Learn why medically assisted withdrawal is the safest, best way to detox from alcohol for many.
Alcohol withdrawal refers to the physical and mental side effects that are endured when an individual with an addiction to alcohol suddenly stops drinking in an effort to become sober. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, alcohol withdrawal can be more severe when an individual has other medical conditions in addition to alcohol addiction. Withdrawal symptoms usually start within eight hours after consumption of alcohol has stopped. The more someone drinks one a regular basis, the more likely symptoms of withdrawal will appear when the person stops consuming it. Finding the best way to detox from alcohol is determined by the scope of addiction, which varies for each individual.
The best way to detox from alcohol for those with a long-term heavy drinking history, may be through entering an inpatient rehab facility and going through a medical alcohol detox, which takes place in a safe and medically equipped environment that is monitored by a team of doctors and clinicians. During a medical alcohol detox, patients may be given medication to prevent medical complications and to lessen symptoms of withdrawal to a tolerable level. Treatment may also include fluids administered through an IV and sedation until withdrawal has ended and the patient has stabilized.
Some individuals may find that the best way to detox from alcohol is on an outpatient basis, or through a hospital detox program followed up by continued treatment through a support group and related outpatient therapies. A smart initial step to take when considering the best way to detox from alcohol is to seek the advice from an addiction specialist. An addiction specialist can review your current state of health and your history of addiction and then advise on the best path to take that will be most effective in helping you achieve sobriety. The main goals of any drug or alcohol detoxification program are to provide stabilization during withdrawal, continued abstinence (this is necessary or withdrawal isn’t possible), and to maintain ongoing stabilization and abstinence after withdrawal has run its course. These goals can be challenging, as the first few weeks of recovery can be the toughest while individuals deal with intense cravings, mood swings, as well as physical and chemical changes that are taking place inside of the body. Medical alcohol detox provides the benefit of medical staff that is standing by and readily available to assist in helping patients finish detox as quickly and painlessly as possible.
An alcohol detox timeline is helpful in providing individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction with information about detox, what it is like, and how long it takes. An alcohol detox timeline is generally similar for most people:
- Stage 1: This stage starts 8 hours from a person’s last drink. During this stage, the individual may experience anxiety, insomnia, nausea and abdominal pain.
- Stage 2: This stage begins on day 1 and lasts through day 3 of withdrawal. At this stage, symptoms are at their peak. Blood pressure may increase as well as a person’s body temperature. Other common symptoms include depression, fatigue, shakiness, brain fog, sleep disturbances, and irritability.
- Stage 3: This stage begins one week into withdrawal. At this stage, a person may experience hallucinations, fever, seizures, and agitation.
Some withdrawal symptoms can linger for weeks, such as depression, insomnia, mood swings, or brain fog. As symptoms subside, a person new to recovery must focus on their commitment to staying sober. Recovery does not happen overnight, it is a slow, gradual process that takes commitment, motivation and patience. Detox from alcohol is only the first step in recovery. When combined with commitment and therapeutic treatment methods, a comprehensive treatment program can be very successful in helping those suffering from addiction build a new life outside of it.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.