More than 80 percent of the U.S. adult population has consumed alcohol at some point in their lives, according to data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which show just how popular—and common—drinking alcohol is.
For some people, drinking helps them forget their problems or perhaps makes them feel better about facing them. It can be a temporary escape, however, that quickly turns into a prison when alcohol withdrawal enters the picture. Not everyone who partakes in an alcohol will become moderate or heavy drinkers, even if they do it regularly.
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But some will and those people may find themselves feeling sick and not like themselves when they cut back on liquor or stop drinking altogether. Among this group, there will be people who will need professional help to stop drinking.
Coping with alcohol withdrawal, which is when mental and physical changes happen when one stops drinking, can be challenging for those going through it. It occurs after a person consumes too much alcohol over a prolonged time and decides to quit abruptly, which is not recommended. When people consume alcohol on a regular basis, the body becomes used to it, which becomes a problem when the drinker decides to stop or cut back on their consumption. This period of the readjustment ranges from mild to very serious. It can be uncomfortable, and in severe cases, it often is risky, dangerous and life-threatening.
The severity of alcohol withdrawal depends on several factors that unique to each drinker, including:
- Medical history, pre-existing health conditions
- Age, weight, body fat percentage
- Pre-existing mental health disorders
- History of alcohol use, substance use
- Alcohol tolerance
- Metabolism rate
- How much you drink
- How often you drink
- If alcohol has been used with other drugs
- The duration of moderate-to-heavy drinking
Struggling with alcohol withdrawals? Let Maryland House Detox provide you the care you need and deserve.
Struggling with alcohol withdrawals? Let Maryland House Detox provide you the care you need and deserve.
When Does Alcohol Withdrawal Start?
If you have consumed a drink a short while ago and you are sweating and feel shaky, and growing increasingly agitated or anxious, you likely are in the initial stages of alcohol withdrawal. Some physical symptoms include:
- Appetite loss
- Light sensitivity
- Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
- Clammy skin
- Foggy thinking
These symptoms can show up at least 12 hours or less after the last drink. However, they can start later or earlier, depending on the person. Some people may not begin to feel symptoms until two days later. Once symptoms start, a plan of action must be in place. People with severe symptoms need prompt medical attention and should call 911 or go directly to a hospital emergency room or urgent care center.
Time to Start a Natural Detox?
Not everyone who goes through alcohol withdrawal will seek professional treatment at a rehabilitation center. The idea of doing a natural alcohol detox at home typically appeals to people who:
- Want to deal with their recovery in private
- Seek to spend the least amount of time to “fix” the problem.
- Don’t have the money to pay for rehab treatment. A do-it-yourself detox cuts costs.
While all of these make an at-home alcohol detox an attractive option, ending alcohol dependence is not easy once the problem has reached the point of addiction.
However, in milder cases of withdrawal, some people do try natural alcohol detox methods at home to ease some of the symptoms that follow when drinking is stopped. Natural alcohol detox involves using alternative methods that don’t involve medical treatment in a clinical setting. Some of these include:
Dehydration and nausea are common when from heavy alcohol use. Drinks with electrolytes in them, such as Gatorade, can help the body regain its balance. You may not have much of an appetite, but it is important that you stay hydrated. Water, juice, gelatin, and ice pops are common ways people can stay hydrated.
Vegetables and fruits can also help recovering alcohol users balance their sugar levels, which can get out of balance when the body turns alcohol into sugar. A balanced diet can give your body the fuel and nutrients it needs. Also be sure to include lean meats and whole grains, and foods with protein. A natural alcohol detox excludes artificial foods or processed foods, sugars, and caffeine.
Healthy foods alone won’t do all of the heavy lifting to get your system working at its best again. Vitamins and mineral supplements can help remove the toxins left over from alcohol consumption. Multivitamins, B-complex vitamins (such as vitamin B1, B3, and B-5), vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and garlic are recommended. Amino acids, as well as L-glutamine, have been recommended to curb cravings.
Herbal remedies have been touted as a safer way to detox from alcohol and help repair vital organs, including the liver, which is greatly affected by alcohol use. Drinking herbal teas may help soothe some physical and psychological ailments of alcohol withdrawal. Passion flower tea is said to help people combat restlessness, insomnia and other sleep disturbances as the abstain from alcohol.
Other natural herbs, such as lavender, hops, chamomile, and valerian can help users relieve nervousness and anxiety and get to sleep. Melatonin is also said to help people get to sleep. Catnip and lemon balm are reportedly good for helping support the body’s nervous and digestive systems. These herbs as well as St. John’s Wort are also good for improving one’s mood, according to some observers.
The body needs a period of physical recovery as alcohol withdrawal can be hard on the body, especially because so many people experience insomnia and have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Getting enough rest can help to repair the body.
Does Natural Alcohol Detox Work?
Detoxing from any potent substance after regular, heavy, or frequent use comes with its risks. Detoxing from alcohol without the help of professionals is risky, and frankly, it is not advised if the person is battling heavy alcohol abuse or an addiction to alcohol. Some people may find that natural alcohol detox works for them, so in that sense, it is possible to carry one out. But their cases may be mild in nature or they may not be anything more than a hangover.
Even in the case that is a hangover, serious conditions that result from alcohol abuse can start later, even up to a week, so monitor yourself closely. If your physical or mental condition changes, you may want to consider entering rehab. To be clear, alcohol detox under a physician’s supervision is the best strategy for addressing a serious alcohol problem.
For alcohol-dependent people, receiving a medical detoxification in a treatment center is the safe alternative to handling the consequences of alcohol abuse at home.
Ready to get help?Let our treatment experts call you today.
When an At-Home Natural Detox Isn’t Recommended
People who are experiencing serious, severe, or extreme alcohol withdrawal are advised to skip detoxing at home and enter professional rehabilitation treatment at a reputable facility that specializes in helping people with alcohol problems. In addition to the physical symptoms, these mental symptoms indicate a more serious issue that requires prompt attention.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sleep disturbances
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
- Severe confusion
Delirium tremens is a condition to watch for, and if you or someone you know has it, you must seek immediate medical attention. Drinkers who are most at risk of developing Delirium tremens are those who ingest considerable amounts of alcohol for long periods and then suddenly end their use, which depletes their systems of it. TheU.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that heavy drinking is 15 drinks weekly for men and eight drinks weekly for women.
Withdrawal symptoms disrupt the brain’s neurotransmitters and this can lead to seizures and tremors.
Treatment for alcohol withdrawal delirium takes place in a clinical setting where users receive intravenous fluids, anticonvulsant medications to prevent or stop seizures. They also receive sedatives to ease their agitation and anxiety. Antipsychotic medications are given to prevent hallucinations, and other medications are administered to address other symptoms and help curb alcohol intake.
Benefits of a Medical Detox for Alcohol Addiction
The decision to treat alcohol withdrawal, no matter the stage, should happen quickly. People with moderate-to-severe drinking habits are encouraged to enter a treatment center that starts the recovery process with a medically assisted detox is beneficial. First, it ensures that recovering drinkers will not face such a precarious, unpredictable alcohol withdrawal phase alone. Medical professionals will oversee the entire process, which ensures that all traces of alcohol (and other drugs if used) are removed from the body to bring about stability safely.
During the detox process, users may be tapered off alcohol to minimize symptoms. They also may be given other medications to ease other discomforts. Stopping cold turkey or abruptly at home or in an unstable environment can result in symptoms that may cause you to relapse just to stave off the withdrawal.
The process also eases and prevent the complications that accompany withdrawal and chronic alcohol use. Unexpected medical emergencies will be dealt with as they arise right away. A medical detox also connects alcohol-dependent users with the therapies and treatments needed to help end alcohol abuse and prevent relapse.
A medical detox also helps users stay away from alcohol, which also helps them stay away from the possibility of a relapse. Chronic alcohol use is hard to break without intervention methods that promote sobriety.
Can’t Seem to Stop Drinking? Let Maryland House Detox Help You
Alcohol use can spiral out of control for some people. Before long, they will find themselves drinking regularly to the point where dependence has set in. Battling alcohol addiction can seem like an uphill battle when trying to end it on your own. But you don’t have to because Maryland House Detox will step into the fight for sobriety with you.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, call us at 855-969-8748 to learn about your treatment options. Our telephone representatives are available 24/7 and waiting to help you find the right recovery program for you.