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Professional Help for Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox



Professional Help for Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox

In 2017, more than 11% of Americans used illicit substances, meaning they most likely needed help for alcohol withdrawal.

Many drugs that are abused are associated with the development of significant physiological dependence.

This increases when consumed in large amounts and over long periods of time.

If you are dependent on a substance, then you are at risk for needing help for alcohol withdrawal.

This is because you may begin experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drinking.

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Do I Need Help For Alcohol Withdrawal?

The severity of withdrawal from alcohol depends on many factors.

Knowing if you need help for alcohol withdrawal also depends on these factors such as the amount of alcohol you drink, how often you use it, and any other co-occurring disorders you have.

Withdrawing from alcohol is a horrible experience for many, and can even result in death.

If you do not obtain help for alcohol withdrawal, it can also complicate recovery efforts.

Unmanaged withdrawal can be dangerous, may require medical care in order to keep you safe during detox.

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Why Am I Addicted?

When you drink alcohol regularly, your brain adjusts to the presence of this substance. The more you drink, the more of a chance you have to become physiologically dependent. This means that in order to function and feel “normal” you will need to drink.

Continued abuse of drugs or alcohol can interfere with both your motivation and reward chemistry. This results in drug cravings and dependence. Detoxing from alcohol is different than detoxing from cocaine. This is why help for alcohol withdrawal is different than that of other drugs.

Understanding Detox

All drugs have different timelines. Some withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable at the beginning and fade off quickly, while others can be extremely painful for long periods of time. Getting help for alcohol withdrawal means you can avoid potentially life-threatening issues.

Medical Detox

For certain types of substances, medical detox is a common part of early recovery. Alcohol is one of those substances. As part of a typical medical detox protocol, a team of doctors and nurses can administer medication and help you to manage your withdrawal process. This will help to alleviate discomfort and minimize any risk of dangerous symptoms. 

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

If you have developed a significant level of dependence, then withdrawal from alcohol will be difficult. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can develop within hours if you are heavily addicted. This is why it is always recommended not to quit “cold turkey”. Instead, we recommend seeking help for alcohol withdrawal.

Getting help for alcohol withdrawal can allow you to push your body to find a state of homeostasis as it reduces the amount of alcohol in your system. This can result in large fluctuations in brain chemicals and may result in health repercussions.

Alcohol detox also comes along with mental, and emotional symptoms. If these are unmanaged they can be quite dangerous.

Help for Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The duration of withdrawal is influenced by your alcohol use. It can depend on how often you have previously used it, as well as how much. The alcohol withdrawal timeline typically flows as follows:

First Several Hours

The first signs of alcohol withdrawal may appear within several hours after your last drink.

24-48 Hours

At this time your symptoms will peak, and your risk of seizures will remain high for anywhere from 12 hours to 48 hours after. You will also be at risk for delirium tremens, known as the DTs.

48 Hours +

The risk for DTs remains a concern for as long as 3 days after the last drink. You must continue to monitor your symptoms if you suffer from a severe addiction.

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All About Help for Alcohol Withdrawal

Although many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug, it is one of the most dangerous drugs to detox from. Along with benzodiazepines, alcohol can give you seizures and can easily be fatal if stopped cold turkey.

In addition, alcohol is the most commonly consumed addictive substance in the United States. This is most likely because it is legal, so people with significant alcohol dependence are always at risk for relapse.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Because alcohol is a central nervous depressant, quitting suddenly can produce a dangerous nervous system excitation. It is good to note that alcohol withdrawal is uncomfortable, and can also prove life-threatening if not appropriately managed through medical detox efforts.

You may notice alcohol withdrawal symptoms within hours of your last drink. Despite this, risk factors may continue for many days after. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you may notice the following symptoms if you attempt to quit or reduce your use.

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Hallucinations


Treatment and Help for Alcohol Withdrawal

There are many factors to consider when deciding if you need to go through medical detox to manage your withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox can help you to manage your withdrawal symptoms before going to another care facility. Because these periods of time can be dangerous, it also gives you a layer of security.

If you are considering getting sober for the first time, then it is always recommended that you seek a medical professional’s guidance. If you do this, then when your withdrawal symptoms appear, you will be in a place where they can be managed. Withdrawal management is a large part of the medical detox process and includes both medical and psychological care while going through withdrawal. 

Why Medical Detox

Medical detox provides the safest and most comfortable setting for withdrawal management. Rather than suffer alone, in detox, you will be able to rid your body of the toxic influence of alcohol. You will have medical professionals to monitor vital signs, ensure that you do not have a high body temperature or high blood pressure, as well as administer medications to prevent or manage severe symptoms.

Medication Used in Alcohol Withdrawal

Often doctors use the medication in treatment to help for alcohol withdrawal. This is called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. These medications are used to ease symptoms and decrease the risk of complications.

During alcohol detox, Benzodiazepines are often used for withdrawal management. For the management of acute alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepines are commonly administered. These help to avoid seizure prophylaxis and other symptomatic management. They will be then tapered off throughout the detox period.

How MAT Works

Different drugs have different timelines, symptoms, and risks. Because of this, treatment must be individually tailored to you and your alcohol use disorder. One of the primary goals of medical detox is to move into a longer-term treatment plan. This transition occurs after the withdrawal period has been successfully managed.

Although detox is important, it is never a substitute for continuing rehabilitation efforts. These efforts should always include behavioral therapeutic interventions and continued medical care.

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Getting Help for Alcohol Withdrawal

Whether you are looking into residential, inpatient, outpatient, or detox substance abuse treatment, these are all great options.

Inpatient often provides the most comprehensive care, but medical detox can be completed in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we hope to make withdrawal as comfortable as possible.

Contact us today to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment.

There is no day but today to get healthy.

Alexa Iocco

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