Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe and can cause you to feel very ill and make you want to drink again. Withdrawal almost always fails when not monitored by medical professionals but can be done correctly and give an individual the opportunity for recovery.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal brings on a variety of symptoms to your brain and body and occurs after you have tried to stop drinking. This withdrawal occurs in individuals who are physically dependent on alcohol and try to reduce or stop drinking. It can be scary and deadly at times especially when not immediately treated. Trying to withdrawal from alcohol almost always leads to relapse or sudden death.

Alcohol abuse and binge drinking can result in alcohol withdrawal if you become fully dependent on drinking. These type of heavy drinking patterns put you at a higher risk of alcohol addiction and dependency because your tolerance will continue, and you will need more and more to get drunk. Trying to stop drinking after drinking heavily for a long period of time can be risky and should be done with the help of addiction professionals by entering medical detox before withdrawal symptoms start up.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms look like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Twitching
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach problems
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

Delirium tremens are often the most severe forms of symptoms when withdrawal takes place. It is crucial that when going through withdrawal you are to be monitored so you can safely detox alcohol from your body.

What Is Alcohol Detox?
Medical assisted detox is your first stop when entering treatment. Detox is discussed before anything else and works as a facilitator to help you get through withdrawal and get the toxins out of your body so you can start to work on the psychological and behavioral symptoms that comes with stopping drinking.

Alcohol detox symptoms can be mild or severe depending on use and other factors like how long you have been drinking, what you have been drinking, and how much per day. When these symptoms occur, it can make you feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. When being assisted in detox, you will be given certain medications that help you feel more comfortable during detox.

Common detox symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Severe hallucinations
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches
  • Disorientation

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms and detox symptoms combined can painful and, in some cases, unbearable without medical help.

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction occurs over time in certain individuals while some can develop an alcohol addiction more quickly than others. In many cases, it is not always easy to identify an alcohol addiction because individuals may try to hide it from their loved ones or people they are around a lot. There are some common signs you can look out for when identifying addiction.

  • The individual has a very high tolerance and can drink a lot without seeming physically drunk
  • The individual may often hide their drinking from the ones closest to them in order to make it seem like everything’s fine
  • The individual may over time become withdrawn from people or things they were once interested in such as hobbies or their family
  • The individual may stop going to work or performing daily duties like picking their kids up from school because they are drinking or hungover
  • The individual may experience irrational mood swings that go up and down constantly.
  • The individual may avoid certain situations in which they won’t have access to alcohol, like a family event or alcohol support groups
  • The individual may involve themselves in dangerous situations like drunk driving or getting into fights while intoxicated
  • The individual’s life revolves around drinking, and that is their number one priority

When you or someone you know is struggling with any of the above behaviors it may be a result to alcohol addiction and possibly dependence. It is important to discuss this matter with other caring and supportive people in the individual’s life in case an intervention will need to be held.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox Timeline

When getting ready to enter medical detox, it will be very important for the individual to understand the withdrawal and detox process. This includes medication that will be given, symptoms, how long they will be in detox and how long they will withdrawal. There is no true timeline that will be determined, your detox process will differ from everyone else’s, but there are common facts to know during the process.

The hardest part of detox typically occurs between the first 10 to 30 hours in detox. After your first 24 hours in detox, you will be feeling unpleasant and start to get tremors and feel disoriented. Typically, day two is when you experience hallucinations and extreme anxiety. After day three, these symptoms will come up and down and must be fully monitored because this is the stage in detox when delirium tremens occur. After a week of medical detox, the painful symptoms will begin to fade.

It is possible that you can experience post-acute withdrawal that can occur for weeks to even years long after your last drink. The most common symptoms of prolonged detox are anxiety, tiredness, insomnia and decreased reflexes.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment During Detox

Treating alcohol withdrawal during medical detox may require the use of certain medications to combat the severe pain you will be in during this process. Using medications during detox can possibly save someone’s life when the symptoms become deadly or too painful to deal with on their own. These medications are often used with alcohol detox and can make you feel more comfortable during the process.

Benzodiazepines/ Sedatives

  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clorazepate
  • Valium
  • Serax

Seizure Medications

  • Tegretol
  • Neurontin
  • Trileptal
  • Depakene

Other Medications

  • Antabuse
  • Naltrexone
  • Campral

Talk to your medical professional about what medications you will be given and give them as much medical history as you can so they can give you the best treatment.

Get Alcohol Addiction Treatment Right Away

Getting help before you become dependent on alcohol will decrease your chance of having to go through detox or experience severe withdrawal symptoms that can be life threatening. If you are someone who is struggling with a possible alcohol addiction, consider getting help today. You can contact treatment providers right now by phone or email to get started and obtain the support you need.

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