How to Safely Detox from Alcohol
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing and progressive brain disease, characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable alcohol use or consumption, and a negative state of emotion when not using alcohol.
However, many individuals who drink do not start off at this phase.
Alcohol consumption typically begins, with the person uncertain where it will lead.
For people with an alcohol problem, detox from drinking alcohol at some stage becomes marked with pain, isolation, and turmoil.
However, there is hope and alcohol withdrawal help for anyone battling with an alcohol issue.
At Emerald Isle, you are not alone.
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Facts and Statistics on Alcoholism
Reports from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse show that in 2015, over 15 million adults in the U.S. battled with an Alcohol Use Disorder. This data included about 9.8 million and 5.5 million men and women, respectively. Further information showed that about 623,000 adolescents between ages 12 and 17, also reportedly struggled with AUD.
Excessive drinking has become a serious challenge. According to CDC data, 88,000 deaths associated with excessive drinking and alcoholism are recorded annually. Individuals with excessive drinking habits cut off an average of 30 years from their life span.
It is also very important to address a common misperception about alcoholism and alcohol abuse. People often think that persons with alcohol problems are homeless, friendless, jobless, and generally violent. Although this can paint an accurate picture in some cases, it is miles off from addressing how most alcoholics live.
The SAMSHA reports that in 2014, the United States alone had 139.7 million alcohol users. 17 million met the criteria for having an AUD. The SAMSHA defines excessive alcohol as having five-plus drinks on one occasion for gents and four-plus drinks on one sitting for ladies.
Detox from drinking alcohol, overcoming an AUD, or quitting any form of drinking problems is essential for both short-term and long-term health. However, just quitting alcohol “cold turkey” is not easy. People who consume alcohol excessively for months and years are susceptible to withdrawal symptoms as the brain has become dependent on alcohol presence in the system to regulate the body and emotions.
Most symptoms of withdrawal can be uncomfortable and intense, but some can become life-threatening. Therefore, detoxing from drinking alcohol at home is risky, not only because of the likelihood of the user relapsing back into abusing alcohol but also because there are increased chances that the person may need hospitalization or worse, end up dead.
Seek professional alcohol withdrawal help. Our facilities at Emerald Isle are staffed with trained professionals to best help patients with their alcoholism and alcohol abuse issues. We are capable of handling any and all cases and circumstances with licensed staff, up-to-date equipment, and approved techniques. We aim to help individuals who want to help themselves, and will always support your decision to seek help.
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Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
Knowing what to look out for if you suspect that you or a loved one has an alcohol problem is very important. Since alcohol consumption is so common, what is an issue or a condition can often be overlooked. However, do not be mistaken, if someone becomes a true alcoholic, at some point their drinking will gradually turn to a daily need and obsession.
The Three Stages of Alcoholism
When taking a holistic look at your drinking habits, it is vital to understand that there are three alcoholism stages. Each stage is progressive and characterized by specific symptoms. Getting alcohol withdrawal help during the earlier stages is ideal, therefore, it is vital to understand each stage and what to expect. However, regardless of whatever stage a user is in, recovery is always a possibility with the appropriate support and treatment center.
This is the early alcoholism stage. It is hard to determine if there is a problem at this stage due to several reasons. Symptoms usually associated with alcoholism rarely manifest in this stage. This is the stage where tolerance is being developed so it may be difficult to definitively determine whether there is an issue or not. Look for subtle signs like more drinking on a single occasion than normal, more frequent drinking, skipping out on responsibilities, etc.
The mid alcoholism stage can manifest more physical problems and increased social issues. Vomiting, extreme hangovers, and blackouts may now occur. Alcohol cravings or withdrawal when not drinking or attempting to quit unsuccessfully also characterize this stage. Emotional issues may become consistent.
This last stage is often what people define alcoholism and alcoholics like. If alcohol withdrawal help is not received at this stage, the result is often dire. Physical appearance, hygiene, and general health significantly decline. Jobs and relationships are lost and isolation often becomes the norm. Serious physical issues may begin to manifest – cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, pancreatitis, and respiratory issues are among the health problems associated with this stage.
If you have entered this late stage, it is important that you not only seek assistance but also ensure that you obtain medical advice, care and supervision to safely detox from drinking alcohol.
Taking the Next Step—Detox from Drinking Alcohol
As stated above, detox from drinking alcohol on your own can not only prove difficult but can also become fatal. Self-detoxing can also boost the risk of relapse. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become so excruciating that the individual attempting to quit drinking thinks they cannot get through it and relapse back into drinking to ease the pain, both physically and psychologically.
For these reasons, it is advised that anyone who wants to quit alcohol should seek alcohol withdrawal help through an alcohol detox center or alcohol detox program to take the very first vital steps towards freedom from alcohol addiction. In fact, individuals trying to quit drinking regardless of their alcoholism stage are not recommended to do so without medical care.
Emerald Isle, similar to most treatment centers offers inpatient and/or outpatient treatment for alcohol detox. Since detox from drinking alcohol can be excruciating, both physically and mentally, our staff tend to form a bond with the patient. Our working staff will continue to support patients throughout the program. This we have found to be beneficial towards recovery.
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What is Alcohol Detox?
Detox from drinking alcohol is the first step to stopping drinking and living a recovery life. Although the prospect of walking this path may appear daunting, more people like you have successfully undertaken this journey with help and found freedom from alcoholism.
Understanding what to expect in the course of alcohol withdrawal or alcohol detox can be valuable to successfully navigating it. Just as every individual varies in biological makeup and drinking history, so does the precise withdrawal process. However, there are a few common factors to be considered.
The heavier and longer the alcohol abuse, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms. Typically, when an individual’s body has become addicted to any type of substance, including alcohol, it becomes dependent on it to regulate daily metabolic activities. When this substance suddenly becomes absent from the body, the entire system can go into shock.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
As mentioned above, depending on each person and their specific conditions surrounding their alcohol consumption, the alcohol withdrawal symptoms will vary. However, without any medical care, these symptoms are more likely to become intense and they kick in between six hours and three days of the last drink.
If you attempt to quit “cold turkey,” these symptoms may force you to go back to consuming excessive alcohol to cope. This puts such users at a high risk of alcohol poisoning. Below are some of the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Agitation or irritability
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme dehydration
- Mood swings and emotional outbursts
- Alcoholic tremors
- Rapid heart rate
- Delirium Tremens – these are severe, life-threatening symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Generally, similar to the three stages of alcoholism, alcohol withdrawal can also be grouped into three stages. Each stage is characterized by its specific withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Withdrawal or Alcohol Detox Duration
The Three Phases of Alcohol Withdrawal
The first stage of detox from drinking alcohol is characterized by acute symptoms. Typically occurring about eight hours from the last drink. Users begin to experience the first alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, moodiness, irritability, vomiting, nausea, heart palpitations, and focusing issues. It lasts for between one and two days.
Generally, this commences between day 1 and day 3 of the last drink and is characterized by more serious medical concerns. From elevated heart rate and blood pressure to more extreme cases of moodiness. This is the stage of alcohol withdrawal where the body may start going into shock from lack of alcohol.
The final phase of alcohol detox is where users experience the most severe and life-threatening symptoms – seizures, hallucinations, extreme confusion, tremors, and high levels of irritability. This stage typically occurs between three days to one week of the last drink and can last for several weeks. If not followed up with the proper alcohol withdrawal help, some of the psychological issues associated with this stage like “wet brain” can potentially become permanent. This is among the numerous reason why seeking help in a reputable alcohol detox center like ours at Emerald Isle is crucial.
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Finding the Proper Alcohol Detox Center
If you notice that you or a loved one needs to quit drinking, it is only ideal to act now. Delaying this procedure will not only prolong the discomfort and suffering, but it can potentially result in more serious health issues. Despite the current circumstance and how hopeless and desperate you may feel, there is hope and help.
There are many things to consider when seeking programs or centers for detox from drinking alcohol. Medically supervised detox is crucial to your safe recovery. At Emerald Isle, while we offer no cure guarantees, our medical professionals will oversee your detox whether inpatient or outpatient. We will support and monitor you and treat any potential issues that may arise during your detox program with us. Seeking to get sober from alcohol, come onboard our alcohol detox program today to see how we can help you.
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