The Timeline for Alcohol Withdrawal
Posted on 07/26/19: Uncategorized
Alcohol abuse affects millions of people, from all walks of life, across the nation. What you put into your body can have a direct impact on your physical and mental health. Alcohol is no exception. Considered a toxin, alcohol is one of the leading causes of preventable death. Struggling with an alcohol abuse disorder, including alcoholism, can prove to have life-threatening symptoms. Alcoholism, just like any other addiction, needs to be treated professionally. If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, seek help today.
What is Withdrawal?
When someone drinks alcohol, their brain chemistry is directly affected. The specific affected area is known as the reward pathway. When alcohol enters the body, dopamine levels rise dramatically. This causes a surge of pleasant feelings or a “high”. This feeling can cause someone to feel as if they have more confidence, lower their inhibitions, and briefly boost their mood. However, these feelings fade.
A person may continue to drink in order to replicate these feelings. They will feel an intense drive or even compulsive behavior due to their brain seeking more alcohol. As they drink more and more, their tolerance level will rise. This means that they will need to drink a higher amount of alcohol to achieve the same feelings as before. Dependence can occur at any time, but this is most likely when it will develop. Once the body becomes physically dependent on alcohol, ceasing could be life-threatening. Stopping drinking without medical supervision could be deadly.
When a person stops drinking alcohol when they are suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are varied and depend on many different factors. These factors include family history, mental health disorders, underlying medical issues, and length of time drinking. This means that each experience will be different from person to person. While there is no set-in-stone timeline for alcohol withdrawal, the stages are usually split up into three different parts.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
While timelines and symptoms vary, it is always of utmost importance to begin detoxing in a professional treatment center. This will allow withdrawal symptoms to be monitored and any potential red flags to be addressed immediately. Stage 1 is considered mild, Stage 2 is considered moderate, and Stage 3 is considered severe. However, every symptom has the potential to be life-threatening and can cause serious medical complications. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin from a few hours after the last drink to a few days.
Stage 1 usually occurs around 8 hours after the last drink of alcohol. Anxiety and mood swings are often frequent symptoms during this stage. Someone may lose their appetite and experience fatigue. Their sleep cycle may begin to suffer and they may notice that they are having difficulty sleeping. There may be a rise in heart rate or even a difficulty concentrating.
In Stage 2, the heart rate may continue to rise and cause heart palpitations. A person’s body temperature may also begin to rise. The person going through this stage may experience sweating and irritability, as well as other mood changes. Symptoms during Stage 2 and 3 can come about randomly and develop quickly. These stages normally occur around one or two days after the last drink.
Stage 3 is marked by hallucinations and seizures. While this change is generally regarded as the most severe, life-threatening symptoms can develop at any stage. A person may also experience extreme confusion, as well as agitation. Around a week after this stage, symptoms may start to taper off. However, without treatment, some side effects may last for several more weeks.
Why You Should Never Detox at Home
Detox is most comfortable and most successful when a person is stable. When detox begins, your brain is going through a sling-shot effect. Imagine a rubber band being pulled back during the course of drinking. Once that suppressant is removed, the rubber band is able to be released back. This is normally called “cold turkey” and can be useful in some instances. Treatment centers will sometimes recommend and assist you with a tapering off method.
Withdrawal symptoms during detox can depend on the individual. Symptoms can vary in severity and also occur randomly. This makes detoxing at home incredibly dangerous. You may appear to be fine and healthy one minute and the next, you are experiencing extreme adverse effects. Detoxing at home also increases the risk that someone may experience relapse. Relapse can happen for several reasons, but can also prove to be deadly.
The best way to detox is to detox with professional medical supervision that can monitor your vitals and discuss with you what you are going through. This way, you will be in a more comfortable and healthier environment that gives you the best chance for success.
How to Manage Symptoms During Withdrawal
The only way to properly and effectively manage withdrawal symptoms is by professional medical supervision. Someone who is not under supervision may not recognize the warning signs and will not have the capabilities to deal with potentially life-threatening symptoms immediately. Healthcare professionals will check in on you, asking about what symptoms you have been experiencing. You may be prescribed medication in order to help ease some of your symptoms, making the process much more comfortable.
A treatment center not only provides a patient with supervision, but they also supply them with a plan after detox. The healthcare professionals will assess your medical history, underlying mental health issues, frequency of consumption, and other factors to create a plan of action for sobriety. The most effective treatment plans are the ones that are individualized from start to finish, as no two paths are the same.
Sober Living Of Arizona provides guidance and professional healthcare during all stages of the journey to recovery. Their dedicated professional team prides themselves on creating individualized plans to help their patients succeed not only during their detox and treatment, but also in life in general. They believe that no two paths are ever the same, but the goal always is. Call today to learn more about how they can help you turn over a new leaf.
Content for Sober Living AZ created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and the food/restaurant industry. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
Content for Sober Living AZ and Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
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If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.