Alcohol addiction can ruin a person’s life. Some people continue drinking just to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It’s no secret that alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable. If done without proper medical supervision, it can even be deadly. Finding the right facility is a critical step for building a lasting recovery.
Detoxification is an important first step in recovering from alcoholism. This is when the alcohol is completely flushed from your system. Generally, withdrawal symptoms go away within one to two weeks after detoxification occurs.
Alcohol detox symptoms can range in severity from mild to life-threatening. This is why it is crucial to be under the supervision of certified medical staff when undergoing treatment.
If you’re ready to get help, and want to start your path to recovery today, we are here for you. Call our treatment specialists at (614) 471-2552 to learn more about our alcohol treatment center.
What Happens During Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur as early as two hours after your last alcoholic beverage.
First Few Hours
Within the first six to 12 hours of detox, symptoms will likely be mind. Some early withdrawal symptoms include shakiness, headaches, irritability, anxiety and nausea.
Symptoms become more severe as you near the 24-hour mark. In addition to the early symptoms listed above, a person may also feel disoriented, and experience hand tremors and/or seizures.
Day two can be one of the toughest days of detoxification. In addition to the earlier symptoms, a person might also experience panic attacks and hallucinations as the alcohol continues to flush from your body’s system.
The Rest of Week One
For the rest of the week, symptoms will likely come and go. This is the time when you’re at the highest risk of deadly symptoms, such as delirium tremens.
After Week One
After the first week, most withdrawal symptoms will have subsided. That being said, some symptoms may persist for a few weeks after detox. Most symptoms will be minor and can be treated with medication.
Sometimes people do experience long-term symptoms of detox, called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These symptoms generally include anxiety, trouble sleeping, delayed reflexes and trouble sleeping. PAWS can last anywhere from several months to a year.
Professional Medical Detox
Professional medical detox is the safest option when it comes to alcohol withdrawal. At The Woods at Parkside, medical detox is overseen by experienced physicians and 24-hour nursing care. We believe that a safe detox is just the beginning of recovery, and must be followed by proper treatment.
During detox, medications may be used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. They can also help to reduce the risk of serious complications. The following medications are commonly used during medical detox:
Benzodiazepines (Benzos): Benzodiazepines, in general, suppress the nervous system, causing drowsiness or sleepiness. The two types of benzos that are most often prescribed in inpatient rehab are chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and diazepam (Valium).
Benzos can help reduce several alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Seizures and tremors
- Difficulty sleeping and restlessness
- Chills and fever
- Nausea and vomiting
Naltrexone: Naltrexone suppresses the pleasurable effects of alcohol. During detox, it can help to reduce alcohol cravings. Although, this medication can increase withdrawal symptoms, and therefore is often administered at a week to 10 days.
This medication is available in pill form or as an injectable. As a pill, it comes under the brand names ReVia and Depade. As an injectable it is known as the brand Vivitrol.
Acamprosate: Alcoholism changes the way your brain functions. Acamprosate is a medication that helps your brain function regularly again. Additionally, it can help reduce alcohol cravings. It is sold under the brand name Campral.
Disulfiram: Sometimes disulfiram is prescribed after you have checked out from inpatient treatment. It produces negative side effects if taken with alcohol, such as facial flushing, weakness, headaches, low blood pressure and nausea. These negative side effects are meant to serve as a deterrent from drinking.
Start Your Path to Recovery
If you or a loved one are ready to start your path toward a better life, we’re here to help. Call (614) 471-2552 to speak with one of our treatment specialists and learn more about our programs.