Alcohol Withdrawal: How Alcohol Detox Can Save Your Life
The decision to quit drinking alcohol may seem overwhelming, especially when it is hard to make it through the day without a drink. You may feel alone in your journey to sobriety and wonder if you will have the strength and willpower to make such drastic changes in your life. Deciding to stop drinking is the most crucial first step to living a sober life. Finding the right support to help you through the initial challenges and transition to making lifelong changes is essential for success. OHR’s Orange County alcohol detox program provides both Orange County locals and visitors alike individualized treatment by experienced caring professionals in a relaxing, family-friendly environment. Treatment specialists will offer both medical and mental health services to help your body and your brain detox from alcohol while supporting optimal physical and mental wellness.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
It is a common misconception that since alcohol is legal, it is easier and safer to quit drinking than stopping other substances, but this is not true. If you have been drinking regularly for some time you will most likely experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking alcohol.
Withdrawal is the changes that your body goes through when you stop drinking after heavy and persistent use. This is defined as three drinks on any day or seven drinks per week for women and four drinks on any day or 14 drinks a day for men. Even people who drink less but drink regularly will experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol changes pathways in the brain creating physical dependence in addition to psychological dependence. This is one of the reasons that withdrawal happens.
How Dangerous is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can begin as soon as 8 hours after your last drink but may not start for several days. They generally last anywhere from 5 days to several weeks. These symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Delirium Tremens
For some people, withdrawal is uncomfortable, while for others, it can be unbearable and life-threatening. Since each individual’s body is different, it is difficult to predict how they will respond when they stop drinking alcohol. You must seek both medical and mental health support when you decide to quit drinking.
Do I Need Alcohol Detox?
Detox or detoxification is the process of eliminating alcohol from your body. When you drink, your brain releases endorphins. These endorphins make you feel good and contribute to the addictive nature of alcohol. When you stop drinking, your body no longer receives endorphins from alcohol and begins to go through the withdrawal process.
Initially, your body will go through rapid changes, while toxins are removed from your system. During this time, you will experience many physical and psychological symptoms that can be effectively managed in a hospital, inpatient, or intensive outpatient setting. You may think that you can ride out withdrawal at home, but supervised withdrawal is the safest and most effective.
Is OHR’s Alcohol Detox in Orange County Right for Me?
While your body is withdrawing from alcohol, it will go through many changes. Medically assisted alcohol detox can provide you with the support that can both help you feel better through the initial withdrawal process and also help you start down the path to permanent change. A medically-assisted alcohol detox program in Orange County can help alleviate physical symptoms through fluid and nutritional support, medications, and medical monitoring while providing transition services to long-term treatment and community support.
Ocean Hills Recovery Inc, a drug and alcohol treatment center, has the experience and collaborative treatment philosophy that can set you up for success on your road to sobriety. Contact us today to get started.
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.