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 the patient relapsing and increased alcohol abuse.
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We have excellent relationships with detox facilities in the Pacific Northwest and surrounding areas, and will assist you with detox placement should you or your loved one require this service prior to entering our drug addiction treatment program.
Recovering alcoholics may underestimate the severity of their withdrawal symptoms. Without medical supervision, it’s possible for some of the symptoms to 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.
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 five to ten 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 the 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 contentedness.
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:
- Severe anxiety
- Irregular or racing heartbeat
- Mild seizures
- High blood pressure
If the individual completes the first 12 to 24 hours after the last drink, potential life-threatening conditions may come up, such as the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations
- Grand mal seizures
- Delirium Tremens (DTs) — a combination of hallucinations, disorientation, and high fever
- Alcohol Detox
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 a detox program include the following:
- Coronary artery disease
- Liver disease
- Nervous system impairments
- Gastrointestinal issues
After the completion of the medical evaluation, the physician can discuss the severity of the condition with the patient and begin a safe detox program.
When going through a detoxification program, the patient should expect to achieve the following objectives:
- The treatment of acute symptoms associated with withdrawal
- The prevention and monitoring of any complications
- Commencement of therapy to prevent potential future relapses
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal 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.
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.
Preventing Alcohol Relapse
Relapses can and do frequently occur in many people who wish to recovery from an 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:
- Unresolved feelings of overwhelming stress
- 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
- Falling back into old routines and taking a haphazard attitude toward sobriety
- Agitation, anger, and frequent outbursts
- A misplaced sense of confidence and the belief that one drink won’t hurt
- Increasing feelings of hopelessness, depression, and despair
Any of the symptoms listed above are considered extremely dangerous to the recovering alcoholic and indicate that professional help is needed.
Free by the Sea is a beautiful campus, located on the Long Beach Peninsula in Ocean Park, WA. Our community of dedicated professionals are committed to provide care to all individuals with dignity and respect. Client centered care respectful of individual needs and concerns is the foundation of our approach. We adhere to evidence-based practices which are focused on successful outcomes for long term recovery. Services provided include:
- 77 treatment beds.
- Certified Substance Abuse Counselors, including licensed Mental Health Therapists.
- High quality evidence-based addiction treatment, including gambling.
- DBT, CBT, EMDR and trauma informed treatment addresses underlying issues of addiction that include depression, anxiety, self-esteem and relationships.
- Relapse Prevention, Life Skills, Addiction education provided in groups and individual sessions
- Twelve step meetings include celebrate recovery, wellbriety, dual disorder and AA/NA/GA
- We offer residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care.
- Peaceful and safe setting located on five acres facing the Pacific Ocean.
- Multi-sport areas that include volleyball/basketball courts and an exercise room.
- Nutritionally designed meals to restore health
Don’t Wait. Call Today.
Don’t let the many excuses and reasons for entering a treatment facility prevent you from taking action. A treatment facility can help to stop a destructive cycle and send you on the path to recovery. Alcohol addiction affects you, your family, and your friends. Addiction can take everything you have from you, but as mentioned above, Free by the Sea can assist you in making the right choices and getting on the road to recovery by recommending a detox service.
Contact Free by the Sea
Free by the Sea is recognized nationally as an effective substance abuse treatment facility in the State of Washington. The facility provides treatment to men and women who want to regain control of their lives and stop the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol addiction. The professionals at Free by the Sea work to rebuild an individual’s health, self-esteem, body, mind, and spirit. Contact us today and rekindle your relationships with family, friends, and yourself.