Alcohol addiction affects many people, to the point that one out of eight Americans is an alcoholic. The problem is that alcohol consumption, along with the temporary “feel good,” rewarding sensation, also leads to a series of withdrawal symptoms once you stop drinking.
What Is Alcohol WIthdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when your brain picks up on the fact that the alcohol is exiting your system. Depending on the severity of the addiction, alcohol can be either minor (often referred to as the classic “hangover”), or severe. The symptoms usually begin within 4-5 hours after you stop drinking and may last for as little as 24 hours and as long as 4-5 days.
When the person is bordering on the lines of alcoholism, both the brain and body will need alcohol in order to maintain their normal function and feel good. As a result, when the alcohol starts getting out of the system, the body will give signals that you need to “replenish” the alcohol that you just lost.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms take place when your body goes through a process of natural detox. In these moments, your body is trying its best to flush out the toxins from your system and reach a new equilibrium.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Everyone feels alcohol withdrawal differently. Some people will wake up after a night of heavy drinking and feel just a bit queasy. However, someone who has been drinking heavily for a while might feel more than just that.
Depending on how much the person drank during the past couple of weeks or months, the symptoms may not go away in just a few hours. To make matters worse, your genes may also determine how your withdrawal symptoms feel. If you are lucky, you will get away with just an uneasy stomach and a bad mood. However, if you are not lucky, you may feel a combination of the following symptoms:
- Feeling flushed, although the skin is cold
- Stomach problems
- Heart palpitations and increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Excessive thirst
- Sweating and shakiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to concentrate properly
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and a general feeling of weakness
These are only some common symptoms of withdrawal, and they tend to spike somewhere around 24 hours or 72 hours after getting your last drink. Some symptoms may persist for longer, in a mild state. For example, a general feeling of slight nausea or a headache that does not bother you much but is still present and annoying.
When Is It Time to Find Help?
If you notice that you are going through frequent withdrawal symptoms or seem to be jumping from one hangover to another, then you might be dealing with alcohol addiction. In this case, you might want to reach out and get help in order to bring your addiction under control.
Finding The Right Help for Withdrawals
The right help depends on each person’s circumstances. Ideally, you should reach out to a rehab center that may cater to your needs. After being checked out by the doctor, it will be determined whether you would reap more from inpatient treatment or outpatient therapy.
Look for a rehab center that offers custom treatment options, catering to your needs in particular. They must be able to control your symptoms, but also ensure you don’t give into withdrawal. Depending on your condition, they should be able to offer you long-term help as well.
The Best Treatment For Each Level of Alcoholic
In most cases, treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Here is what you may expect:
If your symptoms are mild to moderate, then you may be able to withdraw from alcohol in the comfort of your own home. However, you need to make sure you have someone caring for you. It may be a friend, or perhaps a nurse from a rehab center. They need to check up on you, to make sure that your symptoms do not get any worse.
Doctors may prescribe medication to treat your withdrawal symptoms, such as Valium or Ativan. You may also be tested for a variety of medical problems that may be tied to your consumption of alcohol. Medical detox treatment to prevent relapse may also be given. Depending on the circumstances, your course of treatment will also include counseling.
If the withdrawal symptoms are going from moderate to severe, then you will likely need to be admitted into a rehab center, no longer having the ability to withdraw from home. Under medical care, your vitals will be continuously checked, and the doctors will take the necessary precautions. You may be given IV fluids along with medication to help control your condition.
Sometimes, alcohol detox may leave alcoholics with long-term symptoms. Usually, medical treatment is not required after medical detox; the person will just need to abstain from alcohol in order to get better. However, in certain circumstances, people may be given medication to control the cravings – a symptom that may linger even after withdrawal has finished.
Each patient must make sure that they are living in a supportive environment. Depending on the circumstances, regular individual therapy is also due. To keep themselves under control, group therapy in the form of AA meetings may also prove helpful.
Why Real Deal?
When it comes to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, things can get rather difficult to manage. This is why you need rehab professionals, to help you through the symptoms with more ease. Real Deal has access to every tool required for a smooth withdrawal process. Whether you need inpatient treatment or outpatient therapy, you will be taken care of both in the short term and in the long run.
Withdrawal is never fun to deal with, especially when you are going through this completely alone. This is why you need to get all the help that you possibly can. Real Deal can help you in this process.