Withdrawal is a natural and often necessary part of quitting alcohol. It’s a sign that your body is eliminating alcohol from your system, and it can be very dangerous if you don’t treat it appropriately.
This guide will discuss what withdrawal looks like, how to spot it, and what alcohol treatment centers can do to help.
How Does It Happen?
Alcohol withdrawal is a complex process involving the nervous system and the brain. When you drink alcohol, your body absorbs it quickly into your bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. From there, it travels to your brain, which can slow down certain functions in your brain depending on how much alcohol you consume.
When you abruptly stop drinking after a period of heavy use, the central nervous system (CNS) becomes hyperactive, causing many symptoms associated with an alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These symptoms may include:
- Tremors (shaking)
The first signs of the condition can appear as soon as six hours after the last drink, but the more severe ones, such as seizures and hallucinations, only appear 12 to 48 hours later. In some cases, severe symptoms, such as high blood pressure and delirium tremens, can develop after 48 to 72 hours. The duration and amount of your alcohol consumption will determine this. People experiencing withdrawal are often highly uncomfortable and distressed, making them more likely to return to drinking, which is why they need help before returning.
Diagnosing Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms at Alcohol Treatment Centers
Your doctor will ask about your drinking history and how recently you stopped. They would also like to know if you have ever had any experience with alcohol withdrawal. Your doctor will also discuss your symptoms and examine you to rule out any underlying medical causes.
They should perform testing for electrolyte levels, a complete blood count, a liver function test, a urine drug test, and a determination of blood alcohol levels. These tests can detect conditions such as:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Nervous system impairment
- Liver disease
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal
You probably won’t need more than a supportive environment to help you unless you have a severe health condition or have previously experienced withdrawals. To treat alcohol withdrawal at home, you will need:
- Soft lighting
- A quiet place
- Less contact with people
- lots of fluids and healthy food
- A supportive atmosphere
If you decide to get therapy, you can discuss with your doctor what kind of care you require. Each treatment varies depending on how severe your withdrawal symptoms are. Detox doctors strive to help you quit drinking quickly and safely.
Treatment begins with alcohol detox. This program assists you in navigating the difficult process of AWS. During the detox program, they provide alcohol counseling, which is crucial to achieving sobriety. After detox, there are different approaches to treatment and settings that can assist you in maintaining long-term sobriety.
If you’ve developed an alcohol dependency and are wondering how to get help, it’s an excellent sign that you’re ready for change. Alcoholism recovery is not simply about abstaining from alcohol but finding a more fulfilling lifestyle. This can involve many facets of your life: from spending time with friends and family to finding a new work environment or a more stable living situation. But before making this happen, you need proper treatment and support.