When you decide to stop drinking, it is best to prepare for the withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
Detoxing from alcohol is the first step on the road to recovery and, although not everyone will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, it is helpful to know what they are, when they start, and how to deal with them.
If you abuse alcohol regularly, your body will eventually develop a physical dependence on it. When you suddenly stop drinking alcohol or reduce your consumption, your body reacts by displaying a set of symptoms, commonly known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the body’s psychological response to metabolizing harmful toxins that are ingested upon consuming alcohol.
Like many other people, you may only experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is also possible to experience potentially life-threatening symptoms. The severity of your withdrawal symptoms will depend on factors such as:
Each person’s experience with alcohol abuse is different, and the same is said for alcohol withdrawal. For some, withdrawal symptoms are a part of their addiction cycle; they continue to drink heavily to avoid or eradicate any withdrawal symptoms after drinking.
The risk of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms if alcohol abuse is heavy is considerable. As a result, it is best to complete alcohol withdrawal in a medical setting where trained professionals can monitor you throughout the process.
This ensures you are comfortable, safe, and in the best place if any medication is needed.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms differ from person to person. However, there are a common set of symptoms that you may experience. These include:
The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens (DTs). Unfortunately, these can be potentially life-threatening and may result in severe health conditions, such as respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia.
You are more likely to experience these if you are middle-aged, have a mental illness, or have a severe alcohol addiction.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their differences in severity have been categorized into three categories. These are used to assess symptoms and keep track of the progression of symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can be easily managed if treatment begins when they are mild. If treatment is not available at this stage, you may progress through the other stages very quickly.
As all people experience alcohol withdrawal differently, a precise timeline will vary. However, according to research, there is a typical alcohol withdrawal timeline that includes expectations of withdrawal symptoms.
Though these symptoms may sound daunting, they are easy to manage with the correct help and support. Medical detox is most effective in helping those experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
The first stage in addiction treatment is detox. Alcohol detox helps the body recover from alcohol abuse by encouraging it to clear itself of any toxins consumed when drinking.
Professional alcohol withdrawal treatment aims to make the experience of withdrawal more comfortable by reducing symptoms while offering support in other aspects of your life.
There are several options for substance abuse treatment, such as:
If you experience mild to moderate symptoms, you may have the option to complete an outpatient program. However, inpatient care is recommended if your alcohol use disorder is more severe.
As mentioned above, detox is only the first step in recovery. To successfully recover, you will need to commit to your recovery journey and additional treatments. Some examples of post-detox treatments include:
To ease alcohol withdrawal, certain medications are available. These are typically administered during a medical detox in a medical facility where your symptoms can be monitored.
Some commonly prescribed medications to help with the withdrawal process include:
Detox from alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. This is why medical professionals recommend you receive treatment during the detoxification process. Detox is the first step towards a successful, sober life, and so it must be completed safely.
If you have an alcohol use disorder and feel ready to complete detox and alcohol withdrawal, please reach out to us and seek medical attention.
Likewise, if you have started to self-detox and now find yourself experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, please get in touch with us and speak to a member of our medical team for advice on how to detox from alcohol and the next steps to take.
Medical support is the safest way to recover from an alcohol use disorder. At Empowered Recovery, we are here to help you begin your journey to recovery, and we will be with you every step of the way.
After all, we know that having the right resources, education, and support can be the best direction to take for lasting recovery.
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Contact our team to find out how we can help you