Detoxing from Alcohol

Detoxing from alcohol can look very different to many different people. The way you may feel when you detox from alcohol depends on the severity of your addiction and how long you have been addicted to alcohol for. If someone has had a few too many drinks at a celebration, chances are, they might feel hungover the next morning. They might experience nausea or a headache, but are able to feel back to normal later that day or the following day.

However, for someone suffering from an alcohol addiction, the experience is much different. The body of someone suffering from alcohol addiction is chemically wired to require the substance, and extreme physical withdrawal symptoms will come into play.

What Alcohol Does to the Body

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking alcohol can cause big changes to your central nervous system, as well as many other parts of your body. Alcohol can also cause long-term damage to your behavior, emotions and memory. Your reflexes slow down, your coordination is impaired, thought patterns become warped and your motor functions can become impaired.

More serious long-term damage to your body from alcohol can include:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’ve ever felt hungover, then you have felt alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The severity and length of these withdrawal symptoms vary from person-to-person. The more someone drinks, the higher their tolerance becomes. Due to this tolerance, it takes much more alcohol for someone to become drunk. This large amount of alcohol on a regular basis will cause dependency and addiction. The addiction also causes much more severe, uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium tremens

Dangers of Detoxing Alone

Even though alcohol is a legal substance, it is the only substance in which the withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. This is because alcohol is toxic to the body, and causes big changes to a person’s central nervous system. Once alcohol dependency has built up and and the body of someone suffering from alcoholism has adapted to alcohol being present, it can be dangerous to make such a sudden change by quitting alcohol cold turkey. It can cause negative, damaging effects to the central nervous system. These sudden changes can result in seizures, delirium tremens, and even stroke or death.

Delirium Tremens

According to Medline, Delirium tremens can occur when you stop drinking alcohol after a period of heavy drinking, especially if you do not eat enough food. It occurs most often in people who have a history of alcohol withdrawal. It is especially common in those who drink 4 to 5 pints (1.8 to 2.4 liters) of wine, 7 to 8 pints (3.3 to 3.8 liters) of beer, or 1 pint (1/2 liter) of “hard” alcohol every day for several months. Delirium tremens also commonly affects people who have used alcohol for more than 10 years.

Some of the signs and symptoms of delirium tremens can include:

  • Sudden severe confusion
  • Body tremors
  • Changes in mental function
  • Agitation, irritability
  • Deep sleep that lasts for a day or longer
  • Excitement or fear
  • Hallucinations
  • Bursts of energy
  • Quick mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, touch
  • Stupor, sleepiness, fatigue

These symptoms can happen quickly, and require immediate medical attention.

Comfortable, Safe Detox from Alcohol

Since these dangerous side effects can begin in the first 12 to 48 hours after the last drink, it is very important to safely detox from alcohol under medical supervision. There are medications available to help ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which might end up saving your life.

In addition, detoxing from alcohol makes your body crave it more than ever. Your body feels as if it requires alcohol in order to function, and detoxing alone can prove to be be too tempting and you may choose give in to those feelings. Giving in could result in a large binge session to compensate. This can also be shocking to the central nervous system, and could lead to fatal consequences.. During safe, medical detox from alcohol, you can be given medication to help curb those cravings so that your distractions and discomfort are kept at a minimum.

About Cliffside Malibu

Detoxing from alcohol does not need to be an uncomfortable experience. You can detox from alcohol and experience little to no discomfort, while relaxing in a serene and relaxing environment. Our on-staff addictionologist and medical team will ensure that you are feeling happy, comfortable, free of cravings and have all the tools you need to focus on your therapy and recovery.

Each patient is then matched with one of these five stages of the Transtheoretical Model: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. An individualized treatment plan is created based on their current stage of change. This process is in place to ensure that all our patients receive the best treatment path possible for their own specific need. Our goal is to move individuals through their treatment by assessing their readiness for change and formulating stage-matched interventions in order to move them through their respective stage.

It is the policy of Cliffside Malibu to ensure that all individuals who present with chemical dependency issues are assessed for the appropriate level of care. We strive to provide continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Services are provided to individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction. Individuals seeking treatment are assessed by qualified staff to ensure program criteria are met and that each individual admitted is placed in the appropriate level of care for treatment. The program is designed and structured for individuals who are in need of a supportive environment in order to maintain Sobriety.

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