spiders_and_alcohol_withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal and Spiders

Seeing spiders when withdrawing from alcohol is not uncommon. In fact of those
experiencing hallucinations, up to 25 percent see spiders.

More hallucinations occur with visual or tactile sensation. It is among these sensations spiders seem to happen. If someone is experiencing a high degree of anxiety they may be more likely to experience spiders. There are many sensations happening with the nervous system (remember alcohol is a CNS depressant). It is because of the decreasing amount of suppression of the central nervous system that tactile sensations take place.

The following 6 questions help in a straight forward way to answer your questions about alcohol withdrawal and spiders.

  • When are withdrawal symptoms likely from alcohol? Withdrawal from alcohol generally is not experienced unless someone has a history of
    drinking for quite a while. If use is on a daily basis it may take only a few months.
    Hallucinations may be experienced in mild, moderate or severe withdrawal.
  • Do most people with hallucinations from alcohol see spiders? Spiders are not the experience of most people. It is however, not uncommon. It is believed as many as 25% of patients with prolonged history of alcohol abuse have hallucinations.
  • When are hallucinations likely to occur? Hallucinations may occur within 24 hours of the last drink.
  • What are the most common hallucination symptoms? The most common symptom is visual or tactile hallucinations.
  • When are spiders most likely to be seen in hallucinations? Spiders are more likely to be seen in advanced stage (severe withdrawal). These hallucinations are perceived as real.
  • Do hallucinations mean DT’s? Hallucinations are not DT’s and they are not necessarily followed by DT’s. It is important to understand if you are helping someone with these symptoms that it is not advised to treat this individual without medical care. Seek services for a detoxification program.

These spiders may not be real but if there is no medical attention the bite could be very
real.

Reference:
Authors Nathanial J McKeown, DO and Patrick J West, MD in an article titled “Alcohol
Withdrawal” published by http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/819502-overview Nov
16, 2010

Written by Wendell Montney

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