Quitting drinking can be challenging if you’re addicted to alcohol. Giving up alcohol does not only involve physical withdrawal symptoms but also mental and emotional challenges. Fortunately, you can ease the withdrawal process and make it through alcohol withdrawal safely by doing a few things before, during, and after your detox.
Before you start your detox, you can ask your friends or family for help, and you should also join a support group as well as coordinate with your doctor and therapist. This support will help you make it through the withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of these symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on how long you’ve been drinking. Finally, after you’ve been through detox, you will need to commit to a sober lifestyle to avoid relapsing.
Before Detox: Ask for Help
The first step is to reach out for help. If you’re trying to quit drinking on your own, you’re likely to struggle. Besides family and friends, 12-step programs or other types of support groups are also available to help you through the process. You should also inform your therapist and your doctor about your planned detox at home so that they can be on call if it’s more severe than you had anticipated. So before beginning the detox process, make sure you have a solid support system in place that feels right for you.
Here is what you can expect when you begin to detox. Within eight hours of your last drink, you will begin experiencing mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. These can last for weeks after you stop drinking. The most common symptoms are anxiety, changes in sleep, fever, and sweating. More serious symptoms include hallucinations, delirium tremens (DTs), and seizures.
These are rare, but they can be fatal. This is why you should speak to your doctor and maybe even a therapist first. They’ll help you through the process and make sure you don’t have any underlying mental health conditions that could make quitting harder. To ease withdrawal symptoms, medications are also available. So don’t go it alone if you’re thinking about quitting drinking—get assistance from professionals who can help you through the process.
The Detox Process
Once you have a support system in place, it’s time to start detoxing your body. This can be accomplished by gradually reducing your alcohol intake or by going cold turkey. If you decide to go cold turkey, you must do so under medical supervision. If alcohol withdrawal is not handled properly, it can lead to dangerous symptoms.
If you have been a chronic drinker and expect severe withdrawal symptoms, you should not quit alcohol at home but go to a medical detox center where medical professionals can assist you through the process. It is better to be overcautious than take the risk of having to deal with acute anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and seizures on your own at home. What’s more severe symptoms can even occur after just a short period of drinking.
After Detox: Work on Your Recovery
Once you’ve detoxed your body, it’s essential that you commit to working on your recovery. You need to find healthy coping mechanisms and activities to replace drinking in your life. This means attending regular meetings, therapy sessions, and aftercare programs. In addition to exercise, meditation, journaling, and painting, there are other ways to do this as well. Make sure that you eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep to take care of yourself physically. You will be more likely to resist cravings and stick to your recovery goals when your body is healthy.
Also, plan how you’ll deal with triggers and cravings. For example, will you call a friend, go for a walk, or journal? It can be helpful to make a list of activities that help you feel better so you can refer to it when you need help. You may also want to consider attending meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous or another support group. In early recovery, social support and accountability are vital. In addition, therapy will reduce your risk of relapsing because a therapist will help you deal with the psychological issues that led you to start drinking in the first place.
Call our counselors at 844-639-8371 for help if you’re struggling with addiction and want to quit drinking and need some support.