Alcohol is a substance that is consumed by large amounts of our society. According to the CDC, 25.1% of American adults have had at least one day of heavy drinking in the last year.  However, the prevalence and widespread use of this substance does not make it safe to consume or to attempt to quit. There are very real dangers of alcohol withdrawal. Those individuals struggling with alcohol dependence should reach out to alcohol detox California for help while detoxing.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal
In order to understand the dangers of alcohol withdrawal, it is important to define what alcohol withdrawal is. Alcohol withdrawal is defined as the changes one’s body goes through when one decides to stop drinking after prolonged heavy use of the drug.  The longer a person has been using alcohol to excess, the greater the potential for severe symptoms from alcohol withdrawal.
The Dangers Surrounding Alcohol Withdrawal
In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can lead to delirium tremens. This is a condition where the brain is unable to smoothly readjust its chemistry once alcohol is no longer in its system. Delirium tremens can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even death. In fact, for those who suffer from delirium tremens, the fatality rate has been estimated as high as 4 percent. 
Trying to withdraw from alcohol on your own can be a significant danger to yourself. It is possible that you may experience unexpected serious health complications. A person can experience alcohol withdrawal even if they regularly drink as little as two drinks per night. If you drink four or more drinks on a daily basis, it is recommended that you seek medical help when attempting to quit.
The potential health risks of withdrawal increase depending on the number of times a person has gone through withdrawal. Drinking on a daily basis causes permanent changes to one’s brain, increasing the chances that alcohol withdrawal could lead to severe medical complications. For this reason, it is important for individuals who are heavy drinkers to gradually reduce their intake instead of going cold turkey. Individuals in these situations should also do so under the supervision of medical professionals to ensure safety during detoxification.
The Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal
The process of quitting alcohol is a daunting one for those who are in the throes of an addiction. It is important to be aware of what this process will entail prior to embarking on the journey to sobriety. The first stage of withdrawal will usually occur 8 to 12 hours after your last drink. Symptoms of this stage of withdrawal include: 
- Stomach pain
The second stage of alcohol withdrawal will begin 12-24 hours after your last drink. Symptoms for this stage will increase in severity and can include things such as:
- Increased heart rate
The third stage of alcohol withdrawal can present the most severe symptoms. This highlights the dangers of alcohol withdrawal and emphasizes the importance of withdrawing in a supervised, clinical setting. Symptoms of withdrawal during this stage include:
- Increased agitation
- Extreme confusion
Managing the Dangers In a Controlled Environment With Alcohol Detox California
Despite its legal status, alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to withdraw from. For this reason, it is incredibly important to withdraw from alcohol in the controlled environment of an alcohol rehabilitation facility.
Ocean Hills Recovery provides clients with a safe, therapeutic environment to withdraw from alcohol and achieve sobriety. Medically trained professionals are able to observe a client who is withdrawing from alcohol in order to ensure the most severe symptoms are properly managed and addressed.
Withdrawing from alcohol at home can be extremely dangerous, as the most serious symptoms of withdrawal can be life-threatening if they aren’t adequately taken care of. This is why having medical supervision to monitor heart rate and vital signs is a critical step in the process. Alcohol detox can last as long as 7 days, making it important to have professionally trained rehab specialists by your side at every step of the process. 
In addition to medical supervision, Ocean Hills Recovery also provides mental health services for clients to ensure sobriety lasts long after an individual has been discharged from treatment. Addressing one’s physical addiction to alcohol is just the first step in the process. Without dealing with the mental health components related to dependence, an individual is much more likely to relapse into their old behaviors.
The best inpatient rehabs offer clients both individual and group therapy in order to address the underlying causes of their addiction. Ocean Hills Recovery provides relapse prevention programs as well as life skills services to ensure you are ready to face the world upon your release. We also offer gender-specific group services to provide you with the safest therapeutic environment to address your addiction.
Don’t Withdrawal Alone, Reach Out For Help Today
If you are seeking to move beyond your addiction to alcohol or other harmful drugs, contact the caring professionals at Ocean Hills Recovery. We offer a solution-focused approach that is structured according to each person’s individual situation. This ensures you receive the treatment that best suits your needs. We are committed to helping every client achieve the sobriety they deserve and provide the tools and support necessary to get there.
Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm  https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/alcohol-withdrawal.html  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2018/11/27/alcohol-withdrawal-syndrome-detox-delirium-tremens-hallucinations-substance-abuse-disorder/2082020002/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085800/  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-long-does-it-take-to-detox-from-alcohol#how-long-it-takes
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.