Alcohol has been normalized in American society. It permeates our culture via books, television, movies, and advertisements. It is portrayed as a giver of good times, a bonding experience, and something of independence and romance. The truth is that alcohol is a depressant. It slows the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause drowsiness and delayed reaction time and other related symptoms. It is the cause of more than half of all of the deaths related to driving in the United States. It causes the internal organs to fail and steals time from family and raids the pocketbooks of struggling spouses. Although the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol detoxification can be excruciating, the result is a more rewarding and healthy life.
When tolerance to alcohol is built, the body learns to compensate and to keep the brain in a more wakeful state. When you decide to quit drinking, there will be symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Some people choose to stop ‘cold turkey’ (all at once and without help). Stopping without support may or may not be a good idea, depending on the severity of the addiction. If you have not been drinking long, or if you do not drink very much, withdrawals may not occur, or they may be minor symptoms. These less-serious symptoms can include shaking or tremors, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, headache, insomnia, and excessive sweating. These usually commence after as few as six hours after you stop consuming alcohol. Though generally not life-threatening, these symptoms can be uncomfortable enough to cause a relapse or additional drinking to stave off further withdrawals.
Alcohol Detoxification Programs
If you have tried to quit before, or you drink frequently and want to stop, it is recommended that you seek an alcohol detoxification program. A detox program can be beneficial because there are medical doctors and staff present that can see to it that you remain safe and sober through detox. Alcohol detoxification is the process by which your body is allowed to rid itself of the toxins that have built up internally over the period during which alcohol was ingested. Several severe symptoms of withdrawal should be monitored by a physician. These can include hallucinations, seizures, confusion, high blood pressure, and fever. These are sometimes associated with Delirium Tremens (DTs). DTs are symptoms including vivid hallucinations and delusions. DTs are relatively rare, however.
Inpatient detox programs are usually preferred because the patient can be monitored and because they provide accountability for the patient to remain sober through the withdrawal stages of detoxification. It is essential that the facility at which you (or whoever is recovering from alcohol addiction) is clean, safe, comfortable, and conducive to rest and positivity. Some programs will involve more group-oriented treatment, while others may focus more on the individuals on a more singular basis. Everyone is different, and treatment should be chosen according to the needs of the patient.
During alcohol detoxification, it will be beneficial to stick to the prescribed or suggested regimen of vitamins, the recommended diet, and water/fluid intake. For detox to work efficiently, the body must be given the proper nutrition. The amount of water required by the body to rid itself of toxins is substantial. To allow this process to happen without depriving the rest of the body’s functions of the water needed to be completed, plenty of water must be ingested. It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water anyway. Sometimes, vitamin drinks or electrolytes are also given for the patient to drink.
Maintain Positivity in Recovery
As with overcoming anything in life, simplification can be helpful in the journey to sobriety (in detox, and at home). Having a space that is quiet and calm to collect your thoughts and relax will help greatly. Since alcohol is often used in groups or at parties or other social events, it might be good to set boundaries for yourself. These boundaries might include a curfew, places that you should avoid (like restaurants that serve alcohol) or even limited time spent with people that you might feel are not healthy to be around. It will also prove to be helpful to surround yourself with positivity in any way possible. Try only watching ‘upbeat’ or positive television shows. Music should be kept happy as well. Keeping your surroundings clean and simple, and maintaining your hygiene will promote positivity.
Remember, you are worth healthy change. If a better version of yourself can be achieved, it is essential that you try. Alcohol detoxification and rehab can seem overwhelming, along with the symptoms of withdrawal pains. This does not mean, however, that you will not have fun along the way to sobriety, or that you will not feel a fantastic sense of accomplishment every step of the journey. Detox is the first step. The human body is impressive and can get rid of the toxins that harm it. If you are interested in detox for yourself or a loved one, click here for lots of helpful information and resources.