Detoxing from Alcohol: What Is Withdrawal Like?

Additional research also is needed to determine the most appropriate treatment settings as well as methods of engaging patients in ongoing relapse prevention efforts. Improved insight into these issues will enable clinicians to improve the efficiency and quality of care for patients who are alcohol detox side effects experiencing or are at risk for withdrawal. Sometimes people might find themselves unable to stop drinking, and as a result, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious damage to the body through liver disease and brain shrinkage.

Once withdrawal is complete, additional medications and supplements may be needed to address complications and nutritional deficiencies that occur because of chronic alcohol use. Benzodiazepines carry a Food and Drug Administration boxed warning because there is a risk of dependence. If you’re prescribed a medication from this class of drugs talk with your doctor about the risks before taking them and always follow the doctor’s instructions. A high fever, hallucinations, and heart disturbances are all reasons to seek immediate help. Your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine sedative such as Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), or Klonopin (clonazepam), to help you get through the early days of withdrawal. You will probably be tested for other medical problems that are related to your alcohol use, and will likely receive counseling regarding your alcohol use.

The Process Of Detoxification

As you approach the end of the first 24 hours of detox, symptoms may become increasingly severe. Alongside the effects felt from the first 12 hours, additional symptoms may involve disorientation, hand tremors and seizures. Reach out to a treatment provider for free today for immediate assistance. If you’re otherwise healthy and can stop drinking and get treatment, the outlook is usually good. However, sleep disturbances, irritability, and fatigue may continue for months. In addition, vitamin supplements may be given to replace essential vitamins that are depleted by alcohol use.

  • If you’re a heavy drinker—even if you don’t have alcohol use disorder—you’re likely to experience at least some symptoms if you stop drinking suddenly.
  • They might be flushed, run a high temperature, and sweat more than usual.
  • New Horizon Counseling Center(NHCC), a non-profit behavioral health organization licensed by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, offers alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Dopamine also assists with the body’s sense of attention, motor coordination, cognition and mood.

Alcohol withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable and even dangerous. Depending on a person’s level of addiction, they may need to attend a medically supervised detox program to prevent potentially life-threatening symptoms from occurring. When a person is physically dependent on alcohol, they will experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms when quitting drinking. The more severe the addiction, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be. If you’re ready to take the first step toward finding recovery, contact Stepping Stone Center for Recovery today. Our addiction specialist can answer any questions regarding our program and addiction treatment programs that are available to you.

Choice of Treatment Setting

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may persist for up to 10 days after the last use. Benzodiazepines should never be stopped cold turkey as doing so can lead to life-threatening seizures. A person detoxing from benzodiazepines should only do so under the care of a medical professional. The side effects of drug withdrawal will vary greatly depending on the substances a person is addicted to and the severity of their addiction. Each drug will be absorbed and metabolized at a different rate, meaning that symptoms of withdrawal will be experienced differently and at different times depending on the substance.

alcohol detox side effects

People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal. You will be watched closely for hallucinations and other signs of delirium tremens. Another medication used in the treatment of alcoholism is disulfiram.

Morning Drinking

Medically assisted detox is begun soon after assessment and admission into an inpatient facility and is continued with constant monitoring for up to a week. The medications used during this process can include a mild pain reliever to deal with head and body aches. The risk involved in detoxing from alcohol depends on how severe your substance use problem is. If you’ve been dependent on alcohol for a long time, you are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

What are the signs of detoxing?

  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Body pain.
  • Tremors.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.

When seeking treatment for alcoholism, understanding the risks and benefits of both at-home alcohol detox and alcohol detox programs is essential. Standard rehab protocol includes the use of benzodiazepines to manage anxiety and prevent seizures. It will also help with sleep issues and prepare for the work ahead in rehabilitation. Then, clinicians and therapists can address underlying health and mental health issues and begin treatment.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Although carbamazepine is used extensively in Europe, its use in the United States has been limited by lack of sufficient evidence that it prevents seizures and delirium. Alcohol withdrawal begins when someone who is physically dependent on alcohol stops drinking it abruptly or significantly reduces their consumption. Most alcohol detox programs last anywhere from a few days to over a week, with withdrawal symptoms usually subsiding within seven or more days of the program. However, alcohol cravings, sleep problems and other minor side effects may continue for some time after detox. Most people who complete rapid or ultra-rapid detox report continuation of withdrawal symptoms, albeit at a lower severity.

How long after quitting alcohol does your body heal?

If your liver function is not too badly affected by alcohol, it can recover within 4-8 weeks. With the liver playing a part in over 500 vital processes, you also give your body a better chance of removing contaminants, converting food nutrients, storing minerals and vitamins.