Many people mistakenly believe that going “cold turkey” to combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms is safe. In reality, a non-supervised alcohol detox can be potentially life threatening. Many side effects could occur during the withdrawal process. That’s why it’s important to know what to expect during withdrawal and how to best get through it.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start soon after your last drink. For most people, only about six to 12 hours exist between drinking and feeling the first effects of withdrawal. However, people with severe alcoholism may feel effects as quickly as two hours after the last drink. These symptoms could last for several weeks.
People can experience a wide range of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. First, you’ll feel mildly anxious and shaky. You’ll then go through a range of ill feelings and possibly even dangerous symptoms which may require medical attention. The severity of your symptoms will depend upon your alcohol drinking history and other factors.
Most alcohol withdrawal symptoms are minor. Medical professionals may treat them using over-the-counter and prescribed medications. These symptoms include:
Many people experience hallucinations within 12–24 hours after their last drink. If you have been a heavy drinker for a long period of time, you may suffer these, too. The good news is that these only last about 48 hours.
There’s a possibility that you could have seizures during detox. These happen between 24–48 hours after the last drink, for most people who have them. For some heavier drinkers, seizures start within two hours after quitting. If you have gone through alcohol detox before, you have a greater chance of having seizures.
Delirium tremens, also known as DTs, start between two and three days after quitting alcohol. Not everyone experiences DTs. But if you have an acute health problem, poor liver function, a history of DTs, or you’re an aging adult, you’ll be at greater risk.
DTs symptoms peak in the first week, usually on about day five. The symptoms include a range of ill effects, such as confusion, severe anxiety, hallucinations, sweating, seizures, and severe tremors. You may also see your body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate increase.
Getting Help for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Some people are able to go through alcohol withdrawal with their doctor’s advice and outpatient guidance. However, most people with an alcohol problem need a high-quality, medically monitored detox experience.
Under 24/7 medical supervision, professional medical care will ensure that you’re safe from the beginning of withdrawal to the end. One major benefit of being in a licensed facility during withdrawal is your own safety from relapse. Getting you away from your access to alcohol is key in helping you stay the course.
If necessary, medications can help you get through withdrawal and limit discomfort. You’ll also be well-nourished under the center’s professional care, as well as well-hydrated to feel your best. While detox is never easy, the right help can make the difference between a successful start to sobriety and relapse.
The Right Treatment for Complete Alcohol Addiction Recovery
Detox alone won’t solve your drinking problem. It just cleanses your body and sets the stage for the rest of recovery. Trained professionals must continue to treat your addiction using proven methods and therapies.
At Ashley Addiction Treatment Center in Havre de Grace, Maryland, people just like you can receive the help they need to maintain lifelong sobriety. Along with detox, our substance abuse programs include:
- Primary Program for adults with alcohol addiction
- Young Adult Program for teens and young adults
- Relapse Program for bouncing back into recovery after a relapse
- Pain Recovery Program for patients needing pain management
At Ashley, we use a wide variety of treatment methods to help you understand and overcome your alcohol addiction. These therapies include individual, group and family counseling, as well as an array of holistic care approaches.
If you or someone you love is ready to stop drinking for a better life, call Ashley Addiction Treatment now at 866-313-6307.