Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the world, with countries like the United Kingdom and Russia featuring among the top 10 countries suffering from addiction due to prevalence of trends like binge drinking. Alcohol abuse is often considered as a safe addiction. In fact, in countries like the United States, alcohol is an intrinsic part of the culture and holds a prime place on every occasion.
Often, the shift from casual and occasional drinking to regular and heavy drinking is gradual. The person unknowingly gets hooked onto alcohol which ultimately becomes an addiction. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “16.3 million adults aged 18 and older (6.8 percent of this age group) had an AUD in 2014. This includes 10.6 million men (9.2 percent of men in this age group) and 5.7 million women (4.6 percent of women in this age group). Additionally, an estimated 55,000 adolescents (18,000 males and 37,000 females) received treatment for an alcohol problem in a specialized facility in 2014.”
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol addiction has severe consequences including serious health hazards that may even cause death. Therefore, alcohol detoxification becomes important for people who are addicted to alcohol. The series, “Alcohol detoxification,” talks about various aspects of the process to develop an in-depth understanding of detoxification.
Symptoms occurring during alcohol abstinence
Regular drinking destroys one’s physical health by the time the person opts for detox. Often, the body becomes dependent on the substance, which can affect the psychology of the person. Reduced immunity, shaky hands, weight gain, bloated eyes are some of the symptoms that a person who abuses alcohol can exhibit. Similarly, alcohol detox is also associated with certain symptoms as the body undergoes a change and has to give up the developed dependency on alcohol.
Symptoms such as racing heart, increased blood pressure, fever, sweating, headache, mood swings, anxiety, confusion, agitation and seizures are common in people undergoing alcohol detox. Some of the specific physical symptoms of alcohol detox that occurs in certain time period of abstaining from alcohol are:
- First few hours of alcohol detox: This time period is marked by an intense craving for the substance. Thus, craving is the first symptom of detox. It can start within hours of taking the last drink and continue throughout the detox process. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as physical sickness, irritability, anxiety, depression, nightmares or insomnia, and tremors (which occurs almost in all the stages of alcohol detoxification).
- First two days of alcohol detox: While the patient is still struggling to overcome the symptoms of the initial hours, he/she is faced with increasingly severe withdrawal symptoms which occur within the first two days of the detox program. These symptoms including delirium tremens are much serious in nature and can range from hallucination to deadly seizures. Symptoms that manifest within the first two days are considered life-threatening. This is also the time when the brain starts reacting to the absence of alcohol.
- Rest of the alcohol detox process: In some cases, the detox program can be a few days long while in others it can extend for months, depending on the severity of the addiction. During this time, usually, the craving for the substance grows along with other physical discomforts. Although, the risk of seizure reduces after the first 48 hours of detox, but not that of extreme confusion and cardiovascular illnesses such as heart attack and even stroke.
Detox: the first step to recovery from alcohol addiction
Alcohol detoxification is a complicated process and necessarily requires medical assistance, therefore, it is advisable not to experiment with it at home. The withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. That is why it is important for a patient to recover in a rehab center.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, it is time to seek assistance from the best alcohol rehab in California. You may get in touch with the California Detox Helpline for immediate assistance. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 780-2495 or chat online with experts to find alcohol treatment centers in California and rapid detox centers in California.