If you consume alcohol heavily for months or years, you may suffer both physical and mental problems when you quit or honestly cut back on consumption. It is called alcohol detox or detoxification, and the symptoms can range from mild to serious. The term detoxification, itself is a partial misnomer as the process does not exclusively refer to the eradication of toxic substances from the body.
Nonetheless, alcohol detox can be segmented into three stages:
- Stage 1: Anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and abdominal pain, which begins about 8 hours after the last drink.
- Stage 2: High blood pressure, magnified body temperature, uneven heart rate, and confusion will begin in 24 to 72 hours after the last drink.
- Stage 3: Alcohol detox may include: Hallucinations, seizures, fever, and agitation will kick-start in more than 72 hours after the last drink.
Remember, other diseases, mental or physical, are stabilized through prescribed medications and therapy counseling sessions. Likewise, alcohol detox, when improperly managed can cause withdrawal symptoms that are very problematic to overcome without medical aid. Hence, the best way to detox from alcohol is to get medical and professional help.
More critically, the sudden cessation of the substance can literally cause your body to stop working sensibly and can also put you in a state of pain. The symptoms of alcohol detox can cause seizures, brain damage, heart palpitations, and other calamitous effects that can result in hospitalization or even death.
Therefore, the rational way to avoid life-threatening consequences to alcohol detox is to taper your usage, and gradually lessen the intake to eliminate the body’s craving for the substance over time. The likelihood is that you will face less severe, non-life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting, hallucinations, and nausea. Conversely, you could have emotional symptoms too, like mood swings or depression, and these can make it tough to stick to the alcohol detox program.
Fortunately, there is help. There is likely an inpatient alcohol detox center within your area. Proper alcohol detoxification, combined with therapy, can increase a person’s odds of overcoming alcoholism altogether.