Many people don’t realize that alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances out there and alcohol addiction is rampant. People often think of prescription medications and heroin as the most dangerous substances and that alcohol is “safe”. One of the reasons alcohol is such a major problem is because it’s completely legal and socially acceptable. The effects alcohol has on the body can cause more long-term damage than other substances and the stages of alcohol detox are far worse.
Those who have been drinking every night or in excess for months or years have developed a dependence, and self-detox can be dangerous. Once a person realizes they have a problem with alcohol, they may think they can detox alone. More people die from self-detox from alcohol than any other substance due to severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol affects the brain, nervous system and vital organs in ways that other drugs do not.
Alcohol Dependence and Withdrawal
First, one should understand exactly what alcohol dependence is as well as how it happens. People who have had a night of binge drinking have typically felt the mildest form of alcohol withdrawal, which is a hangover. A hangover is the body’s way of telling the person that it is off-balance by the person’s drinking. The body wants more alcohol, which is why some people decide to drink in the morning to cure their hangover.
When a person with alcoholism goes through the symptoms of withdrawal, the symptoms are much worst. Withdrawal happens because the body is always trying to maintain some state of equilibrium. There are many different chemicals in the body that are constantly balancing each other to help a person function. The abuse of alcohol drastically throws the balance of a person’s body off, so the body doesn’t know what to do.
The early stages of alcohol detox can happen within eight hours of the person’s last drink. There are neurotransmitters in the brain that begin to misfire and cause issues. The person’s organs are also under an immense amount of stress while trying to regain equilibrium. Some of the symptoms are so severe that a person can have a fatal outcome.
Never Go Through the Stages of Alcohol Detox Alone
There was a long period in history where there wasn’t much science or knowledge about the disease of addiction. Medical professionals couldn’t understand why people with alcoholism would return to drinking so quickly. Some facilities and medical professionals thought that they could potentially scare a person into not drinking again. They figured the withdrawal symptoms would be so harsh that the person would stay sober.
Medical science found that quitting cold turkey like this can be extremely dangerous, so hospitals and detoxes stopped promoting “cold turkey”. The problem is that many people with alcoholism don’t know how dangerous it is. Those with alcoholism may prefer to detox alone, but they don’t realize what can happen to them. If you’re ready to get sober, you should find a professional detox facility.
The Beginning Stages of Alcohol Detox
In the early stages of detox, a person can feel symptoms within about eight hours of their last drink. The early symptoms of withdrawal can feel like a hangover, or they can be worse. These are the first signs that a person should be aware of if they’ve developed a dependence. Some of the initial symptoms a person feels in the first stage can include:
- Abdominal pain
Another symptom someone might feel in this first stage of detox is body tremors. Those who are severely dependent can have this happen as well. Body tremors are when the hands, arms or legs shake involuntarily. What’s happening is the nervous system is in a state of shock, and the person is having random spasms.
Addiction is a progressive illness, so it’s best that a person can begin seeing early on that they’re experiencing withdrawal. If the person can recognize that these symptoms are happening to him or her on a regular basis, it can help them make the choice to get help. When a person can spot these symptoms early on, they have a much better chance of recovery. If the person doesn’t get help as soon as possible, these symptoms become much more dangerous as they progress.
The Dangerous Stages of Alcohol Detox
Within anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the person’s last drink, the withdrawal symptoms become worse and more dangerous. The problem with these dangerous symptoms that arise is that most people won’t even realize they’re happening. The person’s blood pressure rises to dangerous levels, and they have an erratic heart rate. The symptoms the person may notice can include increased body temperature and confusion.
Following these symptoms, after about 72 hours, the person can experience even more severe symptoms of withdrawal. During the third stage of detox, the person may experience a high fever and a lot of agitation. The more dangerous symptoms during this stage can include hallucinations as well as seizures. These are some of the primary reasons why you should always seek professional help at a detox center.
Going to a Professional Detox Center
Rather than risking dealing with the stages of alcohol detox on your own, let Serenity House Detox & Recovery help. We have a full staff of trained professionals who are here to help you through these various stages. Our medical staff is here to ensure that you’re safe throughout the entire process. We have a compassionate team of people who want to make you as comfortable as possible while you detox.
During the detoxification process, we’ll be monitoring your symptoms of withdrawal the entire time. You’ll receive medications that will decrease the chances of seizure and heart rate increases. Heart damage from long-term drinking is already dangerous, so these symptoms put unnecessary stress on it. We’ll provide you with medications that help stabilize your heart rate and blood pressure.
You don’t have to worry about the cost of the detox process either if you have health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has laws in place to provide you with at least some health insurance for detox or coverage for addiction treatment. We’ll work with your insurance company regarding some coverage for your stay at Serenity House Detox & Recovery. This will help ease your worries about making the first step towards getting well.
Serenity House Detox & Recovery is here to help you set up a foundation of recovery that’ll help you maintain your sobriety. While you’re here, we want to help educate you about addiction and provide you with the tools to stay sober. Before your discharge, we’ll provide you with additional resources to help you on your recovery journey. Give us a call today for help getting out of your own way to recovery. The number is 866-294-5306.