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One of the characteristics of alcoholism is that the "alcoholic" will suffer withdrawal symptoms when he/she ceases use. There are physiological and psychological consequences. Here, we will focus on the physiology of the disease.
In late stage alcoholism a person may not be able to go more than an hour or so without his/her "fix." Some withdrawal symptoms may be shakes, nausea, anxiety, and even hallucinations According to Substance Abuse Counseling: Theory and Practice (third edition) by P. Stevens and R. Smith, "..in severe cases, seizures, delirium tremors, cardiovascular collapse, death."
Detox from alcoholism is the only form of substance abuse detox that can lead to death. Simply put, this is because alcohol can and does affect almost every organ of the body. The liver, which is the organ the detoxifies the body, is the most affected organ. In other words, this is very serious and you should never consider attempting detox alone. If you are ready to quit drinking, it is crucial that you check into a treatment facility with medical staff trained in this area.