Coping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms during Detox
The Center for Disease Control estimates that there are 38 million adults who currently abuse alcohol. We know that the impact of alcohol abuse can be devastating but for the person who abuses alcohol the thoughts of going through withdrawal is extremely scary as well. The stories of withdrawal from alcohol are everywhere and can make you think- “Can I cope with the withdrawal?” This fear of not being able to cope can deter people from taking that first, important step towards recovery. Alcohol withdrawal has the potential to be life threatening although the effects of the withdrawal is dependent on a number of factors. These factors include how long the person has been abusing the alcohol, how often and the quantity they consume on a regular basis. When you consume alcohol regularly your body becomes dependent and when you stop suddenly you will begin to experience the withdrawal symptoms very soon after.
What to Watch For
Listed below are some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. While these symptoms can range from mild to severe depending upon how long and how much alcohol you have abused, you need to have a plan in place to cope with these. At times some of these symptoms can be life threatening.
- Headache, some of which can be severe
- Shaking or body tremors
- Sweating, which can become excessive
- Increased feeling of anxiety, nervousness or restlessness
- Nausea, vomiting along with stomach cramping and even diarrhea at times
- Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
- Increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure
You should call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Signs of confusion or being disoriented
- Sudden fever
- Experience hallucinations
- Becoming extremely agitated or violent
- Any type of seizure or convulsions
Any of the symptoms listed above could be a sign of a severe form of alcohol withdrawal described as delirium tremens, or DT’s. Although this condition is rare, it is very dangerous as it changes the way your brain regulates your circulation and breathing, you or anyone with you should be aware to get you to a hospital right away so you can get treatment for this condition.
It is so important that you or a loved one seek treatment for your alcoholism. At the treatment center they have a professional staff they can assist you during your detox phase, which can be very difficult. If you are able to receive treatment at an inpatient center they will be able to provide much needed medications and therapies that will ease your transition into an alcohol free life. The use of medications such as Buprenorphine and naltrexone are among those used which brings faster relief. With an inpatient treatment program you or your loved one is able to receive intensive counseling and therapy that will help you to cope with all of your triggers and behaviors that led to your abuse of alcohol.