What If Alcohol Detox Is Too Painful?

What If Alcohol Detox Is Too Painful?According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (AW) may range in severity from mild tremors to massive convulsions. Even mild withdrawal symptoms can cause physical discomfort and emotional pain. In severe cases withdrawal symptoms may, in fact, be life-threatening.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 5 – 10 hours after the last drink, but can occur days later. Symptoms worsen in 48 – 72 hours, and may persist for weeks. Attempting to stop using alcohol without medical supervision could cause a person to experience physical symptoms of withdrawal including any or all of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Jumpiness or shakiness
  • Clammy skin
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremor of the hands or other body parts
  • Fever

Because these physical symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, a person attempting to cease alcohol use without assistance is often not successful. In extreme cases, a person can even experience seizures.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

The physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be difficult to manage on your own. However, when they are coupled with the emotional and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, detox becomes every more difficult. You may experience symptoms including the following:

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Agitation
  • Severe confusion
  • Hallucinations

Because of the physical, emotional, and mental symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, a quality alcohol detox program can make all the difference between success and relapse.

Goals of Alcohol Detoxification

The NIAA suggests that any valuable alcohol detox program have goals including the following:

  • Relieve the patient’s discomfort
  • Prevent the occurrence of more serious symptoms
  • Avert effects that might worsen future withdrawals

In addition, a quality detox program will take the opportunity to encourage patients to consider long-term alcoholism treatment.

Alcohol Detoxification Options

There are several resources available for alcohol detox support including the following:

  • Alcohol Addiction Counselors – These counselors provide individualized support and based on their licensing may be able to manage a medication-based detox.
  • Addiction Programs – An inpatient substance abuse treatment facility provides a focused residential program. Outpatient treatment programs also provide detox services and are valuable when you need to continue working and living at home.
  • Support Groups – While support groups are found in every community, they do not typically offer detox services. However, for additional support during detox and after, these 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, provide valuable ongoing support.

Get Alcohol Abuse or Addiction Help

We understand your concern about the pain you may experience during detox and we can provide you with insights and resources. Call our toll-free number any time of the day to learn more about alcohol detox options.

Comments are closed.