Alcohol Withdrawal: Symptoms, Treatment and Alcohol Detox Duration

A healthcare provider will also run tests to rule out other medical conditions that have similar symptoms of alcohol withdrawal or occur alongside withdrawal. These conditions include gastrointestinal bleeding, infection, intracranial hemorrhage (acute bleeding in the brain), and liver failure. Alcohol withdrawal refers to the physical and mental effects a person experiences after stopping prolonged and heavy alcohol use. When you suddenly stop drinking, your body is deprived of the effects of alcohol and requires time to adjust to functioning without it. Depending on how long you have used alcohol and how much you typically drink, the severity of these symptoms can range from mild to severe.

However, this eventually becomes impossible to maintain as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA all begin to deplete from constant overstimulation. This is a very uncomfortable feeling and is the process that drives severe alcoholism and alcohol addiction. Typically, people who experience alcohol withdrawal are those who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), as their body has developed an increased tolerance and has become psychologically dependent on alcohol. Even if you only experience mild withdrawals, you should still highly consider our luxury addiction treatment. Your symptoms will undoubtedly exacerbate if you don’t seek the professional help that an alcohol rehab offers.

Impact on your health

The brain fog makes it difficult for someone to think clearly, concentrate, and remember things. When someone stops drinking, it causes their body to go into a state of physical and emotional stress. This can result in heart problems and stomach aches that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. New Horizon can help people identify and treat the underlying conditions that may be causing the dizziness, such as high blood pressure. It is important to consult with a doctor or psychiatrist to determine what is causing the dizziness. Unhealthy drinking habits that become severe are diagnosed as Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD.

alcohol detox side effects

Your doctor’s treatment goal is helping you stop drinking as quickly and safely as possible. Another trial12 yielded similar results, with patients in the fixed-schedule group receiving an average of 231.4 mg of oxazepam and those in the symptom-triggered group receiving an average of 37.5 mg. Of the patients in the symptom-triggered group, 61 percent did not receive any oxazepam. This trial excluded persons with major psychiatric, cognitive, or medical comorbidities. Abnormalities in fluid levels, electrolyte levels, or nutrition should be corrected.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

People having experienced alcohol withdrawal may suffer from sleep problems or minor signs of an overactive nervous system, such as fastened heartbeat, agitation, or sweats, for a few months. Symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea can cause severe dehydration, which is potentially a medical emergency. For this reason, it is important to stay hydrated when going through alcohol withdrawal. To sum up this vicious cycle, if we think of the brain as producing regular gas to run itself normally, alcohol is like jet fuel that quickly outpaces the brain’s fuel production abilities.

Treating alcohol withdrawal is a short-term fix that doesn’t help the core problem. When you talk to your doctor about symptom relief, it’s a good idea to discuss treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence. If your blood pressure, pulse, or body temperature rises, or if you have more serious symptoms like seizures and hallucinations, seek medical care immediately (dial 911). The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful and even life-threatening in some cases. The most common symptoms are rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, tremors and exhaustion.

Vocational Support

Sometimes people might find themselves unable to stop drinking, and as a result, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious damage to the body through liver disease and brain shrinkage. There are some withdrawal symptoms that may occur even after one has been sober for a long time, and these usually only last a few days.

Will my body heal if I stop drinking?

After drinking stops, damaged organs may regain partial function or even heal completely, depending on the extent of organ damage and whether there is relapse (i.e., resumption of drinking).

Although the exact timing of alcohol withdrawal symptoms varies, you can expect to feel the side effects in as soon as six hours. You’ll first notice mild side effects, such as heightened anxiety and digestive tract issues. After a day without alcohol, it’s not uncommon to have trouble seeing or hearing – you may begin to feel as though you’re in an altered state. Once you hit the one-day mark, you might also experience seizures or withdrawal delirium. Symptoms could start to wind down within two to three days after drinking for the lucky ones.

A therapist can help identify what causes this anxiety and then work with patients to come up with ways to manage their feelings of anxiety. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that excessive alcohol use cost the nation over $250 billion in 2010. Additionally, Texans paid approximately $26.5 billion—$703 for every resident—in 2013 for public healthcare costs, lost productivity, and other fallout resulting from excessive alcohol use. Contact us today to find out which program might be right for you, or to begin the process of arranging for treatment. Over time, your nervous system learns to adjust its functioning with drugs in the body all the time.

Will stopping alcohol reduce belly fat?

People who gain fat from alcohol tend to gain it in the midsection of their body, causing an alcohol or “beer belly.” Cutting back on regular, moderate-to-heavy alcohol intake can make it easier to lose weight. People also find that they experience fewer unhealthy food cravings when they cut back on alcohol.

The article also discusses how the treatment of AW can be linked to the treatment of alcohol dependence and any co-occurring or underlying disorders. For more in-depth discussions of some of these issues, the reader is referred to subsequent articles in this issue. In people with withdrawal delirium, temporary physical restraint may become necessary in order to prevent them from harming themselves and others. Any mechanical restraint should be removed as soon as sedation medication starts to work.

MedicationBenzodiazepines is necessary in all people with alcohol withdrawal in order to treat their agitation and to avoid complications. The treatment will work as a sedative and decrease the person’s neuronal overactivity.Benzodiazepines should never be taken long-term because of the high risk of getting addicted. While most benzos will work in the same way to decrease alcohol withdrawal symptoms, Ativan is safer than most for people with liver disease. Ativan is also less likely to depress breathing than other benzos, making it a safer choice in general. It can also be used at a lower dose and for a shorter duration than other benzos.

When alcohol detox is treated in an inpatient rehab facility, different medications may be used to help reduce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Medications can also help keep a person’s body chemicals in balance, lowering the risk for serious complications. In rehab, a medical professional will administer the medication and monitor its effects. If the medication begins to cause unwanted side effects or interferes with the detox process, another remedy can be used. The alcohol detox phase can involve withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to life-threatening. Oftentimes, the longevity and severity of your alcohol use disorder (AUD) will play a role in the withdrawal symptoms you experience.

What are the complications of alcohol withdrawal?

With alcohol withdrawal, seizures are among the most concerning symptoms, as they can result in fatality. It is strongly recommended to seek medical care and guidance when planning to stop alcohol use, especially if withdrawal symptoms are expected. Working with a medical provider can be helpful, as they can assist in preparing you for medical alcohol detoxification procedure. The safest and most comfortable way to detox from alcohol is by enrolling in a medically assisted alcohol detox program. Medically assisted detox programs provide clients with 24/7 monitoring and treatment to reduce or eliminate any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms they experience throughout the detox experience.

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