One of the most essential steps while recovering from addiction is withdrawing from alcohol. But do you know the risks involved?
Many of you may consider taking up alcohol detox at home. Knowing some of the risks and how to manage them is crucial for you to determine if this is the choice that you are willing to take. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be quite taxing, but there are ways of easing these symptoms. You need to realize that just like while quitting anything else, reducing the intake of alcohol gradually will always make it easier for you than quitting cold turkey.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
Before learning about alcohol withdrawal, let’s learn about alcoholism. An alcoholic person can have many signs exhibiting the struggle they are going through. By recognizing these symptoms, you can identify that the individual is suffering from alcohol use disorder and take initiatives to get them the help that they need. One of the signs that can help you identify a struggling alcoholic is that the person in question may drink longer than he has intended or continues to drink more than he wanted to. He wanted to stop drinking but was unsuccessful in his attempts. The person may continue to drink continuously throughout the day, many times a week.
Drinking too much has multiple negative effects on a person’s life. One of the most common side effects is that the person has a hangover every day, hampering his ability to work properly, participate in class, or carry out the obligations they have towards their family. Their personal relationships with friends and family may be adversely affected. They may have withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t drinking.
Few Things You Can Try at Home
To ensure that the process is easier for you, you need to focus on eating nutritious food. A well-balanced healthy diet is required to give your body the energy that is needed to help you during recovery. Along with the other symptoms of withdrawal, you may also encounter fatigue. This is caused by dehydration, so you must remain sufficiently hydrated by drinking a lot of clean water.
Relaxation is key to ease withdrawal symptoms, so you can take warm showers which invariably help you to relax. Being addicted to alcohol and then going through the process of withdrawal might cause electrolyte imbalances in your body, which might cause muscle spasms or even seizures. You can have oral medication to help relieve the tension by giving a calming, sedating effect. You can buy Diazepam for this. It can treat anxiety and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. However, please use all medication cautiously.
You can boost electrolytes by drinking beverages such as sports drinks. Some relaxation techniques can help you in trying to lower your blood pressure and keep your mind calm. You can try meditation and deep breathing exercises as relaxation techniques.
Understanding Programs for Alcohol Withdrawal
The tactics mentioned above may be good to help you while you are experiencing minor symptoms, but if you have a severe alcohol addiction, then it is advised not to attempt detox at home. There are professional detox programs for you to consider in such circumstances. But before that, you need to gain an understanding of what alcohol detox programs are all about.
An alcohol detox program should not be taken as a program to treat alcohol addiction. Rather these programs offer ways to detox from alcohol, but the ways need to be supervised or assisted medically. The detox program can actually aid your brain in preparing for a rehab program, be it inpatient or outpatient.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
There are quite a few symptoms that are caused by alcohol withdrawal that affects the mental and physical health of an individual. A few of the psychological symptoms are mood swings, anxiety, increased irritability, depression, having frequent nightmares, and difficulty in thinking and making decisions.
Alcohol withdrawal also has a few physical symptoms. They include having difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, sweating excessively, shaking or tremors in different parts of the body, fatigue, and nausea. Some individuals also experience a faster heart rate. Few of these symptoms may be quite severe, warranting the need for immediate care. This situation is known as Delirium Tremens and can cause symptoms such as severe agitation, hallucinations, fever, delirium, and seizures.
What Can Be the Duration of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
How long alcohol withdrawal symptoms will last depends on the individual person. Mostly, symptoms start to emerge within the first few hours after an individual stopped taking alcohol while in some other individuals, it may take up to a few days for symptoms to appear.
After alcohol withdrawal begins, the symptoms are most severe within the first 72 hours, and then they gradually start to ease up. Although for some people, these symptoms have been known to last for weeks. How much alcohol you have consumed over the years and other histories typically determines the duration of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Should You Stop Drinking Cold Turkey?
It actually might prove to be dangerous to stop drinking alcohol all of a sudden. This has been known to cause seizures and other potentially life-threatening conditions. The brain needs time to adapt to the change in alcohol intake, so when someone stops drinking cold turkey, the brain finds it very difficult to adapt to the sudden change. So it is always advised to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume gradually instead of quitting it altogether abruptly one day. If you are gradually stopping the consumption of alcohol, your brain gets time to adjust. This, in turn, brings down the risk of withdrawal symptoms reaching serious levels.
Fighting alcoholism is tough, and for people who are trying to give it up, the biggest challenge is dealing with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But in order to achieve something positive, you must put in your best effort. So follow the tips mentioned above to learn how you can deal with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in a way that is easiest for you. Best of luck on your journey to sobriety.