Author: James Anderson

12 Things That Happen When You Quit Drinking

alcohol detox side effects

The helpline at is available 24/7 to discuss the treatment needs of yourself or a loved one. This helpline is answered by Ark Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment provider with treatment facilities in Massachusetts and Ohio. Call us today to find an alcohol treatment program for yourself or a loved one at a leading substance abuse rehab center. Seeking support from an outpatient detox program or medical doctor is encouraged before attempting to detox from alcohol at home. In contrast, a traditional detox alcohol program lasts about five to seven days on average. The entire rapid detoxification process can be completed in as little as a few hours in a medical setting under close supervision and monitoring.

  1. The main management for severe symptoms is long-acting benzodiazepines — typically IV diazepam or IV lorazepam.
  2. To find a treatment program, browse the top-rated addiction treatment facilities in each state by visiting our homepage, or by viewing the SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator.
  3. It also provides an overview of the alcohol withdrawal timeline process and when to discuss your drinking with your healthcare provider.

Rapid alcohol detox, while touted for several potential benefits, is not well-researched and is not universally accepted in the medical community, for a few reasons. In this context, it is worth noting that the condition of alcoholic hallucinosis differs from the hallucinations that a person with DTs experiences. In the former case, the person knows that he or she is “hallucinating.” A person experiencing DTs perceives the images to be real.

These first few weeks are critical because they are when the risk of relapse is highest. Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling. Meanwhile, the brain is producing more and more neurotransmitters, making a person further imbalanced.

People who drink daily or almost every day should not be left alone for the first few days after stopping alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can quickly go from a bad hangover to a serious medical situation. For those with alcohol use disorder, withdrawal is just the first (but very important) step on a long journey to recovery.

Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

Some people experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia and mood changes, that can last for weeks or months. Behavioral health treatment for alcohol problems is often (but not always) covered by insurance. In the United States, most states have low-cost or free rehabilitation programs for those who are uninsured. Millions of people join support groups to help stop drinking and stay stopped. Studies show support groups play an instrumental role in helping people develop healthy social networks that result in continued sobriety. Remember you are facing a difficult challenge during alcohol withdrawal, but you are not alone.

Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another. This experience can vary from person to person and may be more or less severe depending on a variety of personal and biological factors. ✔️ Alcohol withdrawal can cause a person to feel physically sick and cause a strong urge to drink. Alcohol withdrawal can be identified by a number of early warning signs and symptoms, including anxiety, shaking of the hands, sweating, and fast heart rate. Detoxification, also known as detox, is the first step to overcoming a drinking problem for those who have become physically dependent on alcohol.

alcohol detox side effects

He never got a chance to plead his case or make amends to his child. Even just one bout of drinking too much may weaken your body’s germ-fighting power for up to 24 hours. Over time, large amounts of alcohol blunt your immune system and your body’s ability to repair itself. But anything more than a drink or so a day has the opposite effect, especially if you abuse or are addicted to alcohol. You might think that a regular glass of red wine or other alcoholic beverages might be good for your heart.

Who Experiences Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Rapid detox, however, is not guaranteed to be painless or to fully eradicate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that can occur after your last drink. Rapid alcohol detox is a detox method that utilizes anesthesia and other medications to rapidly eliminate alcohol from the body. This is a controversial detox method that is faster than traditional alcohol detox and may not be suitable for everyone. The timeline of withdrawal from alcohol begins as soon as the level of alcohol in the blood comes down and the effects of intoxication begin to wear off. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin to show up as early as 2 hours after having the last drink. Alcohol withdrawal is a potentially serious complication of alcohol use disorder.

Here you’ll find more information about how rapid alcohol detox works, the side effects of rapid alcohol detox, and how to find addiction treatment for alcohol abuse. Treating alcohol withdrawal is a short-term fix that doesn’t help the core problem. When you talk to your doctor about symptom relief, it’s a good idea to discuss treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence. If you have alcohol use disorder and want help, a healthcare provider can guide you to resources and rehabilitation programs to help you quit. Know that your provider will be there to support you, not to judge you.

✔️ Some healthcare providers say it can be safe when performed in a closely monitored medical setting under the supervision of qualified medical professionals. Some programs can cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket and are not typically covered by health insurance. Feeling depressed, anxious, and craving alcohol, for instance, are symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that may last for some weeks or months after last drinking alcohol. Alcohol dependence can make it harder to think or remember things. Over time, heavy drinking can cloud your perception of distances and volumes, or slow and impair your motor skills. It can even make it harder for you to read other people’s emotions.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

There are many resources available to help, including peer support groups, counseling, therapy, and inpatient rehabilitation. During the 12- to 24-hour time frame after the last drink, most people will begin to have noticeable symptoms. These may still be mild, or the existing symptoms might increase in severity. Delirium tremens is a medical emergency that can result in death. If you or someone you know shows signs of delirium tremens, go to the emergency room immediately. When that person cuts out alcohol, there is a period when their brain hasn’t yet received the message and still overproduces the stimulating chemicals.

This may contribute to difficulty sleeping but shouldn’t persist too long after the acute withdrawal period. Less is known about the potential risks and complications of rapidly detoxing from alcohol, or a combination of alcohol and other addictive substances. In some people, the symptoms may subside quickly within 5-7 days of manifesting. However, you should always keep in mind that some symptoms show up late or peak in severity long after you stop drinking. Enjoying alcohol socially in reasonable amounts can boost your mood and help you bond with others. But if you drink alone, or down multiple drinks a day, it could turn into an unhealthy habit.

Those with a wider circle of support have a better chance of staying sober. Individuals should be prepared to be uncomfortable during this period and have medical help available if needed. This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention. This process temporarily restores homeostasis, or chemical balance, in an effort to counteract the impact of long-term alcohol use on the brain. Common medications include benzodiazepines to help treat symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs.

Withdrawal symptoms generally reach their peak after about one to two days, with most beginning to decline soon after. It can be helpful to write down your reasons for quitting and the difficulty of withdrawal while it is fresh in your mind. During an exam, they’ll look for other medical conditions to see if they could be to blame. Alcohol has what doctors call a depressive effect on your system.

Rapid alcohol detox is a method of detox that involves the use of medication and anesthesia to heavily sedate individuals during alcohol detox. We are here to provide assistance in locating an Ark Behavioral Health treatment center that may meet your treatment needs. Sedatives and opioid antagonists like naltrexone may also be used to support the process of alleviating alcohol dependency and blocking the effects of alcohol in the brain. Rapid alcohol detox doesn’t eliminate the risk of relapsing to alcohol. First, it relies on the use of anesthesia, rendering it similar to the practice of putting someone in a medically induced coma for drug or alcohol detox.