You are sick of drinking and you're ready to just quit cold turkey. While that's a noble goal, it might be a dangerous decision if you suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. Singer Amy Winehouse was a victim of the most severe of these withdrawal symptoms, and her death can teach you a lot about how to avoid this potentially deadly condition.

The Death Of Winehouse

Winehouse was a promising British soul singer whose potent pipes were matched by her skilled songwriting and her hard-partying personality. And when she died in 2011, her death was at least partially caused by her decision to quit drinking.

Winehouse was a heavy drinker, and when she stopped, it kicked off a series of dangerous withdrawal symptoms that eventually lead to delirium tremens. This condition is severe, often dangerous, and can be deadly when not carefully monitored.

What Is Delirium Tremens?

Typically, withdrawal symptoms include relatively minor problems that set in over a 12-24 hour period after your last drink. These include shaky hands, sweating, headaches, nausea, and insomnia. Winehouse, like many alcoholics, undoubtedly suffered from many of these symptoms before delirium tremens occurred.

Delirium tremens starts when your mind reacts negatively to the absence of alcohol in your system. It creates a series of falling dominoes that cause many severe problems, including confusion, shaking, irregular heart rates, sweating, seizures, and even death.

The difficult thing about this condition is that it may take 2-3 days to begin after your last drink. There's a chance that Winehouse didn't even realize she was suffering from the problem until it struck her days later. As a result, she may not have realized she needed care until it was too late. Even worse, it can last up to 10 days.

How Winehouse Could Have (And How You Can) Avoid Delirium Tremens

Unfortunately, Winehouse didn't get the help she needed to decrease the severity of her alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and it ended up costing her her life. Thankfully, you don't have to go the same route. There are multiple ways you can avoid delirium tremens:

  • Tapering off – It may be possible to slowly decrease your intake of alcohol over a period of time, but this may be too difficult for people who can't resist drinking.
  • Using synthehol drinks – Drinking low or non-alcoholic beers can help you receive a little alcohol, but not enough to get drunk.
  • Alcohol replacement medicines – There are a variety of medicines that are designed to help prevent severe alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens.

Whichever method you take, it's worth talking to an addiction specialist right away. They can check you into a rehab environment and give you the help you need to happily and healthily quit drinking.