Delirium tremors or DTs is caused by alcohol withdrawal, and is a rapid onset of confusion, and can last for two to three days. The physical effects of delirium tremors include shaking, shivering, irregular heartbeat, and excessive sweating. People who experience delirium tremors may also see hallucinations, such as seeing or hearing things that are not there. In severe cases, the body's temperature can increase; the person can experience seizures, and potentially die. Delirium tremors will often only occur when someone is constantly consuming large quantities of alcohol for more than a month or more and then stops drinking abruptly.
The alcohol withdrawal will lead to a biochemical regulation cascade, which can also be triggered because of a history of heavy alcohol use. On average, half of the people who suffer from alcohol addiction and dependency will develop mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. Roughly three to five percent of these individuals will develop delirium tremors and serious seizures, potentially leading to death. Delirium tremors can only be treated within an intensive care unit or a hospital inpatient program.