Everyone is encouraged to stay at home during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. However, this can prove very dangerous for those struggling with alcoholism. DreamLife Recovery, in Donegal, PA, is open and here to help those struggling with addiction. We can help you overcome your addiction and achieve a life in sobriety. We wanted to provide some information about alcohol withdrawal for those struggling at home right now.
What is Alcohol Detoxification?
Alcohol detoxification occurs when a person has become dependent on alcohol and stops drinking. When a person is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, their body is detoxing. Prolonged use of alcohol causes the body to build up a tolerance to the effects of drinking. This tolerance causes the person to drink more to achieve the desired affects. If they stop drinking suddenly, the brain needs to recalibrate to function without the effects of consuming alcohol.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary from person to person but commonly start as soon as 6 hours to 1 day after the last drink. Factors such as length of addiction, the amount of alcohol consumed, other medical conditions, mental health, and the use of any other drugs can impact the severity of symptoms a person may experience. Below is a list of symptoms broken into three levels of severity. Not every person will experience every symptom listed, and the length of time they can last varies. Symptoms may lessen after 5-7 days of withdrawal, but some people may have prolonged periods lasting weeks without treatment.
According to American Addiction Centers, alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Mild symptoms: anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, tremors, depression, mood swings, increased heart rate, fatigue
- Moderate symptoms: high blood pressure, increased body temperature, irregular heart rate, confusion, sweating, mood swings, irritability
- Severe symptoms: hallucinations, fever, seizures, extreme confusion, high levels of agitation
- People may also experience insomnia, headaches, and other physical and mental symptoms
5 Tips with Alcohol Withdrawal
- Have Support in Place
If you choose to detox at home, make sure you have support. Have somebody there to help prevent you from drinking during withdrawal. They will also be able to call for help if your symptoms become too severe.
- Stay Hydrated
Keeping your body hydrated is very important. Hydration during withdrawal will help remove toxins from your body.
Eating during the early stages of withdrawal will not be easy. You can start with things like jello and broth and move to a more balanced and healthy diet when you are able to keep food down.
- Remove all alcohol from your house
Remove all temptations you may have before your cravings kick in. If you do not have immediate, easy access to alcohol, that may help you get through the withdrawal period.
- If your symptoms are severe – Seek medical attention immediately
Do not hesitate to ask for help! Call DreamLife Recovery admissions team 24/7 at (844) 402-3592 or dial 911 if you need help!
Dangers of Detoxing Alone
Symptoms of withdrawal can be very severe and lead to life-threatening effects. Symptoms can shift very quickly and put extreme pressure on the mind and body. People that detox at home are more likely to relapse than those who seek treatment. Getting professional help for alcohol abuse helps you manage symptoms but also allows you to heal your mind with therapies. If the root of the problem that led to alcohol abuse is not treated, relapse will occur.
Severe symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations can lead to very dangerous situations without a medical professional to help. Cravings may be severe and lead you right back to consuming alcohol. Getting help during detox will keep you safe as the effects of withdrawal sweep through your body. A rehab center can help reduce the symptoms and find success in long term recovery.
If you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol withdrawal or struggling with alcohol dependence, do not wait to get help. DreamLife Recovery offers detox, MAT, residential, and aftercare programs for those with drug or alcohol addictions and co-occurring disorders with addiction. We have protocols in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. DreamLife is focused on helping as many people as they can that are struggling with addiction. Call our admissions team at (844) 402-3592 or fill out a contact form and start your path to a Dream Life in sobriety!
- “Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Treatment, and Timeline” – American Addiction Centers; Leah K. Walker, Ed. by Sarah Hardey, Rev. by Scot Thomas, MD; 21 Feb. 2021
- “Alcohol Withdrawal” – Alcohol Rehab Guide; 21 Oct. 2020
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2004). Alcohol Alert. Nov. 2016.