Are you or someone you love suffering from alcoholism?
Recognizing that you want to quit drinking is a positive first step toward recovery. Whether you try to quit alcohol on your own or check into rehab, you should know how to deal with alcohol withdrawals beforehand. Here’s what to expect in your first phase of sobriety.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeframe
The process of alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person. Typically, people experience detox symptoms for up to five days after they stop drinking.
That said, your recovery timeline will vary based on the following factors:
- How long you’ve been drinking overall.
- How old you are.
- How many times you’ve detoxed before.
Whether you have other illnesses such as liver disease.
If you’re an older individual or if you’re chronically ill, your detox may take longer. Also, if you’ve struggled with alcoholism for years, your body will have a harder time of functioning without it at first. These factors shouldn’t discourage you from trying to get sober.
Symptoms to Expect
Typically, alcohol detox happens in three phases.
The first minor Symptoms occur about six hours after your last drink. They may include headache, irritability, and fatigue. If you’re suffering from long-term alcohol addiction, you may also experience minor seizures.
About 12 hours into the detox, a small percentage of alcoholics experience hallucinations. This isn’t dangerous on a medical level, but if you do experience double vision or seeing things that aren’t there, make sure there is someone to keep you safe during this time.
For most people, the first 48 hours of alcohol withdrawal is the worst of it. You may still experience minor symptoms for several days to come, but they are no cause for alarm.
What You Need During Detox
Whether due to stigma or determination, many people who struggle with alcohol choose to get sober at home. However, visiting an alcohol detox center or at least working with a medical professional makes this phase safer.
If you choose to detox at home, here is what you’ll need:
- Healthy ways to stay hydrated (think chicken broth or Gatorade ).
- Plenty of healthy food (you won’t want to eat, but you should).
- A friend or family member who can take care of you through your withdrawal.
Going through an alcohol detox alone is never a good idea. You need both physical and mental support as your body relearns to function without alcohol.
How to Deal With Alcohol Withdrawals and Severe Symptoms
Though this is rare, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.
If you are feeling worse after about four days of alcohol withdrawal, it’s time to visit a medical professional.
Prior to that, if you experience excessive sweating, fever, and seizures within three days of your withdrawal, you should seek emergency medical help. You may be experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal delirium.
Are You Ready to Get Sober?
If you’re learning about how to deal with alcohol withdrawals for the first time, you’ll need guidance on staying healthy.
Come back to our blog regularly for more physical and mental health tips. With some guidance, you can be your best self in no time.