If you drink alcohol heavily for weeks, months, or years, you may have both mental and physical problems when you stop or seriously cut back on how much you drink. This is called alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms can range from mild to serious. The process where the human body is going through withdrawal is called detox since the body is physically removing the alcohol from its system.
Detoxing from alcohol without medical monitoring can be dangerous and many times symptoms include life-threatening seizures and other serious complications. Individuals who have become mentally and physically dependent upon alcohol can experience overstimulation of the brain without alcohol because it is a depressant.
Alcohol also puts heavy stress on the kidneys and livers and when the alcohol is no longer being funneled through the organs, there can be significant side effects.
Recovering alcoholics that are just taking the first step to overcome alcohol abuse, choose a medical detox so that they can safely go through the detox process, lessening the withdrawal symptoms to make them more bearable. If you have been drinking alcoholic beverages regularly for more than two years then you should seek help during this first stage of your recovery.
Detox is the first stage of recovery from alcohol use disorder and the most difficult time both mentally and physically. During this time the alcohol is removed from your body. Removing the alcohol is the first step and must be closely medically monitored in order to avoid seizures and other symptoms with come with alcohol withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms begin to subside after 1-2 weeks so it is important to also have therapeutic support from licensed counselors and a strong support system to avoid relapse.
There are three stages that you will go through when you are withdrawing from alcohol. The first stage will last for about twelve hours after your last drink.
During these hours, you may experience some of the following effects:
Stage two lasts 12 to 48 hours. The symptoms in this stage are more intense than during stage one and include:
There is a third stage of withdrawal that occurs during the first 72 hours after stopping drinking. The symptoms in this third stage include:
Alcohol detox must be monitored by a medical professional so that they can watch for any changes in the symptoms and address them as needed.
Seeking help for alcohol use is a huge step toward living a new life of happiness and sobriety. That’s why the decision on where to get treatment should not be taken lightly. At Magnified Health Systems, we are here to help.
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