiction treatment—those who simply detox and do not attend treatment may return to drinking. Fortunately, there are multiple approaches to addiction treatment, allowing individuals to select the best fit.

Some of the different types of alcohol rehab programs include:  

  • Inpatient care: With these residential-style programs, patients are given an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the recovery process. In highly supervised inpatient facilities, patients participate in various therapeutic activities, such as individual counseling, wellness groups, and medication-assisted treatment.  Inpatient addiction treatment facilities may also provide life skills education, including parenting classes, faith-based recovery approaches, and financial wellness courses.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): PHPs can be an excellent fit for those who are unable to make the time commitment to inpatient care. Typically offered five days per week, PHPs are often called “day treatment,” and meet for up to six hours per day.  Individual, couple, and family counseling is often provided, along with an emphasis on group therapy. PHPs may also host Twelve-Step support groups, a series of speakers, and job readiness curriculum for additional support.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment: Outpatient care is the most flexible level of treatment, usually offered several days per week, in half-day sessions. Intensive outpatient treatment is scheduled to accommodate those with families, or full-time professional commitments.  Because the schedule for outpatient care is not as regimented as other forms of treatment, these programs are usually recommended for those who have already been through inpatient treatment, or who have a strong recovery network of support.

Although mental health disorders and alcohol addiction affect millions of American families, there are affordable, personalized treatment options available.

To learn more about mixing Celexa and alcohol, or for questions regarding treatment for alcohol addiction, reach out to us today.


Not drinking alcohol may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have been drinking too much or are physically or mentally dependent on alcohol. While there are certainly ads and commercials portraying the fun and excitement of drinking alcohol, there aren’t many boasting about the benefits of quitting drinking alcohol or even the risks of drinking too much.

Quitting drinking offers both immediate benefits as well as benefits that you will enjoy over time. Whether you are taking a temporary break from drinking or are putting down the bottle for good, the benefits you’ll experience affect every aspect of your life.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking?

Drinking heavily for an extended period of time can wreak havoc on the body. If you are physically dependent on alcohol or have consumed high quantities of alcohol for a while, it’s best to attend a medically assisted detox program when quitting alcohol. When the body is dependent on alcohol, it can go into shock when you first stop drinking.

The Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol

Once the body is fully detoxed from alcohol, you will begin to notice immediate benefits of when you stop drinking. Nearly every organ and system in the body is affected by alcohol, so once you stop drinking, these systems and organs are able to return to normal.

A few of the many areas of the body where you will see the benefits of not drinking include:

  • Immune system — Alcohol can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off illnesses and diseases. Once an individual stops drinking, the immune system is able to heal and will be able to ward off sickness.
  • Heart — Our hearts are greatly affected by alcohol abuse. The heart can become damaged and the muscles around it can weaken, making individuals more prone to heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, strokes, heart disease, and more.
  • Liver — The liver is also affected by excessive alcohol use. This organ is responsible for breaking down any substance we put into our bodies. Alcohol abuse can lead to a buildup of toxins in the liver, as it is unable to break down the substance fast enough when consumed in high quantities. Once a person stops drinking, the liver is able to process the toxins and substances that have built up over time.
  • Weight — Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can lead to weight gain. Alcohol is mostly empty calories and can cause the metabolism to slow down, resulting in added pounds to the body. When an individual stops drinking, they’re eliminating those excess calories and also allowing the metabolism to begin functioning normally again.

What Happens To Your Brain When You Quit Drinking?

The benefits that can be felt in the body are just the beginning of the positive effects that come when a person stops drinking alcohol. Your brain will also experience a number of positive changes that can be felt soon after giving up the drink.

Benefits of Quitting Alcohol_Brain Damage

When alcohol is consumed in large quantities, it can slow the communication between the brain’s neurotransmitters and neurons. This can interfere with a number of major functions in the body, including speaking, movement, breathing, and thinking.

Alcohol consumption can cause serious damage to the brain, but once a person stops drinking, their brain will begin to repair and reap the rewards. A few of these benefits include:

  • Concentration — Many people reportedly feel more mentally clear and less foggy and have noted an increase in their ability to concentrate once they quit drinking alcohol.
  • Memory function — A brain constantly exposed to alcohol can cause memory loss or decreased memory function.  When you stop drinking, the brain will be able to store memories more efficiently for increased memory function.
  • Better sleep — Alcohol consumption disrupts sleep and can cause individuals to wake up feeling groggy and unrested. The body continues to break down alcohol while we sleep, so it does not truly get to rest after consuming alcohol. When you give up drinking, you give your body and mind the ability to truly rest while you sleep, so you’ll feel better and more rested in the morning.
  • Mood — Because alcohol is a depressant, long-term use can have a negative effect on an individual’s overall mood. This is especially true for individuals who are prone to depression, as alcohol can make depression worse. However, when you stop drinking, your mood should stabilize and you will feel better in general.

Other Benefits Of Quitting Alcohol Use

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, there are several other benefits that can be enjoyed when you quit drinking alcohol. These include the following:

  • more energy
  • skin that is more clear and hydrated
  • better digestive function
  • reduced risk of illness, heart disease, and breast cancer
  • increased ability to absorb minerals and vitamins

The benefits of not drinking alcohol span across every aspect of an individual’s life. A person’s overall well-being is positively impacted when he or she stops drinking. And, it’s not just limited to physical benefits. Not drinking can also mean better grades and attendance in school, higher performance at work, and better functioning within relationships.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms that may be experienced when withdrawing from alcohol can range from moderate to severe and can begin as soon as two hours after the last drink is ingested. Some of the more common symptoms include

  • shaking hands
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • sweating more than usual

More severe symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens, or DTs. Symptoms of DTs are extremely dangerous and require medical attention immediately. They can be life-threatening if medical help is not sought.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

If you believe that you have an addiction to alcohol and are physically dependent on it, it’s important that you seek medical treatment before beginning the detox process. Once an individual stops consuming alcohol after abusing it for an extended period of time, the body can go into shock and uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms can occur.

A medically supervised detox program offers a comfortable place where people can safely withdraw from alcohol. Most detox facilities will provide 24/7 medical care as well as any needed medication to ensure the detox process is as easy as possible.

Seeking Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

When a detox program has been successfully completed, many people struggling with an alcohol use disorder choose to continue on to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Both forms of treatment offer individualized programs catered to a person’s unique needs and situation.

Inpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Inpatient rehab programs are the most intensive form of alcohol addiction treatment available and require patients to reside at the treatment facility for a set amount of time, typically around 30 to 60 days. During their stay, patients undergo intensive treatment every day to help them recover from an alcohol use disorder.

A few common treatment approaches used in inpatient rehab include:

Many treatment facilities will center their programs around one form of treatment, such as behavioral therapy, and incorporate other types of therapy to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.

Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If a person is unable to attend an inpatient treatment program, there are many outpatient programs available that vary in intensity. Partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs are more focused types of outpatient treatment and require the individual to attend treatment several times a week. Regular outpatient programs are less intensive.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits that come with not drinking alcohol, and how to find treatment so you can reap these benefits, contact us today.


Before beginning any new medication, it’s imperative to get a full understanding of the drug and how it works. It’s also important to know of any side effects or interactions that may arise while taking the new medication.

Some prescribed medications and over-the-counter drugs can have adverse reactions when taken with alcohol or other substances. One medication that is not recommended to be taken with alcohol is the antidepressant, fluoxetine (Prozac).

Prozac is a common drug prescribed for depression and anxiety and has helped countless people lead normal and fulfilling lives. However, mixing Prozac and alcohol can have serious side effects, such as increased depression, anxiety, and drowsiness.

What Is Prozac (Fluoxetine)?

Fluoxetine, brand name Prozac, is an incredibly popular and well-known antidepressant. Prozac is most often prescribed for depression, but can also be used in the treatment of panic disorders, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and bulimia.

Prozac is an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These types of drugs work on the serotonin neurotransmitter in the brain and help to boost mood and prevent feelings of anxiety and depression. SSRIs are a very popular form of antidepressant used today because they cause very little side effects and interactions when compared to other types of antidepressants.

Prozac And Alcohol_Prozac Prescribed

Before you begin taking Prozac, or any new medication, your doctor will first review your medical history and any other drugs you are currently taking. It’s important to inform your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescribed medications you are on as well as whether you drink alcohol or use drugs. This is to prevent you from experiencing any adverse reactions when taking Prozac.

Can You Mix Alcohol With Prozac?

Side effects are always a possibility when mixing any two substances, and it’s important to understand how both drugs work before deciding to mix them.

Both Prozac and alcohol can cause tiredness and interfere with alertness as well as coordinated motion. When combined, these effects are only enhanced, which means that drinking alcohol while taking Prozac can cause intense drowsiness much quicker than using any one substance on its own.

The drowsiness that can be caused by mixing these two substances can result in potentially dangerous situations, such as impaired driving and poor decision-making skills. You are also at an increased risk of falling and becoming injured.

Additionally, alcohol can exacerbate any side effects that may be caused by Prozac. Common side effects include the following:

  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • feeling anxious
  • upset stomach

Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac can potentially make these side effects worse.

Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Prozac

While no long-term effects have been found through research or studies, this doesn’t mean that long-term effects don’t exist. It’s very possible for the effects of mixing Prozac and alcohol to worsen over time.

Prozac is a drug that is taken for extended periods of time. As a result, it’s best to discuss your drinking habits with your doctor before consuming alcohol while taking Prozac. Your doctor may suggest that you avoid alcohol entirely while taking fluoxetine, or they may say it’s okay to drink on occasion. Whatever is suggested, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders.

The Dangers Of Mixing Prozac And Alcohol

What’s more, mixing Prozac and alcohol comes with a risk of fluoxetine not working to its fullest. This means that, for example, if you are taking Prozac to treat depression, you run the risk of continued symptoms of depression when drinking alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can even make symptoms of depression worse than when you started taking Prozac.

Other potential risks that can arise when mixing Prozac and alcohol include the following:

  • sudden fatigue and weakness
  • dizziness
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • suicidal thoughts

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to stop drinking immediately and contact your physician.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

If you believe you are struggling with alcohol addiction, the first step to overcoming it is to detox from alcohol. However, it is not suggested that you do this alone. Withdrawing from alcohol can be extremely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, especially if you have a high physical dependence to the substance.

Medically supervised detox programs provide the medical support needed to ensure a safe and comfortable withdrawal from alcohol. These programs also provide a substance-free environment, allowing individuals to detox without the temptation to drink. Most detox programs are three to 10 days, but the exact length will depend on the patient’s unique condition.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be not only uncomfortable but potentially dangerous and even life-threatening in some cases. Symptoms can begin two to six hours after the last drink and can last several days or even weeks. Symptoms depend largely on the level of physical dependence an individual has on alcohol.

Mild symptoms can include vomiting, insomnia, shaky hands, nausea, and excessive sweating. More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include seizures and hallucinations. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Prozac And Alcohol_Delirium Tremens

What’s more, individuals with an extremely high physical dependence on alcohol can also experience something called delirium tremens, or DTs. DTs typically begin 48 to 72 hours after the last drink and can be life-threatening if not medically treated.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include hallucinations, high blood pressure, confusion, and shaking. If you experience any of these symptoms while withdrawing from alcohol, get medical help immediately.

Inpatient Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Once a medically assisted detox program has been successfully completed, many people choose to continue with some form of alcohol addiction treatment. The most common type of treatment, and often the most successful, is inpatient alcohol addiction treatment. This type of program requires individuals to reside at the treatment facility for an extended length of time, usually 10 to 30 days. The exact amount of time an individual spends in inpatient treatment will be determined by his or her condition and unique needs.

Many treatment facilities offer a variety of therapies to supplement a comprehensive approach to recovery. Most rehab centers will personalize each individual’s treatment plan to suit his or her specific needs and situation.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Many alcohol addiction treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as part of their approach to recovery. While not to be used on its own, MAT is a great supplement and can assist in the overall success of an alcohol addiction treatment plan.

The three drugs currently used in the treatment of alcoholism include acamprosate calcium (Campral), disulfiram (Antabuse), and naltrexone (Vivitrol). Antabuse is a drug that works by causing people to become sick when they drink alcohol, which in turn prevents individuals from drinking. Campral is used during the detox process to ease physical and emotional discomfort. Vivitrol is a drug that prevents individuals from feeling the euphoric sensations produced by alcohol in the brain and body.

Behavioral Therapy

Many treatment facilities utilize behavioral therapy, which is a therapy aimed at changing negative or destructive behaviors (such as using drugs or excessively drinking alcohol). There are several forms of behavioral therapy, with the most popular being cognitive behavioral therapy, aversion therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders

If you or your loved one is on Prozac and suffering from an alcohol use disorder, there is a likely chance that your loved one has a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. This is when an individual has both a mental health disorder, such as a depression, as well as a substance use disorder. While this can often make treatment more difficult, there are many rehab centers that offer treatment specifically for co-occurring disorders.

Support Groups For Alcohol Abuse

Support groups are a great way to supplement the overall recovery experience during and after treatment. Many treatment facilities center their programs around a 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Support groups such as AA give individuals the opportunity to meet others in recovery and form lasting bonds in a sober community.

In addition to inpatient alcohol addiction treatment, there are also many outpatient treatment programs for those with a less severe alcohol use disorder or who cannot get away from their responsibilities for an extended length of time. The most popular forms of outpatient treatment include intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs. If you are unsure which type of treatment is best for you, speak with your primary care physician.

To learn more about the interactions and side effects that can arise when mixing alcohol and Prozac, or for information on treatment programs, contact us today.


What Is Zoloft?

Sertraline, brand name Zoloft, is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder. It’s a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which means that it primarily works on the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.

SSRIs are among one of the most common medications prescribed and are believed to have far fewer side effects than other forms of antidepressants. When a doctor prescribes any medication, he or she will go over the possible side effects of the drug.

Zoloft dosages and alcohol use

Before beginning any medication, it’s important that you tell your doctor your complete medical history as well as any allergies or interactions you’ve had with medications. This helps your doctor know whether he or she should prescribe a particular medication and ensures that you do not have any adverse reactions.

In addition to your medical history, you should also inform your doctor of any regular activities you partake in, such as drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs. While this may feel uncomfortable or even unnecessary, it’s important to be informed of any interactions that may arise when mixing a prescription with other drugs or alcohol.

Can You Mix Zoloft And Alcohol?

Zoloft is a popular drug that is prescribed for depression and anxiety. Many people believe that it is safe to drink alcohol while taking Zoloft. While there isn’t comprehensive research on this combination, the FDA advises against mixing the two.

Zoloft and alcohol are two substances that interact with the brain. Combining them can lead to the increase of the side effects and interactions that each drug can cause. For example, Zoloft can cause potential upset stomach. By mixing Zoloft with alcohol, serious stomach upset can occur.

Mixing Alcohol And Zoloft - Reverse Effects

Additionally, drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft can make your symptoms worse. This means that, for example, if you are taking Zoloft to treat depression, drinking alcohol can make your depression symptoms worse and limit the effects that Zoloft has in treating these symptoms. This is because alcohol is a depressant and can reverse the effects that Zoloft has on the serotonin levels in the brain.

Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Zoloft

While it’s known that alcohol can interfere with your ability to make decisions and overall alertness, mixing alcohol with Zoloft can add to this effect. Your ability to drive a car, motor skills, and judgment will be impaired far more when combining alcohol with Zoloft than if you were to drink alcohol alone.

Zoloft and alcohol causes more depression overtime

What’s more, combining alcohol and Zoloft can cause the antidepressant to not work as well as it would on its own. Alcohol may allow you to feel better in the short-term, it may actually increase levels of anxiety and depression in the long term.

Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Zoloft

The most prominent long-term side effect of mixing alcohol and Zoloft is depression. Alcohol can make you more depressed over time despite taking an antidepressant. As a result, drinking can make your condition worse and essentially render your prescription medication useless.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

If you believe you have a problem with alcohol, it’s important to seek help. This is especially true when it comes to detoxing from alcohol. Going through alcohol withdrawal alone can be potentially dangerous and even life-threatening depending on the level of physical dependence an individual has. Medically supervised detox programs provide a safe and secure place to withdraw from alcohol as well as a medical team to provide any support as needed.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can occur as soon as two hours after the last drink and can last up to four days or longer depending on the physical dependence level. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, with mild symptoms being nausea, anxiety, shaky hands, sweating, insomnia, and vomiting.

More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include hallucinations, seizures, or delirium tremens (often referred to as DTs). DTs typically start within 48 to 72 hours after your last drink and are extremely severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol.

If you experience any of these symptoms or others, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Medications For Alcohol Withdrawal

Sometimes, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) will be used during the detoxification process from alcohol. One of the most commonly used medications when detoxing from alcohol is naltrexone (Vivitrol). This drug is given as an intramuscular shot once every month and prevents the euphoric effects that alcohol as on the mind and body. As a result, Vivitrol can help to reduce alcohol cravings and prevent relapse.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Once you have completed the detoxification process, the next step would be to enter a treatment program for alcohol addiction. One of the most common approaches to an alcohol use disorder is an inpatient alcohol rehab program. This is an intensive type of treatment that requires individuals to live at the treatment facility for a set amount of time, usually 30 days. During their stay, patients will undergo daily treatment.

Some of the most common types of therapy offered at inpatient treatment facilities include:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)MAT involves supplementing a treatment program with medication that will help reduce cravings and prevent relapse. As mentioned above, the most often-used medication for alcohol addiction is Vivitrol.
  • Behavioral Therapy — There are many different types of behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavior therapy. All behavioral therapies are aimed at changing unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors, such as abusing drugs and alcohol.
  • Co-occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis)  Co-occurring disorders, or a dual diagnosis, occur when a mental health disorder and substance use disorder are present at the same time. For example, an individual may suffer from both depression and an alcohol use disorder. A dual diagnosis can make treatment tricky and requires therapy that focuses on healing all aspects of an individual’s mind, body, and spirit.
  • Support Groups — Many treatment facilities follow the 12-step method, which includes incorporating 12-step meetings into daily lives. Support groups are a great way to form friendships and interact with others who are dealing with an alcohol use disorder.

Additionally, outpatient addiction treatment is an option when it comes to seeking help for an alcohol addiction. There are many forms of outpatient treatment, including partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. This form of treatment is recommended for individuals with a more mild form of alcohol use disorder.

To learn more about mixing Zoloft and alcohol and the interactions and side effects that can arise, contact us today.


Any time you are prescribed a new medication, it’s important to understand everything you can about the drug before beginning to take it. Many medications can have side effects as well as interactions with other drugs, so it’s imperative that you know what to avoid when taking certain medications.

Some prescribed drugs, as well as over-the-counter medications, cannot be taken with alcohol. One such medication is escitalopram, or Lexapro. This is a commonly prescribed medication for depression and other mental health disorders.

If you are currently taking Lexapro, it’s important to avoid drinking alcohol while on this medication. Doing so can potentially cause serious side effects, such as drowsiness and increased anxiety.

What Is Lexapro (Escitalopram)?

Lexapro, or escitalopram, is an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. SSRIs work on the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain to boost the mood and minimize feelings of anxiety.

SSRIs are a very commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Before a physician prescribes a new medication, he or she will first evaluate the patient’s medical history and go over any potential side effects that the new drug may cause.

Before beginning any new medication, you will need to discuss any current drugs you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines, as well as the activities you regularly participate in, such as drinking. This is because some medications can cause interactions with other drugs or alcohol that can be severe or even life-threatening.

Can You Mix Lexapro And Alcohol?

While there has not been substantial testing on the interactions of Lexapro and alcohol, it is still advised to not mix the two drugs. Both substances affect the brain, and any interactions that may occur can potentially be serious.

Any time you drink while taking Lexapro, you are taking a risk. If you do choose to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro, it’s important to first discuss this with your doctor and keep your drinking to a moderate level.

Dangers Of Mixing Lexapro And Alcohol

When mixing any two substances, there is always a danger of potential side effects. This is especially true when mixing an antidepressant like Lexapro and alcohol. While not everyone will experience side effects, it’s important to be familiar with the potential interactions that may occur.

Drinking alcohol while on Lexapro can cause a number of side effects and can worsen any side effects that may be caused by Lexapro on its own. For example, side effects like nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, dizziness, diarrhea, and insomnia may become more severe when drinking.

Additionally, anxiety and depression can worsen when using alcohol and Lexapro together. This is because alcohol can lower the ability of Lexapro to treat the symptoms you are taking the drug for. As a result, it is best to avoid alcohol to ensure that Lexapro is working to its fullest potential.

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Effects Of Mixing Lexapro And Alcohol

In addition to worsened side effects and decreased efficacy of Lexapro, there are additional risks when mixing Lexapro and alcohol.

Mixing these two substances can put you at an elevated risk for alcoholism. Many people who are taking Lexapro are experiencing depression. Depression can lead individuals to consume drugs or alcohol in an attempt to deal with the symptoms and negative feelings of this mental health disorder.

However, alcohol can lessen the ability of Lexapro to treat the symptoms of depression. This, in turn, can cause individuals to drink more to cope.

As a result of increased drinking in an attempt to deal with depression, other risks inevitably arise. One of these risks is liver damage as a result of increased consumption of alcohol. The liver is responsible for breaking down toxins such as alcohol, and when high amounts of the substance are consumed, the liver cannot keep up, causing alcohol to be stored in the liver and slowly deteriorate this important organ.

Combining Lexapro and alcohol can also increase your risk for suicidal thoughts. One side effect of Lexapro is the increased risk for suicide, especially in individuals younger than age 24. Because alcohol increases your risk for depression, mixing Lexapro and drinking can elevate your risk for suicide.

Side Effects Of Lexapro

Possible side effects of Lexapro include:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • dry mouth
  • increased appetite
  • dizziness
  • heartburn
  • unusual sweating

These side effects, if they occur at all, tend to subside after the first few weeks of taking the drug. More serious side effects that are less common include lowered sex drive or diminished interest in sex, muscle stiffness, irregular heartbeat, fainting, fever, and panic attacks. While highly uncommon, if these symptoms arise, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Lexapro

While there are no known long-term effects of mixing alcohol and Lexapro, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. Many of the short-term effects can worsen over time when combining alcohol and Lexapro.

Because Lexapro is a drug used for long-term treatment of anxiety and depression, it’s important to discuss drinking while on this medication with your doctor. Your physician may say that it is okay to consume alcohol on an occasional basis, or he or she may suggest that you avoid alcohol entirely while on this drug. Everyone’s situation is different, and it is imperative to follow the advice given by your physician.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

Drinking alcohol excessively for an extended period of time puts you at a high risk for alcohol use disorder. If you are suffering with an alcohol addiction, a medically supervised detox program is the first step to recovery.

While detoxing from alcohol alone is certainly possible, it’s not recommended, especially if you have a high physical dependence on the substance. Withdrawing from alcohol can not only be incredibly uncomfortable but can lead to severe symptoms that can be dangerous or even life-threatening.

Lexapro And Alcohol Detox Programs

A medically supervised detox program offers the medical support needed to ensure that you withdraw from alcohol as safely and comfortably as possible. Detox programs can last anywhere from one to 10 days and are generally offered in a medical environment, such as a hospital or treatment facility.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start as soon two hours after your last drink and can last for days or even weeks depending on your physical dependence on the substance. Mild symptoms include shaky hands, nausea, excessive sweating, trouble sleeping, and vomiting.

Individuals with a higher physical dependence are also at risk for more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms can include hallucinations or seizures, both of which require immediate medical attention.

Additionally, if physical dependence is severe enough, individuals may even experience delirium tremens, commonly referred to as DTs. Delirium tremens can begin as soon as two to three days after the last drink and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of this condition include shaking, confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Medications For Alcohol Withdrawal

Some treatment facilities and detox programs will administer medications to help the detoxification process as easy as possible. One of the most popular drugs used in the treatment of an alcohol use disorder is naltrexone, which has the brand name of Vivitrol. This medication is often administered intramuscularly once a month and works by stopping the action of alcohol on the body and brain. This helps patients by reducing cravings for alcohol and helping to prevent relapse.

Inpatient Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Once a detox program has been completed successfully, the next step is to enter a treatment program for alcohol abuse and addiction. Inpatient alcohol addiction rehab programs are one of the most commonly suggested forms of treatment for an alcohol use disorder. These programs provide a high level of structure and intensive therapy on a daily basis.

Inpatient rehab programs require patients to reside in the treatment for an extended period of time, usually between 30 and 60 days. Each rehab facility will be different, but most tend to focus on a particular form of treatment and integrate other therapies to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Some treatment facilities incorporate medication-assisted treatment (MAT) into their overall plan of recovery. Some of the most commonly used medications in the treatment of alcoholism include naltrexone (Vivitrol, ReVia), disulfiram (Antabuse), and acamprosate calcium (Campral).

Vivitrol works by preventing alcohol to cause a euphoric effect in the mind and body, helping to reduce alcohol cravings. Campral is a drug that helps to reduce physical and emotional distress once alcohol has left the system. Antabuse works by causing individuals to become ill if alcohol is ingested, helping to prevent relapse.

Outpatient Treatment For Alcohol Dependence

If you have a more mild form of alcohol use disorder or are unable to get away from daily responsibilities such as work or school for an extended period of time, another treatment option is outpatient alcohol rehab. These programs are still intensive but do not require patients to live at the facility and allow individuals to continue to go to work or school while receiving treatment.

To learn more about mixing Lexapro and alcohol and the interactions and side effects that can arise, contact us today.


Wellbutrin and other antidepressant medications can be a vital tool for someone battling depression or anxiety. However, as with all drugs, Wellbutrin comes with certain side effects that can be dangerous if mixed with alcohol.

There are many medications that interact negatively with alcohol, which is why so many drugs come with an explicit warning not to mix with alcohol. When Wellbutrin and alcohol are mixed together, individuals are at risk for health issues such as nausea, vomiting, seizures, and impairment.

What Is Wellbutrin (Bupropion)?

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is a prescription medication commonly prescribed to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder (“winter depression”), and to help people quit smoking.

Wellbutrin treats depression differently than many other antidepressant medications, as it’s classified as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). NDRIs are often prescribed for those who haven’t responded well to other antidepressant medications, or who struggled with side effects such as weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

Some common brand names for bupropion include:

  • Budeprion SR
  • Aplenzin
  • Forfivo XL
  • Wellbutrin SR
  • Wellbutrin XL
  • Zyban

Can You Mix Wellbutrin And Alcohol?

Because alcohol is largely considered socially acceptable, some people may forget that it’s a substance that can be harmful when misused. If you take any regular prescription medications, it’s important to understand how alcohol can interact with your medication.

What is Wellbutrin

Some people who take Wellbutrin may be able to drink occasionally without any side effects. However, if an individual mixes alcohol with Wellbutrin regularly, or drinks large amounts of alcohol with Wellbutrin, it can be hazardous to their health.

Some of the risks of taking Wellbutrin with alcohol include:

  • alcohol poisoning
  • blackouts
  • blurred vision
  • dizzy spells
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • poor judgment
  • paranoia
  • seizures
  • suicidal thoughts
  • vomiting

Side Effects Of Wellbutrin

Any time a medication is recommended, the prescribing physician should explain the risks of the drug. All drugs come with some level of risk, and if your doctor has prescribed Wellbutrin, they’ve asserted the benefits of this medication should outweigh any potential side effects.

However, there are side effects associated with Wellbutrin that are unique to this medication. Some people taking Wellbutrin may experience little to no side effects, whereas others have a difficult time adjusting to any dosage amount. Keep your doctor informed about any side effects or changes you notice in relation to your Wellbutrin prescription.

Wellbutrin is associated with the following side effects:

  • lethargy
  • excitement
  • anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • changes in weight
  • constipation
  • frequent urination
  • sore throat
  • shakiness
  • extreme sweating

Sometimes, Wellbutrin can cause serious and fatal side effects. If you or someone you know begins displaying any of these signs or symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Serious side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • disorientation
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • joint pain
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures

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Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Wellbutrin And Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant drug, and should be used with caution, especially for those who struggle with depression. Mixing alcohol with an antidepressant medication like Wellbutrin not only increases the side effects of both drugs, but can heighten the chances of developing a physical dependence or addiction to alcohol.

Combining alcohol and Wellbutrin can have long-term effects on your health, including:

  • decreased effectiveness of Wellbutrin
  • increased risk of abusing alcohol or becoming addicted
  • higher chance of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
  • elevated risk of overdose

If you take Wellbutrin and are wondering about how it will interact with alcohol, make sure to ask your doctor and be honest about the amount you drink.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is often used to mask or self-medicate the symptoms of depression, but mixing alcohol with an antidepressant like Wellbutrin can be extremely dangerous. Additionally, regularly mixing alcohol with any medication can be a sign of alcohol abuse and addiction.

Over 20 million Americans struggle with substance abuse, and nearly half of those also have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression or post-traumatic stress syndrome. If you or someone you love is mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol, or displaying other signs of alcohol addiction, you are not in this alone.

Alcohol Withdrawal with Wellbutrin

There is help available, in the form of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. There are various drug and alcohol rehab centers available throughout the U.S., many of which include specialized care for dual diagnosis, medication-assisted treatment, and medically supervised detox services.

When someone drinks large amounts of alcohol, their body can become dependent on the substance, meaning it requires a certain amount of the drug in order to function normally. If the body does not receive the substance, they may begin to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the signs of alcohol withdrawal include:  

  • anxiety
  • shaking hands
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • changes in mood
  • enlarged pupils
  • agitation
  • headaches
  • lowered appetite
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Due to the serious nature of some of these symptoms, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and should always take place under medical supervision. A medically supervised detox program allows the patient to safely pass through the withdrawal stage and begin their treatment. Medical detox services will likely include encouragement, medication-assisted treatment, and help determining a treatment plan.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

In order for detox to be considered successful, the healthcare providers have to work with the participant toward developing the next steps for their course of treatment. This includes outlining the types of treatment facilities and therapy options available.

Some of the treatment styles found in alcohol rehab centers include:

  • Inpatient programs: This residential-style program provides a temporary living space for patients in which to begin their recovery. Considered the highest level of care, inpatient treatment provides a safe and structured environment, where patients are able to practice sober living skills in a supportive atmosphere. Therapies provided may include group and individual counseling, 12-Step support groups, wellness care, and holistic therapies like meditation and yoga.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): The next level of care includes PHPs, where patients engage in a daytime treatment program. Typically offered five days per week, for six hours per day, PHPs provide addiction education, family therapy sessions, and medication-assisted treatment in a supervised environment.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)s: IOPs provide the most flexible scheduling options for alcohol addiction treatment, as they are usually offered with morning or evening sessions. IOPs will provide many of the same treatments as other alcohol rehab facilities, but may also have requirements such as regular drug screenings, in order to maintain accountability.

If you have questions about mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol, or finding treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction, reach out to one of our specialists today.

Alcohol is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, and yet many people are unaware of how the body processes this complex substance. Although all bodies process alcohol through the liver, several factors can influence how long alcohol stays in your system.

When an individual drinks alcohol, the substance enters the digestive system and quickly gets absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, alcohol gets processed by the liver, and the average liver can process about one alcoholic drink per hour.

Timeline For Alcohol To Leave System

Many people who consume alcohol may be curious as to how long alcohol stays in their system. These individuals may wonder how to drink without becoming intoxicated, or may wish to accurately gauge when it becomes safe to drive after consuming alcohol.

Alcohol can linger in the system for various lengths of time, depending on variables such as age, weight, gender, health, or medication. Because the liver can process about one drink per hour, the amount of time it takes for your body to clear itself of alcohol can vary.

Alcohol Detection Times

This is an approximate timeline of how long alcohol affects the body:

  • 10 minutes after first drink: breathing, heart rate, and brain function slow down
  • 40 to 60 minutes after first drink: peak physical effects of alcohol occur
  • 12 hours after last drink: alcohol traceable in blood
  • 12 to 36 hours after last drink: alcohol present in urine
  • 24 hours after last drink: alcohol detectable on breath

Alcohol remains in the bloodstream until the liver is able to break it down. This results in a blood alcohol concentration level. If alcohol is consumed faster than the liver can process it, blood concentration rises.

For example, if someone consumes three 12-ounce beers over a five-hour period, their liver is given sufficient time to process the alcohol. They may feel slight relaxation effects, but are not likely to experience intoxication. Conversely, if someone drinks three beers over the course of one hour, their blood alcohol level may spike and they could experience intoxication.

Blood alcohol level tests are used to determine the amount of alcohol in someone’s blood, and whether that person is considered intoxicated. The legal limit may differ by state, but is usually 0.08.

What Is a Standard Drink?

There is much confusion about what constitutes a standard alcoholic drink. Some individuals may be surprised to learn that the amount of liquid does not necessarily translate to the amount of alcohol in each drink.

What Is a Standard Drink

Different types of alcoholic beverages contain varying levels of alcohol (ethanol), which means that certain types of drinks are considered stronger than others. Because the human liver can only process about one drink per hour, it’s vital to understand what happens if alcohol is consumed too quickly, or is drank in larger doses than an individual may realize.

One alcoholic drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor, such as rum, gin, whiskey, or vodka

If an individual consumes more than one standard drink per hour, they may begin to experience intoxication, which puts them at risk for both short- and long-term health risks.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) And Liver Metabolism Rate

Blood alcohol concentration, sometimes called blood alcohol level or blood alcohol content, refers to the level of alcohol in the bloodstream. The BAC can be used to determine if someone involved in an accident or crime is within the legal BAC limit. If someone is consuming alcohol faster than their liver can process it, their blood alcohol level rises and they are considered intoxicated.

Blood alcohol concentrations and their common symptoms include:

  • 05: reduced inhibitions, being “buzzed”
  • 10: slurred words
  • 20: euphoria and motor impairment
  • 30: confusion
  • 40: stupor
  • 50: coma
  • 60: halted breathing, death

Some people may have symptoms of drunkenness below the legal level of what’s considered intoxicated, while others who drink heavily may develop a tolerance and not feel any symptoms until a higher blood alcohol concentration occurs.

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Additional Factors That Influence Drug Testing For Alcohol

Many things can affect the BAC that someone has on an alcohol screening test.

Some of the factors to consider in a blood alcohol concentration test include:

  • age
  • body concentration/body mass index (BMI)
  • food consumed before drinking or while drinking
  • gender
  • genetics
  • health
  • medications or other drugs ingested
  • weight

BAC - Blood Alcohol Concentration

Alcohol Detection Times

Alcohol is traceable in the body for various lengths of time, depending on the type of test being given.

Alcohol can be detected by several different types of screenings, including:

  • breath: alcohol can stay on the breath for up to 24 hours since the last drink
  • urine: alcohol is traceable in urine for up to 36 hours, depending on the level of testing
  • saliva: alcohol can be found via saliva swab up to five days after last drink
  • blood: alcohol is traceable in the blood up to 12 hours after last consumption
  • hair: alcohol can be detected on a human hair for up to 90 days

How Alcohol Affects The Body

Alcohol can have short-term and long-term effects on someone’s health. In moderation, alcohol is not considered deadly, but many people misunderstand moderation and severely underestimate their alcohol intake.

Some of the short-term health effects of alcohol include:

  • alcohol poisoning (caused by high blood alcohol concentration)
  • injuries and accidents (including motor vehicle, falls, burns, and drownings)
  • risky sexual behaviors (including unprotected sex and transmission of HIV)
  • violence (including assault, homicide, sexual assault, and suicide)

Long-term health effects associated with excessive alcohol use include:

  • alcoholism
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dementia
  • high blood pressure
  • heart problems
  • stroke
  • liver issues
  • digestive problems
  • increased chance of breast, mouth, throat, liver, esophagus, and colon cancers
  • social consequences, such as unemployment or relationship issues

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction can be a life-saving way to combat alcoholism. If you or someone you know have concerning behaviors related to alcohol, there is help available. More than twenty million people in the U.S. struggle with addiction and substance abuse, and there are ample treatment options available for those who are suffering.

20 million suffer from addiction

Treatment for alcohol abuse may include detox services, inpatient or residential care, partial hospitalization treatment, and intensive outpatient programs. There are affordable, effective treatment options to fit every schedule, including short-term and long-term care.

Most treatment approaches will likely include therapies such as individual and group counseling, addiction education, and experiential and holistic therapies such as equine therapy, faith-based treatment, and 12-Step support groups.

To learn more about how long alcohol stays in your system, or for questions about alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, contact one of our specialists today.


Drinker’s nose, or alcoholic nose, is a skin condition in which an individual’s nose takes on a bulbous, swollen appearance. Historically, a bulbous nose was considered a telltale sign that someone was a heavy drinker. There’s a certain stigma around a flushed face and ruddy skin tone, suggesting that individuals with these symptoms may have a drinking problem.

However, modern research studies are disproving this theory and stating that rhinophyma is actually caused by the skin condition rosacea. Although rosacea can be triggered by alcohol use, drinking is not the cause of rhinophyma. It’s important to discuss these differences, as harmful stigma can keep those suffering with addiction from seeking the help they need.

What Is Alcoholic Nose?

If someone has “alcoholic nose”, their nose has taken on a bumpy, red, and swollen appearance. Commonly thought to be a side effect of excessive drinking, alcoholic nose can be an embarrassing, stigmatized condition.

Rhinophyma is actually a sub-condition of rosacea, sometimes called adult acne. Rosacea is a form of facial skin inflammation, that can come and go based on environmental triggers. Sometimes rosacea flare-ups are caused by sun, spicy foods, caffeine, exercise, medication, or alcohol. They can also be caused by issues related to the blood vessels of the face.

Alcoholic Nose-Rhinophyma

Characterized by a rash, with small pimples and spidery red veins, rosacea is most commonly found in fair-skinned, light-haired individuals. It’s passed on genetically, and occurs the most among those with Irish, English, Scandinavian, and Scottish heritage. Rosacea can occur in several stages, the more extreme of which is rhinophyma (drinker’s nose).

Rosacea can be socially challenging, as there is so much misinformation about the skin condition. Many people suffering from rosacea may feel they’re being judged for drinking too much, just because their skin is flushed. Making the assumption that those with rhinophyma are alcoholic drinkers can be damaging and can keep people struggling with addiction from seeking help.

Alcohol Abuse And Rosacea

Rosacea and other skin inflammatory disorders can be difficult to treat, as the symptoms and triggers vary widely from person to person. Untreated rosacea can eventually result in rhinophyma and other advanced stages of rosacea, but avoiding triggers is one of the best ways to control this condition.

Although alcohol does not cause rosacea or rhinophyma, it is considered one of the more common triggers of rosacea. Drinking enlarges the blood vessels within the body, allowing blood to rush to the surface of the skin and leaving individuals appearing flushed. Additionally, certain alcoholic beverages are more likely to trigger a flare-up of rosacea.

Alcoholic Nose - Red wine causes flare ups

The National Rosacea Society found that red wine was the main culprit for rosacea flare-ups, when studying alcoholic drinks. Interestingly, 90 percent of patients in the study said that limiting their alcohol intake greatly reduced their rosacea flare-ups.

It’s important to differentiate alcohol as a trigger—not a cause—of rosacea and its related condition, rhinophyma. Individuals that have rhinophyma may have inherited the skin issue and don’t necessarily drink to excess.

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Symptoms Of Alcoholism

Although rosacea and drinker’s nose are not caused by alcohol, people who do abuse alcohol can have both of these conditions. It’s helpful to know the true symptoms of alcoholism, in order to be a beacon of help for those who may need it.

Alcoholism and alcohol use disorders affect over 20 million Americans, and many families have experience with this painful disease. The symptoms of alcoholism can differ between individuals, but there are some telltale signs to watch for when someone’s drinking has gotten out of control.

Alcoholic Nose_Limiting alcohol reduced flare-ups

Some of the most common symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • drinking more, or longer, than you intended
  • trying to cut down or quit drinking, but being unable to stop
  • spending a lot of time and money drinking
  • sacrificing other activities in order to drink
  • having to drink much more alcohol in order to get the same effect
  • experiencing arrest or legal trouble in relation to alcohol
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as restlessness, nausea, racing heart, or seizures

Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder

Fear of others’ opinion is a powerful force in the disease of addiction. Many people choose not to seek treatment for fear of judgment, shame, and social stigma. Until we can correct this stigma in our country, the addiction and overdose rates in the U.S. may not change.

However, there is hope and treatment available. Knowing the true symptoms of alcoholism, and disregarding social stigma, are powerful tools in the fight for recovery. If you or someone you know has drinking patterns that concern you, consider learning more about the treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.

There are quality treatment centers throughout the U.S., many of which are made affordable through insurance, payment plans, and scholarships. Although the formats of these different treatment facilities may vary, most of them will include common therapies such as detox services, individual and group counseling, family therapy, 12-Step support groups, and medication-assisted treatment.

Some of the common types of treatment approaches include:

  • Inpatient care: This type of alcohol rehab program provides a protected residential environment where patients can detox and begin treatment with other like-minded individuals. Inpatient rehab centers provide a break from the daily stressors of life, allowing patients to solely focus on building a new life in recovery.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): This level of care is the next step down after inpatient. In a PHP, patients attend “day treatment,” where they engage in classes and groups that educate on topics such as addiction, sober living, and life in recovery. PHPs can be a good place to begin building a support network in recovery.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs): Outpatient treatment facilities allow individuals to participate in treatment while still attending to work or family commitments. IOPs usually provide morning and evening sessions so individuals can select the best fit for their schedule. IOPs typically offer many of the same therapies as PHPs, but may run in longer sessions in order to adequately address the key tenets of treatment.

You and your loved ones are not alone in the fight against addiction. To learn more about rhinophyma, drinker’s nose, or alcoholism treatment options, contact one of our specialists today.


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