Some alcoholics avoid addiction treatment because they worry about the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Medically supervised detox makes it possible to give up drinking safely and comfortably. However, many question what exactly is withdrawal like and what happens after?
Understanding the Detox Timeline
Alcohol depresses the nervous system. In particular, it cuts off communication of neurotransmitters. When you quit drinking, you remove the depressant chemical. The neurotransmitters come back on, but the rebound takes a physical toll on you.
Some individuals experience withdrawal symptoms after not drinking for a couple of hours. For others, it takes up to ten hours for the first symptoms to start. Their severity depends, in part, on the length of addiction and overall health of the individual. Another contributing factor is the amount of alcohol a person typically consumes.
Symptoms start slowly, but peak by days two or three. From there, they taper off gradually. Regular detoxification takes about seven days. That said, some people experience relief after three days while others take ten.
Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Initial alcohol withdrawal symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, agitation, shaky hands, and anxiety. You may feel like there’s something you should get up and do, but you don’t know what it is. On day two, you’ll likely experience the full strength of the symptoms. At this time, you may feel like you have a bad case of the flu.
In severe cases, there’s a chance of suffering seizures. Although rare, some individuals in withdrawal report delirium tremens (DTs), which include unusually vivid hallucinations. For this reason, it’s vital to undertake withdrawal at a medically supervised alcohol detox facility. Don’t try to go it alone at home.
Getting Help after Detox is Crucial to Recovery
It would be simplistic to suggest that you’re free from addiction after detox. Rather, you succeed in breaking your physical dependence on the substance. Now, there’s still the psychological or emotional addiction. Getting to the reason for developing dependence in the first place is a significant aspect of relapse prevention.
Rehab facilities rely on addiction treatment programs that include:
- Individual counseling in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you change negative patterns in your decision-making
- Group therapy as a method for learning from others in similar situations what works and what doesn’t
- Family therapy is an excellent vehicle for healing strained relationships and preparing loved ones to help with recovery efforts
- Trauma therapy is an integral part of letting go of past hurts that affect today’s actions and thoughts
- Holistic therapy helps you reclaim your overall health and mindset with Yoga, nutrition counseling, and fitness
We treat a variety of addictions in addition to alcohol addiction. These treatment programs include:
If you or a loved one could benefit from professional assistance with addiction, Crestview Recovery is here to help. We’ll refer you to a top-notch detox facility before you begin your journey to recovery with us. You don’t have to continue on the lonely path of substance abuse for another day. Reach out today by calling 866.262.0531.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.