One of the biggest hurdles to overcome during the process of alcohol addiction treatment is the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the addict once the intake of alcohol has been stopped. It is a horrible experience that makes the sufferer experience both physical and mental anguish, and is one of the biggest reasons why alcoholics relapse when trying to stop drinking. During continued alcohol abuse changes occur in the body. These changes ensure that it is now not simply a desire to drink anymore, but your body actually believes it is has to have the alcohol.
This exact feature, loss of control, is what it means to be alcoholic. Our article on how drinking becomes a brain disease speaks more about this. The continued intake of alcohol is a way to combat the withdrawal symptoms – as long as you keep drinking they will stay away.
The physiological changes that occur include the inhibiting of the NMDA receptors in the body. When the intake of alcohol is stopped, these receptors are no longer inhibited, translating into brain hyper-excitability. This manifests itself in the form of anxiety and an immense craving for alcohol. It is thus imperative to carefully watch for these withdrawal symptoms and ensure they are treated in order to help an alcoholic fight the urge to relapse during alcohol addiction treatment.
Some of the symptoms to look out for and treat include minor withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, tremors or shaking, mild anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, headache, sweating and palpitations. The onset of this is often during the first 6 to 12 hours of stopping alcohol abuse.
Severe alcoholic withdrawals can include hallucinations, expected after 12 to 24 hours, and after 24 to 48 hours seizures sometimes occur. In the most serious of cases, this can even lead to alcohol withdrawal delirium (delirium tremens) where further hallucinations, disorientation, increase heart rate (above 100 beats per minute for a resting adult) and excessive perspiration, high blood pressure, low-grade fever and agitation can be experienced.
This requires expert medical attention, as it is not only excruciating, but can even be fatal. Finding the right alcohol addiction treatment to meet your needs can be a very difficult process. It’s possible that you’re in some form of crisis due to the chaos associated with drinking and the many alternatives for alcohol rehab can seem confusing.
At We Do Recover it is our purpose to match the most beneficial treatment to your needs, considering your budget, your specific addiction and treatment history, as well as your age and other risk factors.
For more information on the service we offer, contact us.