Alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult and often frightening experience. To successfully withdraw from alcohol, you must first detox your body from impurities to help you undergo safe alcohol rehabilitation treatment. Detoxification has been acknowledged as being the first step towards recovery from alcohol addiction.
There are several ways to undergo safe alcohol detox treatment. In a medical detox unit, you will receive high-quality medical care along with psychological support which is designed to keep you dry after successful detox completion. Alcohol withdrawal typically begins approximately 6-8 hours after intoxication, and it can last for approximately 48 hours, depending on how often a person drinks, and how much alcohol they normally consume each day.
During withdrawal, a person should take in lots of fluids and vitamins, in addition to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest. While withdrawal can be undertaken at home, it is always safer to seek help and advice from a professional.
Alcohol detox should be thought of as the beginning of a fresh start for you and you family. It is the first step required for health problems related to alcohol-abuse disorders.
What is alcohol detox treatment?
Detoxification is the process of removal of an unwanted substance from the body. However, when a person suffering from alcoholism stops drinking, they are likely to experience alcohol detox symptoms. These can be uncomfortable, frightening and sometimes painful. Detoxification can be dangerous to go through alone and should be monitored by a professional where possible. Variables such as diet, fluid intake, medication and rest should be supervised. This is because when a long-term drinker suddenly and abruptly ceases drinking, they can experience side-effects like delirium tremens, seizures, hallucinations, heart complications and psychotic episodes.
While most alcoholics only experience mild withdrawal symptoms, other events that accompany withdrawal could cause serious illness or even death.
Alcohol and its effects on the body
Alcohol is essentially a poison, and its negative effects on the body are myriad. After prolonged heavy drinking, it is not uncommon for those with alcohol misuse disorders to experience one or more of the following:
• Changes in behaviour
• Liver damage
• Heart palpitations
• Sexual dysfunction
• Muscle cramps
• Reduced co-ordination
• Dependence on alcohol
• Slurred speech
This list is by no means exhaustive of the effects which alcohol abuse can have on the body, although it does highlight a small portion of the dangers of alcoholism.
Excessive drinking also has a tendency to aggravate the nervous system. If you drink every day, your body will grow dependent on alcohol over time. When this occurs, your central nervous system will struggle to adjust to the absence of alcohol. This unexpected absence of alcohol can cause detox symptoms if you abruptly reduce the amount that you normally drink.
Detox and safe alcohol withdrawal treatment
As we have established, the first stage of alcohol misuse treatment is detox. Put simply, you will be required to purge your body of alcohol so that you can continue with the recovery process. Withdrawal is unpleasant at times, and a person should be committed to recovery prior to attempting it, as the unpleasantness of the detoxification could force them back into the grip of alcohol dependency.
Alcohol detox: what to expect
If you seek professional alcohol addiction treatment, a team of clinicians will ensure that you undergo a series of tests to check your mental and physical health. You’ll also undergo blood tests and be expected to answer questions about your health and drinking history.
During alcohol detox, you will enter the support phase where you may be offered medication to help with your alcohol withdrawal. Medical professionals in your London rehab clinic will provide support for your detox symptoms as well as dealing with any other issues which arise during the detoxification process.
Alcohol withdrawal: understanding the effects
You may be surprised to find out how quickly alcohol detox symptoms can hit you. Here is a timeline of how detox symptoms begin during the alcohol withdrawal process:
6-12 hours after your last drink:
12-24 hours after your last drink:
• Hand tremors
48 hours after your last drink:
• Delirium tremens (the rapid onset of confusion and psychosis)
• Excessive sweating
• High blood pressure
• Visual, tactile and auditory hallucinations
The long-term effects of alcohol
Excessive amounts of alcohol can have serious effects on the brain. Alcohol disrupts the connections between neurons (known as synapses), which can cause slurred speech and short-term memory loss. People who abuse alcohol regularly will have difficulty forming coherent sentences and speaking correctly. Addicts also mumble and change the intonation of their voices without any clear reason. These symptoms can occur while drinking, during withdrawal or for days after an episode of binge-drinking.
Alcohol and the development of health problems
Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to lots of different health problems. Cognition and logical thought can be affected, as well as balance. Long-term drinkers often develop balance maintenance issues, as well as issues like hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is known as “the silent killer” and is one of the main contributing causes of death of alcoholics around the world.
Those who are dependent on alcohol also regularly experience liver problems. The liver is the organ responsible for filtering toxins from the body, including alcohol. It can easily become overwhelmed when a person engages in heavy alcohol consumption. This can lead to fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Why you need to detox in a safe environment
Recovery from alcohol addiction is not a straightforward process. Sometimes you might feel completely fine, and minutes later you could be suffering from extreme dizziness and nausea. It is impossible to truly predict the symptoms an addict will experience during detox. Therefore it is crucial for patients to detox in a safe, clinical environment where they can receive medical treatment and support.
Medications for alcohol withdrawal
Alcohol detoxification medications are frequently used to help moderate-severe withdrawals. Some of the most common alcohol withdrawal medicines include drugs like benzodiazepines, anti-seizure medicines, adrenergic medicines and vitamin supplements.
The best foods for alcohol withdrawal
Those who undergo severe alcohol withdrawal may find it difficult to consume food during the initial detox stages. Some may struggle to keep a meal down. Nevertheless, it is important to adopt a well-balanced, healthy diet to help make recovery easier.
Hydration is particularly important during the initial stages of treatment, as withdrawal symptoms could intensify if you are dehydrated. You should be prepared to drink large amounts of water, even if you do not feel like it. In addition to hydrating you, water also helps to flush out harmful toxins from the body.
At the beginning of your treatment (for the first 24-72 hours), you should consume soups and other liquid-based foods. This is because you may find it harder to keep more substantial meals down. Once the beginning stages of detox are over, you should aim to consume lean sources of protein. These can include beans, fish and poultry.
Important vitamins and minerals for alcoholics
Most people who are alcohol dependent tend to suffer from deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals. When withdrawing from alcohol, you should stock up on foods which contain the following specific vitamins and minerals:
• Vitamin A (carrots, milk, fish)
• Vitamin B (nuts, eggs, leafy greens)
• Vitamin D (fortified milk, fatty fish)
• Vitamin E (vegetable oils, almonds, peanuts)
• Vitamin K (olive oil, leafy greens)
What happens after detox treatment?
After successfully undergoing a safe alcohol detoxification programme, you’ll have the choice to undertake a therapeutic recovery programme, which you can begin participating in a few days after your alcohol detox ends.
It’s important to remember that alcohol dependency treatment begins with you. It may not seem easy to recover from alcoholism, but there are resources dedicated to helping you in your fight against your addiction.
You can only truly begin the recovery path after you promise yourself that you will no longer abuse alcohol. Only then will you be able to move towards a brighter, alcohol-free future. If you are struggling with alcoholism and have a desire to become sober, please contact us today. A member of our team is ready and waiting to help you find out more about alcohol addiction and treatment.
Request a callback
Speak to us today and get confidential advice from our medical experts. We’re here to help
Alcohol Addiction FAQ's
We offer locations for alcohol rehab centres nationwide, call our team on 0333 444 0434. They will be able to advise you on treatment options available in your area.
This all depends on your personal circumstances. We ask that you contact our team on 0333 444 0434 so that we can fully understand your situation and needs.
We’ll talk you through a short telephone questionnaire designed to help us provide you with the best possible care.
We then set a date and time for your admission and you can look forward to a new start in life.
Absolutely yes, so many people are not even aware they have a mental health problem and many people don’t make the connection in children and mental health. The alcohol can become a ‘solution’ for a persons mental health. At the start it will seem as if the alcohol is quieting the mind, but in time as the addiction progresses it will only add to any mental health problems the person has. It is also difficult to diagnose a person with mental health while under the influence of alcohol.
As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.
There is no definitive cure for addiction. However, rehab can provide patients with the skills needed to successfully manage their addiction and remain sober. Recovery from addiction is never over and patients will need to work on their ability to avoid relapse for the rest of their lives. A high quality addiction rehab programme sets patients up for this process.
Most people can enjoy a casual night out with friends, have one or two drinks and then stop, and they might not drink again for several days. They enjoy a drink, but they don’t NEED it.
If you feel that you would like to talk to one of our experts and see how we can help you, call us on 0333 444 0434.