Detoxing from Alcohol: What Is Withdrawal Like?

Because of the long half-life of these medications, withdrawal is smoother, and rebound withdrawal symptoms are less likely to occur. Lorazepam and oxazepam are intermediate-acting medications with excellent records of efficacy. Treatment with these agents may be preferable in patients who metabolize medications less effectively, particularly the elderly and those with liver failure.

alcohol detox side effects

After the symptoms of withdrawal have subsided, many individuals seek mental health treatment. Alcohol use disorder takes a toll on the individual mentally and emotionally, not just physically. Medically-supervised detox can be provided on either an inpatient or an outpatient level, depending on the severity of previous alcohol use. There are a variety of treatment programs available to assist you through the detox process and provide you with peace of mind. Individuals who experience more serious acute withdrawal symptoms are more likely to have been heavy drinkers than those who only experience mild symptoms.

What Causes Alcohol Detox Side Effects?

The long-term outlook for someone experiencing alcohol withdrawal is highly dependent on what happens after detox. Meaningful recovery comes from a strong commitment to an extended period of treatment after detox. Professional alcohol detox can create a safe and supportive environment for detox to occur.

How long is a good break from alcohol?

Regardless of the reason and goal, 30 days of abstinence is the best way to start. Even if the goal is to cut down, abstinence can assist with lowering tolerance to ease moderation of use, and your body could use the break.

Recovery is a lifelong process and although there is no simple “cure” for addiction, aftercare programs, and peer support are essential to maintaining long-term or lifelong sobriety. Many individuals who have been sober for months and have completed detox, inpatient alcohol rehab, IOP, and a sober living program may continue their care by enrolling in an aftercare program. These programs are designed for rehab graduates who use regular meetings with their peers as sobriety check-ins. These recovery support services can also be combined with intensive outpatient programs to maximize the benefits of each. While enrolled in a sober living program, clients live in a clean, safe, and sober transitional living home with other peers in recovery. Alcohol addiction and AUD is a life-threatening condition that should be taken very seriously. Although it may seem impossible, alcohol addiction can be overcome with a comprehensive addiction treatment program and continued care.

Learn More About Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms at Northern Illinois Recovery Center

Very limited evidence indicates that topiramate or pregabalin may be useful in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. A 2010 Cochrane review similarly reported that the evidence to support the role of anticonvulsants over benzodiazepines in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal is not supported. Paraldehyde combined with chloral hydrate showed superiority over chlordiazepoxide with regard to life-threatening side effects and carbamazepine may have advantages for certain symptoms. Long term anticonvulsant medications are not usually recommended in those who have had prior seizures due to withdrawal. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used medication for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and are generally safe and effective in suppressing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. This class of medication is generally effective in symptoms control, but need to be used carefully.

alcohol detox side effects

However, those who drink more excessively may experience symptoms that last weeks or even months. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that occur when someone who is physically dependent upon alcohol suddenly stops drinking or drastically reduces their alcohol intake. If you choose to do a home detox, it is ideal to check with a medical alcohol detox side effects professional to ensure that it is safe for you to do without medical supervision. During the detox process, if you begin to experience more severe symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If approved by a healthcare professional for at-home detoxification, you can anticipate experiencing mild symptoms of withdrawal as listed above.

Are you at risk of alcohol withdrawal?

Substantial variability also exists in the incidence with which symptoms occur in various drinkers. Some people who regularly consume alcohol never experience any withdrawal symptoms. About one in 20 habitual drinkers will experience DTs within several days of quitting, with the more severe, life-threatening consequences occurring in the first 24 – 48 hours. For most individuals, the first step in a comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment program is an alcohol detox program. Some individuals may be tempted to detox at home, but this is never a good idea as alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Additionally, individuals who attempt to complete alcohol detoxification at home are much less likely to do so successfully, especially if alcoholic beverages are easily accessible. Early identification of problem drinking allows prevention or treatment of complications, including severe withdrawal.

They have access to the medical treatment they need and the support and care they deserve. If your home environment is not supportive for staying sober, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to connect you with shelter programs for people recovering from alcohol addiction. Alcohol withdrawal generally makes people feel exhausted, especially during the first few days as your body readjusts. You may also feel mentally foggy, like you can’t completely focus or concentrate. This is why it’s often necessary to set aside days for resting and allowing your body to heal if you’re going through alcohol withdrawal.

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