Alcohol may be one of the easiest substances to begin abusing because of how easy it is to obtain. It’s legal and it’s a normal part of a lot of people’s everyday lives, so it might take a while for people to think twice about a loved one’s drinking habits.
More than 15 million people in the United States struggle with an alcohol use disorder, and only about 8% of those people receive treatment.
Luckily, achieving lifelong recovery from an alcohol addiction is possible with the right support. Part of recovery from alcoholism includes detoxing from the substance. In mild cases, you may be able to detox at home without the use of medications, as your withdrawal symptoms will likely be mild. However, those who were used to a high or severe level of alcohol consumption on a regular basis may have
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
For the first 48 hours after your last drink, your withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst. As your body begins to adjust to being without alcohol, you’ll find the symptoms gradually start to ease. Most people find this begins to happen between three and seven days from their last drink.
Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hand tremors
- Depression and/or anxiety
More extreme withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations or seizures. This is why it’s so important to consult a healthcare practitioner before beginning your detox from alcohol if you were a very heavy drinker.
How to Cope
Work with a healthcare practitioner: If your level of alcohol consumption was very high, talk to your healthcare practitioner about medication to ease withdrawal symptoms while detoxing at home. You may have to be hospitalized during your detoxification period to manage your withdrawal symptoms if your dependency was severe.
Focus on your nutrition: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and help flush out toxins. However, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages like soda, tea, or coffee, as these can worsen your sleep problems and cause anxiety. Prioritize eating a fresh and healthy diet. Try to eat regular meals, even if you have no appetite.
Talk to your sponsor: If you’re participating in a 12-step rehabilitation program, you’ll know the importance of being open to support. Your sponsor has been in your situation before and knows what it feels like. He or she may have some good tips or advice to give you.