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Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment: All You Need To Know

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Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment: Dealing With A Complete Detox

Not only does alcohol addiction treatment help you get your life back on track, it can be life-saving for those suffering from underlying conditions and severe addiction. While this journey might seem daunting at first, seeking the right support and guidance helps make this process easier and helps you overcome your addiction for good.

To effectively deal with alcohol withdrawal, we need to understand the complexities of alcohol addiction. This acts as your first step in a journey that is certainly less than a thousand miles.

So how does alcohol affect me?

While most of us already know the toll alcohol takes on the human body, it helps understanding how bad it can actually get. This could act as a driving force when you decide to break free from this addiction. 

Here are a few of the many negative effects of Alcohol on the human body. 

  • Excessive alcohol can destroy brain cells, possibly leading to brain damage.
  • Even moderate consumption of alcohol can affect cognitive abilities while large amounts interfere with the oxygen supply of the brain. This is what causes the blackout when you've had too much to drink. 
  • Alcohol addiction can also cause inflammation of the mouth, oesophagus, and stomach, and could cause cancer in these areas, especially in drinkers who also smoke.
  • Binge drinkers can have irregular heartbeats and experience a higher risk of high- blood pressure, heart attacks, and other heart damage.
  • Alcohol can also harm your vision and damage sexual function
  • It can also lead to skin and pancreatic disorders weakening the bones and muscles, thus, decreasing immunity.

While some of these conditions are unfortunately irreversible, overcoming this addiction helps you shift your focus towards them and actively work towards a better, healthier life. 

However, in order to begin your journey toward recovery, it is imperative that you understand the extent of your addiction.

So Do I Have Alcohol Addiction?

Before embarking on this path towards sobriety, one must first come to terms with their addiction. If you are finding it hard to control and regulate your daily alcohol intake, it is very likely that you have become addicted to alcohol.

While it is not easy to accept that you have a problem that might need medical intervention, it’s necessary to accept and confront your problem before going through with your treatment. 

If you are overcoming alcohol addiction, please don't be disheartened reading this. Alcohol tricks our brains into believing we need it to function optimally. This is why alcohol addiction is the most widespread addiction across the world. 

However, you don't need to fret, as with every dark cloud comes a silver lining. Rehabilitation centers like Anunitha are well-equipped to deal with every step of this process effectively and effortlessly. They further help you deal with both alcohol addiction and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.

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So What are the Risks Associated with Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

While quitting alcohol is a positive step towards better health, based on the severity of your addiction, doing this the right way becomes crucial in mitigating the sometimes fatal effects of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome. 

Symptoms from Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome begin to surface anywhere between 6 hours to a few days after your last drink and continue to affect you for weeks. 

This is more likely to affect binge drinkers when they significantly reduce their alcohol consumption. People overcoming AWS often exhibit some of these symptoms in the initial stages.

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • High blood pressure

The symptoms may worsen over 2 to 3 days, and some milder symptoms may persist for weeks in some people. 

The most severe type of withdrawal symptoms are known as delirium tremens People who've reached this stage exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Extreme confusion
  • Extreme agitation
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Tactile hallucinations, such as having a false sense of itching, burning, or numbness.
  • Auditory hallucinations, or hearing sounds that don’t exist
  • Visual hallucinations, or seeing images that don’t exist
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast respirations

We know this can be a lot to process and even unnerving for anyone looking to quit drinking. However, most of you may not experience some or most of these symptoms. We've listed them down for you anyway, to ensure that you have all the information needed to identify the different stages of AWS and act accordingly. 

It might help knowing that while you may not experience all of these symptoms, medical professionals have treatment options for all of them.

What are the Treatment Options Available for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Unless you have a serious health condition or you’ve had severe withdrawals in the past, you probably won’t need more than a supportive environment to help you through. That includes:

  • A quiet place
  • Limited contact with people
  • A positive, supportive atmosphere
  • Healthy food and lots of fluids

Treatment is often advised for patients suffering from Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.

If your blood pressure, pulse, or body temperature rises, or if you have more serious symptoms like seizures and hallucinations, seek medical care immediately. Your doctor could suggest inpatient care and drug treatment.

Recovery Goals with Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Alcohol Addiction, like all other addictions, hack into our brain and create a dependency loop that gets reinforced every time we drink. The body, over time, begins to crave or expect alcohol to function normally. 

Motivation is one of the most powerful and essential tools to have in your arsenal while breaking out of this loop. Like a really hard boss battle in a video game, to win this fight, we need to first learn and understand all the moves our enemy (alcohol) uses to keep us from progressing.  

The second stage would be to set up checkpoints along the journey to show that we are winning this fight and not running around in circles. In our first battle against alcohol addiction, withdrawal symptoms are its first line of defence. 

These symptoms, as explained earlier, arrive in waves. Initial symptoms range from anxiety and nausea to irritability and confusion. Overcoming this will be our first checkpoint and a clear indication that we are on the right track.

Based on the severity of the addiction, the difficulty of this game increases or decreases when you win the first battle. 

At this stage, you can assess your skill set and make a decision accordingly. If there are no further symptoms and those that have appeared, also start to fade away, this would act as a major checkpoint for most of you.

For others, you might need to acquire new skills and better tools to face the next battle in order to win. Rehabilitation centres like Anunitha can help equip you with everything you need to face the next set of symptoms. These range from extreme confusion and agitation to excessive sweating and increased heart rate. Medical intervention at this stage is advised for most people overcoming alcohol withdrawal syndrome. With the help of trained and experienced medical staff, you can overcome this with ease and mark the second major checkpoint in your fight against Alcohol Addiction.

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Help Your Loved One Recover from Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

If someone you care about is taking steps towards de-addiction and are going through alcohol withdrawal, offering them a shoulder to lean on goes a long way. Having a strong support system is important as it boosts their morale and increases their drive to beat addiction.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before being said shoulder to lean on. Understanding what your loved one is going through helps bridge the gap between them and you.

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome helps you walk a mile in their shoes and hence find more empathetic ways to reach out and provide help.

Another effective way to help someone experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome is to ensure that they are following a routine and eating adequately. The discomfort they are feeling often leads them towards unhealthy eating habits or leading a disorganised life. Nudging them towards the right path once in a while goes a long way in helping them overcome these symptoms sooner. 

However, If these symptoms seem to be worsening or the person overcoming AWS is not able to cope with them, it is advisable to seek medical help. Rehabilitation or De-addiction centres are well equipped to handle all the symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome in a safe controlled environment. 

Why should I trust Cadabam's Anunitha?

For over 30 years, we've been working in the field of mental healthcare. During this time, we have helped countless individuals recover from addiction while constantly evolving with the times. At Anunitha, you have complete access to our specialised team of psychiatrists and psychologists who are trained experts in the field of De-addiction. You can also schedule a visit to our campus to get a better understanding of our approach to De-addiction. We encourage you to reach out to us on any platform with your doubts or queries about Alcohol Withdrawal at any time.

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