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Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal: Stop Drinking Safely

a person who has been through alcohol detox and treatment turns down a beer

Alcohol detox is an essential step in the process of recovery from addiction. Professional detox programs provide individuals with the physical, psychological, and emotional support they need to stay strong in their commitment to sobriety. With comprehensive services, including medical monitoring, medication management, individual therapy, group counseling, and other supportive services, professional alcohol detox programs can help individuals get the treatment they need to remain sober and successful in their recovery.

For those struggling with alcohol addiction, professional alcohol detox programs are a great option for getting the tools and support needed to maintain sobriety. With this type of program, individuals have access to expert care that will give them the best chance at achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. Contact Northpoint Seattle at 888.483.6031 or online for more information about our alcohol detox treatment center in Washington today.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

While everyone responds in a different way to alcohol withdrawals, there are three distinct withdrawal stages to expect.

  • Stage one – The onset begins about eight hours after your last drink, although it can appear as soon as two hours. This stage isn’t too difficult to deal with. It mainly involves symptoms like increased anxiety, abdominal pains, and nausea.
  • Stage two – This stage usually starts to kick in within one to three days after your last drink. These symptoms are much more intense. You can expect to feel a bit confused and to have elevated blood pressure and heart rate. You might even find your body temperature increasing.
  • Stage three – This final stage usually begins about three days after your last drink. This is when the withdrawal symptoms are the worst. You may begin to hallucinate or even experience seizures. It’s not unusual to feel a huge change in your mood. Most people feel agitated and irritated.

Depending on alcohol use, withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. Mild withdrawal symptoms aren’t usually a big deal. They begin within 10 hours after your last drink and will usually reach peak intensity within four days. After that, mild withdrawal symptoms will start to subside. These withdrawal symptoms aren’t too dangerous, although they might be uncomfortable. A change in brain chemistry levels causes them. Some common symptoms to expect include:

  • Accelerated breathing
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Insomnia, often caused by nightmares
  • Mood changes, like increased irritability
  • Nausea
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Vomiting

These mild symptoms can graduate and become much more severe in heavy drinkers. Some of the more life-threatening and serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms include seizures and delirium tremens.

Potentially Life-Threatening Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Heavy drinkers are more likely to experience potentially deadly delirium tremens. Delirium tremens can start anywhere from 24 to 96 hours after your last drink. It begins as general confusion, but it also involves other symptoms like:

  • Body tremors and uncontrollable shaking
  • Changes in one’s mental abilities and acuities
  • Fatigue or extreme sleepiness that may result in deep sleep
  • Hallucinations or vivid psychosis
  • Hyperexcitability that causes either fear or excitement
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli like light, touch, and sound
  • Mood swings, like increased agitation and irritability

Seizures are often associated with delirium tremens, but they can occur on their own. Seizures often appear 48 hours after your last drink if you are a heavy drinker. They can quickly spread throughout the entire body. Medical treatment for alcohol is necessary for preventing the onset of delirium tremens and seizures.

Risk Factors for Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Not everyone who tries to get sober will deal with severe withdrawal symptoms. In fact, many people only experience mild withdrawal symptoms. Some factors cause a higher risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. These risk factors include:

  • Being more dependent on alcohol
  • Being older
  • Dealing with alcoholism for a long period of time
  • Drinking for a long time
  • Drinking a lot more alcohol than normal
  • Experiencing more intense cravings
  • Failing at previous alcohol detoxification attempts
  • Having to deal with an acute illness
  • Having a higher alcohol tolerance
  • Having an abnormal liver function
  • Mixing other drugs with alcohol

People who have more of these risk factors will likely need medical attention to stop drinking safely. They are not only more likely to experience life-threatening symptoms but also more likely to relapse. A rehab program can introduce a variety of relapse prevention tactics that can keep you sober for longer.

Getting Professional Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is a crucial step in recovering from alcohol addiction. It can help reduce physical and psychological cravings, as well as lower the risks associated with withdrawal symptoms. Professional alcohol detox programs provide comprehensive services that include medical monitoring, medication management, nutritional support, individual therapy, group counseling, and other supportive services.

This type of program helps to ensure that individuals are safe and comfortable throughout the process. Professional detox programs also provide a safe environment where an individual can begin to heal from the physical, emotional, and psychological damage caused by their addiction. These programs can help individuals transition into recovery more smoothly by providing them with an individualized care plan and the resources they need for continued success.

In addition, professional alcohol detox programs offer the necessary support and encouragement to help individuals stay strong in their commitment to sobriety. With this type of program, individuals can get personalized treatment from certified professionals who understand the unique needs of each individual. Professional detox programs are also beneficial because they often include follow-up services such as aftercare services and relapse prevention plans that can help individuals remain sober for the long term.

Overcome Alcohol Withdrawal and Addiction at Northpoint Seattle

At Northpoint Seattle, we offer a wide range of different treatment options and plans. We can tailor each plan to fit your needs and expectations, so you have a much easier time in recovery. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to deal with. It’s the primary reason why so many people relapse. Prevent relapses and get a head start with some professional help. We’ll make sure that you are on the right track. You’ll also get all the support that you need from our staff members and other patients. Take that first step today by contacting Northpoint Seattle at 888.483.6031 or online.