fbpx

The Importance of Alcohol Detox

Alcoholism is a dangerous problem that affects the lives of millions around the world. In this article you will learn all about the importance of alcohol detox, and common withdrawal symptoms.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol problem, life in recovery can be in your near future. Oftentimes, the most difficult part of the problem is the fact that many people won’t accept, nor acknowledge that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. 

Fortunately, there are options for people who are interested in seeking treatment for their alcoholism. 

Detox is generally the first step in a person’s journey to recovery from drugs or alcohol. Alcohol detox is a process that cleans your body out from any alcohol or dangerous toxins that are in your body. This process is very dangerous, and is recommended to be done in a medical detox facility. Alcohol detox commonly brings out unwanted feelings that can be very overwhelming.  

Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal can be so dangerous that it is even life-threatening for some. Seek medical detox care if you or someone you love is trying to quit alcohol. 

What is Alcoholism?

Alcohol is the most widely available drug on the planet. In fact, many people don’t even recognize the dangerous nature of alcohol because it’s readily available. However, that doesn’t stop it from being addictive.Alcoholism is a very common problem, and it affects people in a number of different ways. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse, medical detox and rehab offer tremendous benefits. 

Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal develops when someone who has been habitually drinking suddenly quits. Depending on how long the drinking occurred or the amount consumed, withdrawal symptoms start within 6 to 48 hours after taking the last drink.

Alcohol use suppresses parts of the brain promoting relaxation and feelings of joy. Your liver metabolizes alcohol and any excess gets absorbed by the brain but, once you stop drinking, your brain still craves these effects. 

Detox is a key process for anyone about to start an alcohol treatment program. For many people entering rehab, detoxification is a necessary first step. Alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder, requires medically assisted detoxification to help manage the symptoms of chemical dependency withdrawal and stabilize the person for further treatment.

Learn the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that occur when someone with alcohol use disorder suddenly stops drinking or tries to gradually taper the amount they drink. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal 

How much one drinks, how long a person has been drinking for, and any underlying health or psychological issues a person may have can all affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary from minor issues, such as difficulty sleeping, to seizures and more serious health complications.

Signs of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures 

Some people may develop delirium tremens (DTs), during the detox stage. Delirium tremens is a potentially fatal type of alcohol withdrawal when unmanaged. DTs result in death in 1 of every 20 alcohol abusers.  

Once the initial withdrawal symptoms subside, some people experience prolonged post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Top PAWS symptoms can last from a few weeks up to an entire year. 

Common PAWS symptoms to look for:

  • Intense cravings
  • Dizziness
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Chronic nausea   
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Low energy

Enrollment in a residential treatment program is key to helping manage alcohol withdrawal complications. 

Will alcohol detox and treatment help with withdrawal? 

The short answer to this question is yes, treatment can help you manage your alcohol withdrawal symptoms. For those with a substance abuse disorder to alcohol, it is recommended to seek a medical detox facility when quitting drinking. Alcohol has the ability to cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and treatment will help you manage these unwanted feelings.

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be very dangerous, and hard to handle. These symptoms intensify when heavy drinkers stop drinking, causing health complications such as seizures, delirium tremens, and in worse cases, death.  

Most drug and alcohol treatment centers offer the following treatment for alcoholism help:

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment 
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Counseling 
  • 12-step support 

The Recovery Team treats alcohol abuse and addiction. Get the help you deserve today. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Medications 

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, commonly referred to as GABA, is a neurotransmitter in our brain that slows down our processing system. This leaves us feeling relaxed and sleepy. In other words, when alcohol is processed through our body, it acts like a GABA transmitter. However, when a person consistently drinks, their brain does not process enough GABA neurotransmitters, causing unwanted withdrawal symptoms. 

When an individual admits into a medical detox or treatment facility for alcohol, that person has already accomplished the hardest part in the recovery process. Most drug and alcohol treatment centers use medications that activate a person’s GABA receptors, when dealing with alcohol withdrawal. These medications help the individual cope with tough withdrawal feelings. 

The following are two commonly used medications to help treat alcohol withdrawal: 

  1. Antabuse: Antabuse is one of the first medications legally used to treat alcohol addiction and withdrawal. Antabuse has helped many individuals overcome their addiction and withdrawal symptoms, and is proved effective by many studies. This substance is known to help alleviate alcohol cravings and many unwanted feelings. It has also been known to help decrease the rate of alcohol relapse. However, antabuse can make you very ill if you drink with it in your system.
  2. Naltrexone: In addition to antabuse, naltrexone is another commonly used medication for alcohol abuse and alcohol detox. This medication, unlike antabuse, does not make you sick when drinking. However, it is designed to help reduce the cravings for alcohol. It is known to be extremely effective when it comes to alcohol relapse.  

The Next Steps

Alcohol abuse and addiction affect millions of individuals across the United States each day. If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance abuse disorder to alcohol, treatment options are available. The first and hardest part of recovery is becoming aware of your addiction, and getting the help you deserve. 

The Recovery Team wants to be your guiding light, get the help you deserve today. Call us at (800) 817-1247.

Leave a Comment