Despite the attention given to drugs such as heroin, prescription pills and marijuana by the media, alcohol remains the most commonly abused substance in the United States. According to statistics provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH):
- In 2013, nearly a quarter of American over 18 years of age have reported that they engaged in binge drinking within the past month.
- 1.3 million adults in the United States were in treatment for alcohol abuse.
- Alcohol misuse contributes to 88,000 deaths each year, and just over 30 percent of all fatal car accidents were alcohol related.
For those who are struggling with alcohol abuse, not only can it have devastating impacts on their relationships and finances, it can also severely impact their physical and mental health. The best option for those who need to break free from alcoholism is to enter a drug treatment center. The first and most important step of the recovery process in the detox process. While detoxification is crucial, many who abuse alcohol fear the discomfort that comes with withdrawal.
Five Symptoms To Watch For in Alcohol Detox
Chronic drinking excites the nervous system, and if you drink to excess daily your body becomes accustomed to and dependent on alcohol. When your alcohol intake abruptly stops, your central nervous system cannot cope with the lack of alcohol that is in your system. When you undergo medical detoxification at the start of the recovery process, you can experience a myriad of withdrawal symptoms. The following are five of the most common alcohol detox symptoms.
1. Delirium Tremens
Perhaps the most startling symptom of alcohol detox is a phenomenon known as delirium tremens, or DT’s. When chronic alcoholics experience DT’s, they can experience convulsions that are so violent they can lose consciousness. People can also experience vivid hallucinations and have considerable confusion in regards to their surroundings and who they are. The symptoms of delirium tremens start within the first 72 hours since a person’s last drink. However, if a person makes it through the first 72 hours without experiencing any symptoms, chances are very small they will experience any symptoms beyond that point.
As with many substances, those who abuse alcohol experience major disruptions in their sleep patterns. For those early in the recovery process, they can feel extremely tired and fatigue easily during the day. Additionally, it can also increase the experience of fuzzy thinking that people often complain about when they first become sober. For those going through alcohol detox, they can wake up repeatedly during the night, have disturbing dreams, and may sleep excessively.
Alcohol significantly affects brain chemistry, and when it is taken away during the detox process the way you think and feel about yourself and environment changes. As a result, those who abused alcohol and fall into a deep depression. Some of the common symptoms that can be felt by those going through alcohol detoxification include difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, lack of motivation and overall energy, low self-esteem and impulse eating. Additionally, those suffering from depression in alcohol detox can also experience poor concentration, unexplained aches and pains and in worst case scenarios can feel thoughts of suicide.
4. Mood Swings
One of the main reasons why people may drink to excess is escape their emotions–and this obviously is only a temporary solution. Without alcohol, many people in early recovery can experience a wide range of emotions that can swing wildly and unpredictably from one moment to the next. People in the early stages of recovery from alcohol abuse can feel euphoria one minute, boredom the next, then can become irritable and agitated the next. Because of the significant changed in brain chemistry that occur early in recovery, people can feel out of sorts and it will take time before those who abused alcohol can start feeling normal.
While the alcohol detox process helps gradually remove the toxins that have accumulated in the body, its’ effects on brain chemistry are still strong. When people experience environmental stimuli or feel stresses that were common when they were drinking, it can create strong cravings. In early recovery, these cravings can be overwhelming and the thoughts of using can be very real and vivid.
Do You Need More Information on Alcohol Detox? Are You Looking For Treatment?
For those who are in the grips of alcoholism, finding the right information and treatment options is paramount. If you or a loved one need more information on the alcohol detox process, alcohol treatment options, or just need someone to talk to, the experienced professionals at Recovery Hub are here to help. We are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and we provide the timely information and references to the appropriate treatment services you need to help you start the road to recovery on the right foot.
Call us today and reclaim your life.