When recovering from alcohol addiction, you should allow yourself sufficient time for detoxing. Most individuals who stop drinking alcohol experience a series of withdrawal symptoms. Often, the withdrawal symptoms make it difficult for recovering alcoholics to stick to a sobriety program. Many alcoholics attempt to overcome these symptoms without assistance, but this often leads to relapse and increased alcohol abuse.
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Recovering alcoholics may underestimate the severity of their withdrawal symptoms. Without medical supervision, some of the symptoms can create a life-threatening situation. The process of detoxifying comes with severe psychological and physical symptoms that may make recovery difficult, dangerous, and impossible in some cases. Stopping cold turkey rarely works, and the high rate of failure is one of the biggest reasons it’s recommended that alcoholics seek professional treatment during the recovery process.
Why Getting Help is Important
Alcoholism and addiction can cause several severe problems in your life. It can impact virtually every aspect of a person’s life. Homelife, work, school, and relationships can all begin to take their tolls after a person is consumed by alcoholism. Excessive drinking on a frequent basis can change a person’s behavior and health negatively.
When someone becomes dependent on alcohol, they need it in their body to be able to function. Over time, this excessive consumption of alcohol can begin to cause multiple issues in the brain and body. In the long-term, a person raises their chance of liver diseases, heart problems, bone damage, risk of cancer, and even death in some cases.
Getting help is essential when it comes to alcoholism and alcohol use disorder. The more you wait the more you open the door for worse consequences and a darker future. This is where detox for alcohol and treatment comes in. Free by the Sea is ready to help you towards a better life for you and your family. Don’t wait to get help; reach out to us today.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin to emerge several hours after the final drink, and symptoms can carry on for weeks afterward. Acute symptoms may remain present for 5 to 10 days and should be considered a normal part of the recovery process from alcohol addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe complications that affect the health of the recovering addict. The exact symptoms vary among individuals, and medical intervention may be necessary depending on the severity and personal makeup of the individual in recovery.
With chronic alcohol consumption comes tolerance. Over time, an individual who becomes tolerant becomes immune to the side effects of alcohol and requires more to feel like they are intoxicated. While blood tests will show an individual is intoxicated, the individual may not feel like they are under the influence. The addicted individual typically only experiences side effects when they attempt to withdraw. The individual usually feels good when they are intoxicated, and they may exhibit excessive talkativeness, self-confidence, relaxation, and contentment.
When the individual stops drinking, the negative side effects begin to emerge, such as the following:
- Mild fever
- Excessive sweating
Individuals experiencing more severe alcohol withdrawal may exhibit the following signs
- Mild seizures
- Severe anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Irregular or racing heartbeat
If the individual completes the first 12 to 24 hours after the last drink, potentially life-threatening conditions may come up, such as the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Grand mal seizures
- Visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations
- Delirium tremens (DTs) — a combination of hallucinations, disorientation, and high fever
Detoxification is a process that rids the body of a certain substance or alcohol. It is one of the most commonly utilized treatment options for every case of drug addiction. It helps prepare the person for the other more specific treatment methods (therapy) and helps handle some of the withdrawal symptoms. Certain steps must be followed beforehand to ensure a safe and reliable detox process.
Consulting with a medical professional is the only safe way for a recovering alcoholic to begin a detox treatment program. At the outset, a physician will review the patient’s complete medical history and conduct an individual review. The initial consultation may include several questions about the individual’s history and attempt to create a profile that includes an analysis of the individual’s behavior toward alcohol.
The physician will also take note of any attempts to enroll in an alcohol recovery program in the past. A complete review requires the physician to ask about any other medical disorders due to alcohol addiction. The physician also runs several checks to identify any health conditions that may complicate the detoxification process. Some of the potential issues that might interfere with an alcohol detox program include the following:
- Liver disease
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Coronary artery disease
- Nervous system impairment
After the completion of the medical evaluation, the physician can discuss the severity of the condition with the patient and begin a safe alcohol detox program. These steps help ensure safe and effective detox treatment for the person. Detox can be an intense process so it’s important to make sure that a person does not have anything conditions that may create complications.
What to Expect During Detox
When going through a detoxification program, the patient should expect to achieve the following objectives:
- The prevention and monitoring of any complications
- The treatment of acute symptoms associated with withdrawal
- Commencement of therapy to prevent potential future relapses
Detoxification is an essential part of all drug addiction cases and opens the door to other more specialized treatment options. While it may be uncomfortable at times, it is safe and necessary for long-term recovery. Many detox centers have experienced and professional staff that will help you through the entire process. While it is a long road ahead, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
During the detoxification process, there may be some severe withdrawal symptoms. These can be very uncomfortable and dangerous if done alone. Luckily, there will be trained professionals by your side to ensure safety. Trusted medicine and other sedatives are used to tame these intense symptoms.
Sedatives are often prescribed during the detoxification process to help control any severe withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the circumstances, many medical professionals also administer various anticonvulsants or blood pressure medications. The interventions help to manage moderate symptoms. Detox for alcohol is an essential step towards sobriety and long-term recovery.
Monitoring and Preventing Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal
Therapy and counseling are the last steps in managing the disease. Therapy and counseling can help a patient understand the reasons why they drank in the first place and provide tools and resources to help them prevent a relapse. The simple act of withdrawal doesn’t treat the underlying cause of alcohol dependence, prevent relapse, or give any real insight into why the person started drinking in the first place.
Recovering alcoholics can participate in support groups, as well as in medical treatments. Social groups and acceptance serve a crucial role in the recovering alcoholic’s life, coping skills, and the ability to stay sober. It is one thing relieving the physical symptoms of addiction and it’s a whole other thing staying clean.
Preventing Alcohol Relapse
Relapses occur when someone who has become clean of drugs decides to use it again. They can come about through certain triggers or life’s stresses. Relapses can and do frequently occur in many people who wish to recover from alcohol addiction. By learning to recognize the warning signs, it’s possible to predict an impending relapse. Some warning signs of relapse are as follows:
- Agitation, anger, and frequent outbursts
- Unresolved feelings of overwhelming stress
- Increasing feelings of hopelessness, depression, and despair
- A misplaced sense of confidence and the belief that one drink won’t hurt
- Falling back into old routines and taking a haphazard attitude toward sobriety
- The increasingly negative outlook on the importance of group involvement during the recovery process
- Periods that include poor judgment and decision-making abilities that may lead to an increase in impulsiveness
Any of the symptoms listed above are considered extremely dangerous to the recovering alcoholic and indicate that professional help is needed. Alcohol and addiction generally affect not only the body but the mind as well. It is important to come to terms with your habits and the world around you. By learning techniques and ways to stay clean, you can reach sobriety for years to come.
Let Free by the Sea Help you Today!
Free by the Sea is ready to help you towards a brighter future. Alcohol addiction can cause a number of severe problems for your health and mind. Free by the Sea can set you up with a trusted alcohol detox program personalized just for you. If you suspect signs of alcoholism or addiction in a loved one, now is the time to get help. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and other addiction resources.