Detox is considered the first actual step to recovery for the alcohol addicts in North Carolina and cities like Charlotte or Asheville. Many addicts try to perform it at home but fail. That is because detox involves completely stopping alcohol consumption.
This brings about withdrawal symptoms that end being difficult or impossible to put up with for the addict. That is why specialists recommend treating alcohol addiction in specialized recovery centers. Here, several therapies are combined to keep withdrawal symptoms under control and support and motivate the patient throughout the detox process.
But what exactly does alcohol detox and, implicitly, withdrawal, involve? We will review the basics in the following lines.
About Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal
Specialists use the term “withdrawal” to refer to a variety of symptoms that addicts and heavy drinkers experience when they suddenly stop consuming. These symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, depending on the individual’s health condition and addiction stage.
Withdrawal is more common in adults but it can affect children and teenagers with alcohol use disorders as well. The good news is that, with adequate supervision and help, anyone can survive and recover. What is the story behind withdrawal symptoms?
Alcohol acts as a depressant on the nervous system. It disrupts neuronal connections and impairs certain brain functions. As a result, those who drink excessively will develop coordination and judgment issues.
When the drinking continues over long periods of time, the brain begins to adapt to the effects of alcohol and the respective persons develop tolerance to alcohol. The respective person ends up drinking more to obtain the same effects. They need more and more alcohol in order to feel normal or get through their day.
This is addiction. Once it has set in, the sufferer can no longer stop drinking. If they do, their nervous system goes into shock. Their body and mind crave alcohol and physical symptoms appear. But since addicts are unable to control the quantity of alcohol they consume, stopping consumption is the only solution to recover.
It takes a considerable period for the body to eliminate all alcohol and learn to function again without it. This period is referred to as alcohol detox. It can be painful and distressing due to drug withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Each person experiences alcohol withdrawal differently. Those who have been consuming alcohol for longer periods or in higher quantities may experience more severe symptoms. Those who are in good health and receive adequate support may have an easier time coping with everything.
The following symptoms are the most common among alcohol addicts who suddenly stop drinking:
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Vomiting and nausea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tremors and shaking
In extreme cases, alcohol withdrawal can lead to delirium tremens.
About Delirium Tremens
This condition associated with extreme withdrawal affects about 5% of alcohol addicts, especially those with a long history of alcohol abuse, withdrawal, and relapses. It is very dangerous, even fatal, as it can lead to seizures. The first symptoms usually appear within one day from the addicts’ last drink and can last for several days. They consist of:
- Emotional distress
- Oversensitivity to light, sound, and touch
- Irritability, agitation
- Severe confusion
- Seizures (usually within one day of the last drink)
These symptoms should be taken seriously and prompt the addict’s family and friends to seek help. Left to cope with them by themselves, the addict may relapse or, worse, jeopardize their own life. Moreover, seeing a loved one battle delirium tremens can be a traumatizing experience for anyone, be they spouse, parent, or child.
That is why it is better for the addict to go through alcohol detox and withdrawal in a recovery center. There, they will benefit not only from medical supervision but also from treatment to control and relieve symptoms. Their loved ones will receive information, advice, and support through this difficult stage and will not share their loved one’s suffering.
Plan for Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal in One of the Best Recovery Centers in Asheville, NC
At Asheville Recovery Center, we know too well how painful and challenging alcohol detox and withdrawal can be. That is why we have made it our mission to help addicts and their loved ones through this stage and guide them towards recovery. You too can benefit from our help. It all starts with a FREE consultation that you can schedule online or by calling (828)398-0181!