Did you know that it can be extremely dangerous– possibly even fatal– to quit drinking cold turkey? Alcohol is one of only two substances where a medically supervised detox may be required. The Central Nervous System of an alcoholic becomes used to being saturated in alcohol, thus causing withdrawal symptoms when the drinking stops. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can begin as early as six hours after the last drink. Some of these include:
- Shaky hands
- Excessive sweating
- Erratic heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Delirium Tremens
In some cases, an alcohol detox proves necessary to stabilize a person before continuing further treatment. Detox isn’t pleasant. However, it makes the client as comfortable as possible during the early stages of recovery. Doctors and nurses monitor the client and offer medication to ease the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal. It is safe and the taper is gradual.
Who should go to an alcohol detox?
Alcoholism does not discriminate. There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ alcoholic. Gone are the outdated and inaccurate stereotypes of a drunk underneath a bridge chugging booze from a paper bag. Depending on how much and how often an individual consumes alcohol, detox serves a crucial first step in the recovery process. While some problem drinkers may have a lower rock bottom, the common denominator is the fact that these alcoholics cannot quit on their own. Regardless of gender, race, age, or socioeconomic status, alcohol makes their lives unmanageable.
What do people who have been to an alcohol detox say about their experience?
“After going through a nasty divorce, I began having a couple of glasses of wine after work. That eventually turned into the entire bottle, sometimes even two. Because I maintained a successful career while going through a terrible time, I justified my wine habit. Yet when I tried to cut back after gaining weight, my anxiety spiraled out of control. It felt like all the walls were closing in and I was suffocating. Going to detox allowed me to manage my anxiety with medication and get the wine out of my system. My mind and body desperately needed the reset.” – Cheryl, 32 (financial sector)
“Whisky made me lose everything. Job, house, car, and even my family. The ‘solution’ to these increasing troubles was to drink even more. I was blacked out by noon every day. I would shake so badly I couldn’t even hold a pen or shake a hand. I knew it was killing me, but the seizures and DT’s were so bad I couldn’t stop. After I dried out in detox, I went on to an inpatient treatment facility and then to a halfway house.” – Russell, 50 (retail employee)
“I did not think I could function without alcohol. Bailey’s went in my morning coffee and I was drinking shots of Absolut by dinner. Detox gave me the clarity to step away from this toxic behavior and realize that I could cope without a drink in my hand. They also gave me resources for AA meetings near me. Now I have a home group, a sponsor, and I just celebrated one year sober!” – Lisa, 67 (retiree)
“Going to detox saved my life. My body was shutting down and I was at serious risk for cirrhosis of the liver. I was scared if I sought help that I’d be thrown into a padded room and tied to a bed in agony as the booze left my system. Instead, I got sleep, nourishment, education, and resources. It wasn’t a walk in the park by any means, but I met daily with the medical staff and medication adjustments were made as necessary. Don’t risk harming yourself or not being able to stop because you’re trying to quit cold turkey. Reach out for help and go to detox.” – James, 26 –
If you or a loved one want to put down the bottle, don’t wait another day. Start your journey towards sobriety right now. Give us a call at 833-497-3812.