15 Alcohol Detox Symptoms
Alcohol Abuse: How It’s Defined
Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following within a 12-month period: failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home; drinking in dangerous or hazardous situations; legal problems related to alcohol; continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems caused or exacerbated by alcohol. It does not include physical alcohol dependence. However, a person who is struggling with alcohol abuse can struggle substantially with alcohol detox symptoms once they decide to work through their substance abuse issues. If you partner with Muse Treatment, our team will offer you a personalized treatment program to help you work through the contributing factor of your addiction.
Who Needs Alcohol Detox?
Individuals who are physically dependent on alcohol may need to undergo alcohol detox due to alcohol detox symptoms. The physical dependence on alcohol occurs when the body adapts to the presence of alcohol and develops withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is discontinued or reduced. These withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can even be life-threatening in some cases. It is important to note that detox is only the first step in treating alcohol addiction and that it should be followed by a comprehensive treatment program, such as behavioral therapy or rehab.
During alcohol detox, the body rids itself with the toxic effects of alcohol, and the individual stops drinking. The detox process can take several days to a week, depending on the severity of the individual’s alcohol use disorder.
Detox typically begins with a medical evaluation, during which a healthcare professional will assess the individual’s physical and mental health and determine the best course of treatment. During this process, we must be completely transparent about the extent of your addiction so that we can help you. Although admitting to this may be uncomfortable at times, it’s critical in your overall recovery process.
Medications may be prescribed to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. These medications can include benzodiazepines, which help to reduce anxiety and seizures, and other medications such as Antabuse, Acamprosate and Naltrexone which can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.
During detox, individuals will be closely monitored for any complications or severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or delirium tremens. In some cases, individuals may require hospitalization for medical supervision during detox.
It’s important to note that detox is only the first step in treating alcohol addiction and should be followed by a comprehensive treatment program, such as behavioral therapy or rehab, to address the underlying issues that led to the addiction and to help the individual maintain sobriety in the long term. Following detox, our team will coordinate with you to ensure that you have a plan in place for a long-term treatment program so that you can continue to make the most out of your time working with us following overcoming your alcohol detox symptoms. We are happy to assist if any changes need to be made to your treatment plan.
Is Alcohol Detox Dangerous?
Alcohol detox can be dangerous because withdrawal symptoms can be severe and sometimes life-threatening. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include tremors, seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and fever, among others. In extreme cases, delirium tremens (DTs) can occur, which is a serious condition that can lead to confusion, agitation, deep sleep, fever, hallucinations, and seizures. The risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and complications increases with the length of time and the amount of alcohol that a person has been drinking. That’s why individuals need to detox under medical supervision to ensure their safety.
Learn about Jeffrey Dahmer’s alcohol addiction in our blog below:
Symptoms of Alcohol Detox
The symptoms of alcohol detox can vary depending on the severity of a person’s alcohol use disorder and how long they have been drinking. Common symptoms of alcohol detox include:
- Tremors (shaking hands)
- Anxiety and agitation
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Delirium Tremens (DTs) in severe cases include confusion, hallucinations, seizures and fever.
It’s important to note that alcohol withdrawal can be unpredictable, and some individuals may experience more severe symptoms than others. In some cases, the symptoms of alcohol detox can be life-threatening, which is why it’s essential for individuals to detox under medical supervision.
Overcome Alcohol Addiction With Detox, Rehab and More at Muse
Overcoming alcohol addiction typically involves a multi-faceted approach that includes detox, rehab, and ongoing support. The process entails the following:
- Detox: As previously discussed, detox is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of the toxic effects of alcohol. It is the first step in treating alcohol addiction and should always be done under medical supervision.
- Rehab: After detox, individuals typically enter a rehabilitation program, including inpatient or outpatient treatment. Rehabilitation programs typically include behavioral therapy and counseling to help individuals understand and overcome the underlying issues that led to their addiction. They also provide support and guidance for maintaining sobriety. During rehab, individuals will receive a variety of evidence-based treatments and therapies, including:
- Behavioral therapy: This type of therapy helps individuals understand and change the patterns of thought and behavior that led to their addiction.
- Individual counseling: This allows individuals to discuss their addiction and recovery with a trained counselor or therapist.
- Group therapy: This allows individuals to share their experiences and support one another in recovery.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Some individuals may be prescribed medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
- Holistic therapies: Some rehab centers may also offer holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, and art therapy to help individuals manage stress and improve their overall well-being.
- Aftercare: Many inpatient rehab centers will help the individual to plan their next steps after they leave the program; they may also provide aftercare support such as referrals to support groups and follow-up appointments.
It’s important to remember that a treatment plan is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, and the length of stay may be adjusted accordingly. Recovery from alcohol addiction is a lifelong process, and ongoing support is essential for maintaining sobriety. This can include ongoing therapy, support groups, and participation in self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Medications can also be used to help with withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, these medications are called “Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder” (MATs). They can be used in combination with behavioral therapies and support. Many people think this treatment approach is not in their best interests simply because some medications incorporated into their treatment plan can also have their own addictive qualities. When you work with our team, you can take comfort in the fact that our team will be very conscious of your program structure to ensure that this does not happen.
If you’re ready to begin your journey toward working through your alcohol addiction, we encourage you to get in touch with us. Don’t forget, we also can provide guidance and assistance if you are a concerned family member or friend. Get in touch with Muse Treatment by calling (800) 426-1818 today for more information about our addiction treatment and services.