If you have decided to begin detox from alcohol, you need to seek medical supervision. Serious conditions can appear during the first 72 hours of detox that can be life threatening if you do not receive the correct medical treatment. Many people do not realize how dangerous alcohol addiction and detox can be. Taking care of your body and being able to detox in a safe, supportive environment is essential to a successful recovery.
Detoxification is a process where alcohol leaves your body after you have become dependent upon it. Detox is necessary if you require alcohol to balance the neurons in your brain and be able to maintain normal functions, also known as dependency. However, when you remove the alcohol from your system, your nervous system becomes hyperactive and creates symptoms to help your body deal with the detox process. Most of the symptoms are minor, but about 10% of people can develop more serious symptoms. It is highly recommended that you detox in a hospital to give yourself access to help and treatment, whether or not your symptoms turn out to be serious.
If you have a mild or moderate alcohol dependency, you can be treated as an outpatient, as long as someone stays with you to watch for dangerous symptoms. You must also visit a doctor daily to receive blood tests, sedative drugs that decrease your symptoms, counseling, and treatment for any other problems. In some cases, people have additional medical issues that may have been caused by or contributed to the alcoholism. It is necessary to treat these issues so the addicted person has less of a chance of falling into their old habits.
If you have severe alcohol dependency, you will need to be treated as an inpatient. The medical assistants will monitor your blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and chemicals in your body. In addition, you may receive treatment like fluid and medication through an IV, sedation through benzodiazepines, or other medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms until you are in a stable condition.
Withdrawal generally begins 6-24 hours after your last drink, and, in some cases, can last 1-2 weeks. Detoxification symptoms occur about 8 hours after your last drink. They generally are the strongest 24-72 hours later, but last up to several weeks. Symptoms include depression, disorientation, fatigue, headaches, irritability, jumpiness, mood swings, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensitivity, hallucination, tremors, and vomiting. In some cases, delirium tremens (DTs) can cause a serious condition of agitation, hallucinations, distortion, and an extreme rise in blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and pulse. This condition occurs in less than 5% of people and occurs 2-4 days after your last use.
Alcohol detox is dangerous, as is addiction. If you are beginning detox, please seek medical advice and supervision. You need to be aware and watchful of your symptoms, and treatment centers are better equipped to handle any problems that arise. Lead Recovery Center can help you through your addiction and develop skills that you will need to create a happy, healthy life. Call (800) 380-0012 for more information on how Lead can help you today.