Alcohol Detox

What You Should Know About Alcohol Detox

Individuals who develop alcoholism can overcome the disease through the alcoholism recovery process. While the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction has come a long way in recent decades, it’s still a very lengthy process that involves strength of will, determination, and lots of ongoing effort. As such, it’s very common for addicts and alcoholics to be hesitant of recovery or to reject the prospect of sobriety altogether, which can occur due to the fear of withdrawal, because the individual is simply not ready to get sober, or for some other reason.

Many times an individual who suffers from alcohol addiction will have his or her fears quelled by simply learning more about the recovery process, allowing him or her to conceptualize the alcoholism recovery process more realistically and determine that sobriety is a goal that can actually be achieved.

When someone decides to begin the alcoholism recovery process, one of the first steps is to find the right addiction treatment facility that offers the most appropriate programming for one’s recovery needs. For some, this is a relatively easy process, but individuals who have more criteria or specific needs might search a little longer than others. After the rehab and programming have been selected, it’s time to enroll, beginning with intake. Intake involves working with an intake coordinator to determine the specific services and treatments from which an individual will benefit the most. Afterward, many individuals will begin detoxification, which most alcoholics consider to be the most daunting component of recovery.

Fact & Statistics About Alcohol Withdrawal

Most people believe that when an alcoholic stops drinking, he or she will surely experience withdrawal symptoms in much the same way as a heroin addict who abruptly stops using heroin. However, the odds of an individual with a drinking problem experiencing these symptoms are not quite as high as one might think. For a male alcoholic, he must drink eight drinks per day for a month or 10 drinks per day for a week to have a 50-50 chance of experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms; for a female alcoholic, she must consume six drinks per day for only a month for the same odds. To have a 50-50 chance of experiencing potential life-threatening withdrawal, a male must consume a minimum of 15 drinks per day for a period of a month or 18 drinks per day for a period of a week while a woman must have 11 drinks every day for a month or 15 drinks every day for a week for the same odds.

With those being incredibly high amounts of alcohol, it follows that there would be many alcoholics who drink to excess on a daily basis without consuming quite enough alcohol to be at risk for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Accordingly, about 50 percent to 60 percent of individuals who could be considered alcoholics experience withdrawal when they quit drinking. While that means up to half of all alcoholics could detox without putting themselves at risk, there are also a high number of individuals for whom it would be putting themselves at risk to detox without the medical supervision offered by a detox program at a addiction treatment center.

Why Alcohol Detoxification Is Dangerous to Do On Your Own

As mentioned, although life-threatening withdrawal doesn’t occur for all alcoholics who are going through detoxification, there are still a large number of individuals for whom withdrawal can be dangerous and even potentially deadly. To understand why alcohol detoxification can be so dangerous, one must have a basic knowledge of the distinct levels of severity that alcohol withdrawal can take. When experiencing mild-to-moderate alcohol withdrawal, individuals may experience a condition called alcohol hallucinosis, which is a relatively uncommon condition during which alcoholics who have abruptly ceased alcohol consumption may experience hallucinations—predominantly auditory—in addition to the physical discomfort that is standard of withdrawal. If an individual’s alcohol withdrawal becomes more severe, he or she may begin to experience tonic-clonic seizures. This particular type of seizure is associated with epilepsy and involve two different states: tonic, which involves the loss of consciousness and the tensing of muscles throughout the body, and clonic, which is characterized by violent convulsions.

The most severe level of alcohol withdrawal occurs when an individual begins to experience a condition known as delirium tremens. Affecting the brain and the nervous system, delirium tremens involves a variety of symptoms such as body tremors, confusion and disorientation, hallucinations—especially visual—and excitability, fear, rapidly changing mood, and a general physical discomfort. When experienced at its most severe, individuals suffering from delirium tremens could also suffer from congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis, severe nervous system impairment, and a number of other conditions that can further complicate and worsen the situation.

Individuals detoxing from alcohol may suffer mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it is typically advised individuals undergo alcohol detoxification while under observation by a medical professional. This ensures the person will receive the care necessary to detox safely and more comfortably.

Find Your Way Back to Sobriety

Although alcohol is widely thought to be less dangerous since it’s legal in most places, it can lead to what’s widely agreed upon to be potentially the most dangerous withdrawal. As such, alcohol detoxification programs and other treatments are a necessity for individuals who are beginning the alcoholism recovery process. If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction and would benefit from learning more about the available treatment options, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. Call us today for a free consultation and assessment with one of our experienced recovery specialists. Don’t let alcoholism continue to ruin your health and your life. One phone call can set you free.