Alcohol detoxification (also known as detoxification) is the abrupt cessation of alcohol consumption in people who have alcohol dependence. This process is often accompanied by the substitution of drugs that have similar effects to those of alcohol to avoid alcohol withdrawal. When withdrawal occurs, symptoms of varying severity occur. Some people fear stopping drinking because of withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detoxification is the first step in treating alcoholism.
If you make the decision to stop drinking daily and excessively, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. How long it takes to detox depends on a few factors, including how much you drink, how long you've been drinking, and whether you've had a detox before. Heavy drinking or heavy drinking can increase a person's risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, more commonly known as “alcoholism” or “alcohol addiction.”Due to the severity of some withdrawal symptoms, alcohol detoxification should be monitored by a medical professional. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the level of alcohol dependence a person has experienced.
Detoxification is the process by which all traces of alcohol and drugs are removed from the body, ensuring that a person is physically stable and ready to start therapy to overcome his addiction. The alcohol detoxification phase may include withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening intensity. Depending on the level of physiological alcohol dependence, the severity of acute alcohol withdrawal will vary by individual. Those who experience mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal or who are concerned about experiencing withdrawal symptoms will benefit from the advice of a physician or clinician trained to evaluate and treat patients with alcohol withdrawal. When treating alcohol detoxification in an inpatient rehabilitation center, different medications can be used to help reduce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines have been shown to be effective in treating or preventing certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, but it is important that a recovering alcoholic only use the doctor's recommended amounts of medications. The second and longest phase of alcohol detoxification occurs for months as the brain begins to slowly regulate and return to normal functioning.
It is believed that alcohol withdrawal arises based on various changes in brain activity caused by prolonged and excessive consumption of alcohol. Phase 1 occurs within hours after an alcoholic stops using alcohol and continues for days or weeks. Drug withdrawal symptoms and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very similar, so many people who undergo a detox can experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression, tremors, and seizures. It is always recommended to seek medical attention for an alcohol detox to mitigate these side effects. With proper medical care and support from family and friends, individuals can successfully complete an alcohol detox program and begin their journey towards recovery.