When someone is addicted to Alcohol their body is now physiologically dependent on it to function. That means if they stop drinking suddenly, or wildly decrease their use, they with experience withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms of Alcohol are typically physical. Knowing the signs is imperative to helping yourself or a loved one. The signs can range from mild to severe.
Mild symptoms of Alcohol withdrawal include:
Severe symptoms of Alcohol withdrawal include:
- Fever to the point of delirium
How to Manage Alcohol Withdrawal
If you are attempting to stop using Alcohol, seeking professional help during the withdrawal process is highly recommended. Many treatment centers offer this, or partner with medical detox centers. Trying to get through the withdrawal phase on your own is physically dangerous and can lead to relapse.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
If you feel like you or a loved one has an alcohol addiction, help is available. Below are signs to look out for that may indicate you or a loved one would benefit from professional treatment for Alcoholism:
- Not being able to limit the amount you drink
- Having the desire to cut down on drinking but being unsuccessful in your attempts
- Spending most of your time either drinking, figuring out how to get alcohol, or recovering from drinking
- Continuing to drink even when it causes problems at work, school, or socially
- Having withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink, or drinking to avoid withdrawal symptoms
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
The timeline for alcohol withdrawal can vary depending on the individual’s level of alcohol use and dependence. Generally, the withdrawal process follows this pattern:
- 6-12 hours after the last drink: Mild withdrawal symptoms may begin to appear.
- 12-24 hours after the last drink: Seizures may occur in some cases.
- 24-72 hours after the last drink: More severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations and severe tremors, may develop.
- 48-96 hours after the last drink: Delirium tremens (DTs), characterized by extreme confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and fever, may occur. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.
- 5-7 days after the last drink: Most withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, although some individuals may continue to experience lingering symptoms for weeks or months.
Treatment Options for Alcohol Withdrawal
There are various treatment options available to help manage alcohol withdrawal and support long-term recovery. Some of these options include:
- Medical detox: This is a supervised detoxification process where healthcare professionals monitor the individual’s withdrawal symptoms and provide medications to alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of complications.
- Inpatient treatment: Inpatient rehab facilities offer intensive support and care, providing a structured environment for individuals to focus on their recovery. These programs often include therapy, counseling, and support groups to address the underlying causes of addiction and help develop healthy coping strategies.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient programs provide similar services to inpatient treatment but allow individuals to maintain their daily responsibilities while attending therapy and counseling sessions.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): MAT combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat alcohol use disorder. Some medications used in MAT include disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate, which help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.
- Support groups: Organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) offer peer support and a 12-step program to help individuals maintain sobriety and work through the challenges of recovery.
Long-Term Recovery and Relapse Prevention
Achieving sobriety is just the beginning of a lifelong journey in recovery. It is essential to maintain long-term recovery and prevent relapse by implementing the following strategies:
- Create a strong support network: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who understand your recovery journey and can provide encouragement during challenging times. You can also join support groups or attend regular therapy sessions for ongoing guidance and motivation.
- Develop healthy coping mechanisms: Learning new ways to manage stress, anxiety, and other triggers is crucial in preventing relapse. You can practice meditation, exercise, engage in hobbies, or seek professional help to develop healthy coping strategies.
- Maintain a structured routine: Establishing a daily routine can provide stability and help you avoid situations that may trigger a relapse. Ensure that your routine includes time for self-care, work or school, and hobbies or interests that promote personal growth.
- Set goals and monitor progress: Setting realistic and achievable goals can give you a sense of purpose and direction in your recovery journey. Regularly assess your progress towards these goals and make adjustments as needed.
- Prioritize physical and mental health: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, can improve your overall well-being and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Addressing any co-occurring mental health issues through therapy or counseling is also important.
- Be prepared for setbacks: Recovery is a process, and setbacks can happen. Develop a plan for dealing with potential setbacks, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help if needed.
- Stay vigilant: Even after years of sobriety, it’s essential to stay aware of your triggers and continue practicing the skills and strategies you’ve learned in recovery. This vigilance will help you maintain your sobriety and prevent relapse in the long term.
By implementing these strategies and staying committed to your recovery, you can significantly reduce the risk of relapse and maintain long-term sobriety. It’s important to remember that recovery is an ongoing process, and seeking support and guidance from professionals, support groups, and loved ones can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy, alcohol-free life.
If you or a loved one are addicted to Alcohol and want to detox, Emerge Healing Center is here to help. Our caring and experienced staff are here to answer any questions you may have about the treatment process, as well as help you to decide on the right treatment path for your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more, and let us help arm you with all of the tools you need to be successful in recovery.