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Overcoming Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms


Going through withdrawal is one of the most uncomfortable and unpleasant parts of addiction recovery. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be scary if you’re not sure what to expect, and they can be tough to cope with on your own. This is one reason why trying to detox yourself at home can be a bad idea. In a professional detox program you will receive the medical care necessary to ease symptoms, promote safety, and keep you as comfortable as possible.

Detox is an essential part of the recovery process because it is important to remove all addictive substances from your system before moving forward with more intensive therapy and rehab. This is often where withdrawal takes place, though some symptoms can linger for a few weeks and cravings may persist even after detox.

The more serious your alcohol addiction is, the worse withdrawal symptoms can be. As your body builds up a tolerance, it starts to adjust to the effects of alcohol. When you suddenly stop drinking, it is a shock to your system. Your body has become so dependent on the alcohol that without it, you experience the symptoms of withdrawal. Once you push through withdrawal, your body and mind begin to return to more normal function. However, detox can range from a few days to more than a week. It takes time to rid your body of these toxins and for the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal to subside.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

When you start detoxing your body from alcohol in a luxury rehab center, you will inevitably go through withdrawal. Severity of symptoms may vary, but these are some common ones:

  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Lethargy

In more serious cases, delirium tremens (DTs) can occur. This involves convulsions or seizures, hallucinations, profound confusion, extreme agitation, and dangerous vital signs. DTs can be potentially fatal if not carefully monitored and treated.

Going through detox under close medical direction can help to ease these symptoms and keep you more comfortable. Medical staff will monitor your condition and can quickly respond to any issues that may arise. It is important to remember that these feelings will pass and will not last forever. You’ll slowly begin to feel better and regain your strength and energy.

Coping with Withdrawal Symptoms

In some cases medication may be used to help you relax and reduce the severity of symptoms. In other cases more holistic methods are used. You can discuss how detox is handled ahead of time so that you know what to expect and how different situations are handled. Knowing your options and how withdrawal is managed can make you feel more confident.

There are several ways that you can be proactive as well:

  • Try to keep a positive mind. This is certainly easier said than done, especially while in withdrawal. But remember that withdrawal symptoms will pass. Once you overcome this hurdle, you’re one step closer to long-term recovery and turning your life around. If you go into detox thinking the worst, it can make you feel worse. You’re more apt to make yourself panic and exacerbate symptoms because you’re thinking they’re going to be bad.
  • Keep yourself distracted. Rather than just waiting for withdrawal symptoms to strike and pass, keep yourself physically and mentally active. If you’re able, engage in some exercise or take a walk to clear your mind and boost endorphins. Listen to music, play a game, work on a craft, read a book, or talk to others to keep your mind off of withdrawal symptoms. Try to keep your focus on other things.
  • Speak up. Talk to the doctor about symptoms you’re experiencing and see if they have recommendations for relief. They may be able to work with you to come up with strategies or activities that you can do to promote relaxation and ease discomfort.
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet. Nutrition is important. Lack of essential vitamins and nutrients, as well as dehydration, can make you feel worse. Though you may not feel much like eating or drinking, try to keep your body fueled to support healing and recovery.
  • Remember why you’re there. Think about all of the ways that you’ll benefit from recovery and remind yourself that you’re creating a brighter future and healthier life for yourself and your loved ones. Things may be tough now, but they do get better. Withdrawal does not last forever and detox starts you moving forward in the recovery process.

You can successfully push through alcohol withdrawal symptoms and be on your way to long-term recovery. Once you complete detox, an inpatient treatment program can provide you with the strategies, skills, resources, and support you need to maintain your sobriety and prevent relapse. You’ll be able to address the various facets of your life that alcoholism has impacted and start making positive changes.

If you’re ready to overcome alcoholism and safely move past alcohol withdrawal symptoms, contact Chapters Capistrano at 888-973-0230. We provide on-site detox so you can smoothly transition into inpatient rehab and make the most of your recovery. It’s not too late to start a new chapter in your life.