Alcohol Detox: 5 Things to Know When Quitting Drinking
Most people begin to abuse alcohol in their late teens and early twenties. However, over time if a person continues to abuse alcohol or turns to alcohol every time they are stressed, they may begin to rely on alcohol and have trouble with quitting drinking. As time continues a person may begin to develop an addiction to alcohol.
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Once a person forms an addiction to alcohol they will feel the need to drink on a consistent basis. This can lead to them becoming dependent on alcohol. If a person develops a dependency to alcohol they will need the substance in their body in order for them to feel normal. As a person continues to drink due to their dependency and addiction, they will build a tolerance to alcohol, which means that they will need more and more alcohol in their body in order for them to avoid going through withdrawal. This is a vicious cycle that can lead to a person having numerous health problems, such as organ failure, cardiac arrest, stroke, or early signs of dementia.
When a person begins to think about quitting drinking, and then decides to do so, they will begin to go through alcohol detox. During detox their body will go through withdrawal symptoms, which may require the need of medical assistance.
According to the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the most common and less severe withdrawal symptoms from quitting drinking include, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, mood swings, jumpiness, and lack of concentration.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically occur within 8 hours after a person has their last drink and they usually last for about a week, although they can last longer.
Five Things that a Person Needs to Know about Quitting Drinking
- The psychological withdrawal symptoms can last for months and they are the main cause of relapse. It is important for a person to involve themselves in therapy to work through these psychological withdrawals.
- The physical withdrawal symptoms may need medical attention, so supervision during detox is important of they decide to try and detox on their own.
- Delirium tremens can occur during detox, which are scary and need to be treated medically. According to a Foundation for a Drug Free World, delirium tremens can occur when a person quits drinking. Delirium tremens commonly occur three to four days after a person stops drinking. Delirium tremens are when a former drinker becomes highly agitated, has uncontrollable shakes, experiences hallucinations and loses touch with reality while they are detoxing from alcohol.
- Alcohol detox is only the first step to recovery.
- Quitting drinking may require that a person changes areas of their life in order for them to be successful with remaining sober.