What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal is the process of when someone, who heavily drinks over a sustained period of time, reduces their alcohol intake and suffers physical and mental issues due to the reduction in alcohol. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary, with some people suffering mild issues, whilst others can be more severe.
How soon after stopping drinking do withdrawal symptoms start & How Long Do Symptoms Last?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to happen after about 8 hours of not drinking. When you start to withdraw from alcohol, the symptoms are typically worse in the first 48 hours, however, these symptoms will improve over the coming 3-7 days
What are the typical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?
One of the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is that your sleeping pattern may become disturbed, you could wake up several times a night and have a decrease in quality of sleep. In addition, there could be shaking, sweating, hallucinations and in the most extreme of cases, seizures.
Psychologically, the impacts of alcohol withdrawal could include depression, restlessness and anxiety.
Throughout the detox process, it is critical that you eat regular meals and drink enough water. You should avoid caffeinated drinks, including tea and coffee, as this could lead to anxiety and sleep deprivation. Whilst you may suffer from short-term appetite loss, this should improve over time.
After a week of not drinking alcohol, your body begins to improve, as you may have better energy levels, concentration levels, a better quality of sleep and feel more awake when you wake up.
Alcohol Withdrawal Help- How Alcohol Home Treatment Can Support You
Alcohol Home Treatment allows you to detox safely at home, rather than in a medical environment. This allows you to detox in a place where you feel comfortable but under medical supervision.
Alcohol Home Treatment provides a safe and effective method for people to reduce their alcohol intake by following the Sinclair Method. The method used reduces the ‘pleasure’ that is attached to drinking alcohol and uses medicinal drugs, called Naltrexone, which blocks the endorphins released when alcohol is consumed.
Furthermore, at Alcohol Home Treatment, we ensure that the home detox procedure is safe and provides guidance on whether the Sinclair Method is suitable before treatment starts.
Finally, at Alcohol Home Treatment, we offer alcohol home detox programmes which try and minimise the withdrawal symptoms that you can suffer. This is because we design treatments based on the individual needs of our patients at our base in Sutton Coldfield.
To see more about the Alcohol Home Detox method, click here.
To read about a patients journey with Alcohol Home Detox, click here
Alcohol Withdrawal FAQs
What medication is used to treat alcoholism?
There are 4 main medications which is used to treat alcoholism. The 4 are Acamprosate (prevents relapse in people who have completely stopped drinking alcohol), Disulfiram (creates unpleasant reactions if alcohol is drunk), Naltrexone (which prevents the endorphins being released when alcohol is drunk) and Nalmefene- which works similarly to Naltrexone but can have a more serious impact. Alcohol Home Treatment uses opioid receptor antagonists, mainly one called naltrexone (link to the Sinclair Method).
What drug inhibits drinking alcohol?
Disulfiram is often used to inhibit drinking and the immediate effect is that it causes hangover-like effects, such as headaches, sweating and thirst.
Can your body go into shock when you stop drinking?
The body can go into shock once someone drinks regularly over a prolonged period but suddenly stops. These withdrawal symptoms can vary from disturbed sleeping to seizures for heavy drinkers. However, over time these symptoms reduce and at Alcohol Home Treatment, support will be given throughout the process
What can I do to help myself to stop drinking?
If you are unable to reduce your alcohol intake by yourself and would like to receive support, feel free to get in touch with Alcohol Home Treatment. We offer an around-the-clock service that supports you throughout and after your detox.
Are there any home remedies or techniques to ease withdrawal symptoms?
There are no Home remedies for alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are safe, compared to a proper alcohol detox using prescribed medication.
When should I seek medical attention for alcohol withdrawal symptoms?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms should not be allowed to persist. The sufferer must drink alcohol to stop the symptoms, until a point where medical help is available.
What are the risks of untreated alcohol withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can escalate to a point where they turn to a condition called Delirium Tremens or DTs. When a person says they are having DTs because they haven’t had their morning cup of coffee, that is a gross exaggeration. DTs is a very serious medical condition that occurs in some severe cases of alcohol withdrawal. It can lead to extremely high temperature, hallucinations, seizures and death.
Can alcohol withdrawal be life-threatening?
Yes. People do die from alcohol withdrawal symptoms Suddenly stopping drinking or reducing the daily amount too quickly is very dangerous.
What treatment options are available for alcohol withdrawal?
The most effective treatment is Alcohol Detoxification (often shortened to ‘detox.) This involves stopping drinking and taking medication to stop the withdrawal symptoms. This is normally done with a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, two examples of these are Chlordiazepoxide (also known as Librium and Diazepam (also known as Valium). It is possible to gradually reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed over time, but it is extremely difficult, and people often find that their body demands more alcohol to a point where their drinking increases again.
How can I prevent relapse during the withdrawal process?
During a medical alcohol detox, the medication will calm the body, stopping the withdrawal symptoms. If the patient is motivated (if they want to be doing the detox) it is not difficult for them to get through the detox without relapsing, as the withdrawal symptoms are stopped by the medication, it is generally a relaxing experience and the desire to drink is low. The risk of relapse may become higher after detox and there are other treatment options to minimise that risk.