Home Health Alcohol Detox: What to Expect on Your Recovery Journey
Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Detox: What to Expect on Your Recovery Journey

by admin

In America, 385 citizens die every day from consuming too much alcohol. On a global scale, around 3 million people die from alcohol abuse annually.

Even if you know you have a severe problem, alcohol detoxing can feel daunting. But if you know what to expect, it makes detoxing from alcohol much more manageable.

The following guide will explain exactly how alcohol detox treatments work. Read on to learn how to prepare for your recovery journey.

Alcohol Withdrawal Causes

People suffer from alcohol withdrawal because drinking affects brain chemistry. It hinders certain neurotransmitters from working properly in the brain. It’s what produces euphoric feelings from getting drunk.

Those who drink a lot over long spans of time end up needing more alcohol to get that euphoric feeling. Doing so causes their brain to adapt to getting surrounded by large amounts of alcohol all the time.

When the person tries to stop drinking alcohol, those neurotransmitters aren’t subdued. Then, the neurotransmitters become very overstimulated. This overstimulation causes several common alcohol withdrawal symptoms throughout the detox process.

For some, alcohol withdrawal symptoms start as early as a few hours after they’ve had their last drink. However, this factor varies depending on how often you drink and how long you’ve been drinking that way.

For example, you might notice symptoms faster if you’ve been an alcoholic for a decade. Those new to the illness experience symptoms more slowly.

Stages of Withdrawal

In the first 6 to 12 hours after your last drink, expect to become restless. You’ll likely experience anxiety, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Between 12 and 24 hours, you’ll like experience disorientation. In some cases, hand tremors and seizures even occur during this stage.

Seizures become more common two days after your last drink. Insomnia, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and fevers also occur at this point. Keep in mind that only heavy drinkers experience the most severe symptoms.

Of all the withdrawal symptoms, delirium tremens are the most serious. In some cases, they can even lead to death if not treated immediately.

Luckily, most recovering alcoholics never experience delirium tremens during their detox treatment. Those that experience DT usually have at least a 10-year history of alcohol abuse.

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal

Acute alcohol withdrawals are severe and happen very suddenly. It generally happens sometime during the first few weeks of stopping alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal include losing consciousness, seizures, and delirium tremens. It might become deadly in some cases. So, it’s best to go through the process under close medical supervision.

Keep in mind that certain symptoms might continue even after the first withdrawal process if you’re a heavy drinker. In extreme cases, symptoms might even last for an entire year before going away.

Post-alcohol withdrawal symptoms include things like irritability, sudden mood swings, and anxiety. Other symptoms include sleep issues, memory issues, dizziness, and delayed reflexes.

If you’re struggling with post-alcohol withdrawal symptoms, try to keep in mind that they will go away eventually. Most relapses occur because people try to relieve the symptoms previously mentioned.

Remember that drinking alcohol only makes symptoms worse in the grand scheme of things even if it feels like a solution. 

Benefits of Alcohol Detox Treatments

Detoxing helps improve your overall health and well-being and also makes it easier to communicate with friends and family. Detox facilities provide a supportive environment and a great sense of community.

You can increase your self-awareness and understanding by entering treatment programs. You’ll also learn healthy coping mechanisms to help your long-term sobriety.

You’ll also build relationships with others in recovery. Doing so can help you process trauma and learn to set boundaries. You can follow the link for more info on alcohol recovery and its benefits.

Treatment Programs

The first step of treatment programs is an intake assessment. This individual assessment helps to build a specific plan for recovery.

After a plan gets created, you’ll move on to detoxing and healing. Expect expert support during your detox treatment and withdrawals.

Finally, clinicians begin setting personal recovery goals for you. Examples include building communication skills and handling any underlying addiction problems.

For life-threatening cases, you’ll likely need to enter an inpatient program. For less severe cases, outpatient programs offer great moral support and guidance.

Financial Planning

Some alcohol treatment programs accept private insurance and Medicaid. However, the coverage amount varies depending on your provider and many have limitations.

Keep in mind that some insurance providers won’t cover certain kinds of therapy. Medicaid fully covers treatment programs if you’re older than 65.

A lot of treatment facilities offer their own financing plans to patients as well. It might come directly from the treatment center or via a third party.

You can also use a credit card or bank loan to pay for most treatment plans. Just make sure to find the lowest rates possible so that you don’t have to worry about treatment becoming even more expensive.

Certain credit card providers even offer deferred interest rates for healthcare. They cover medical expenses such as treatments for substance and mental health issues.

Understanding Detox Treatments

Now you know what to expect from alcohol detox treatments. You also have an idea of the symptoms you might experience. Remember that you have different financing options to help cover expenses.

It takes courage to start recovery, but the benefits make it more than worth the effort. Check out our site’s health category under the Life Style tab for more helpful information.

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