Many people will experience a very minimal version of alcohol withdrawal at some point in their lives. This type of withdrawal is more commonly known as a “hangover” and is nothing to be too concerned about. However, alcohol withdrawal syndrome (commonly referred to simply as “alcohol withdrawal”) is something much more severe and requires immediate and professional attention.
What Exactly Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Hangovers aside, alcohol withdrawal is what happens when someone who has a history of heavy alcohol use stops drinking. Usually, the alcohol leaves the system around 6 to 12 hours after the last drink (though this may take longer depending on how much alcohol is in the system). For people with alcohol use disorder (AUD), it is after this time passes that the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal start to take hold.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from minimal to severe (even deadly in some instances). According to the peer-reviewed write-up Alcohol Withdrawal, “Mild symptoms can be elevated blood pressure, insomnia, tremulousness, hyperreflexia, anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, headache, palpitations. Moderate symptoms include hallucinations and alcohol withdrawal seizures (rum fits) that can occur 12 to 24 hours after cessation of alcohol and are typically generalized in nature… Delirium tremens is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and its hallmark is that of an altered sensorium with significant autonomic dysfunction and vital sign abnormalities.”
These delirium tremens (DTs) are emblematic of how dangerous alcohol withdrawal can be. They are also just one of the many reasons why one should never detox alone.
The Dangers of Detoxing Alone
Many people don’t realize just how dangerous detoxing alone can be. One of the reasons for this is that the body is often extremely depleted of nutrients. According to the article Mechanisms of Vitamin Deficiencies in Alcoholism, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A… Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins.”
Now, the depletion of these nutrients can be particularly dangerous because it can cause something called Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (also commonly known as “wet brain”). According to the write-up Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, “The cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a deficiency of thiamine or vitamin B1. Individuals with poor nutrition for any reason are at risk for this disorder. The most common social factor associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is chronic alcohol abuse, leading to decreased absorption and utilization of thiamine.” It is the potential for this affliction that makes it all the more clear why detoxing in a professional setting is crucial for safety’s sake.
Getting Over Alcohol Withdrawal With a Professional Detox in Longmont, Colorado
A professional alcohol detox is going to take into account many important factors when it comes to the safety and security of the individual. These factors include rehydration, nutrient replenishment, and the potential need for sedation.
A professional detox can also connect an individual with the appropriate next steps of their recovery. This may involve connecting them to a reputable recovery center where they can begin their treatment journey. Now, this is crucial because it can also help an individual avoid a relapse and have to start the process all over again. Relapses are also more common than people may think. According to the journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.”
The good news is there are many effective detox and recovery program options right in Longmont, Colorado. Longmont is an ideal place for recovery for many reasons, not the least of which is its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and exciting city hubs like Denver. It also has a vibrant recovery community that can help individuals maintain a happy and healthy long-term recovery. Addiction can be a vicious cycle, so it is important to be located in a comfortable and safe environment that can help break it.
Healing at the Cellular Level With The Redpoint Center
Here at The Redpoint Center, we understand that taking the first step toward recovery can be daunting and anxiety-inducing. The anxiety associated with experiencing alcohol withdrawal can be part of these emotions.
However, here at The Redpoint Center, we also know that that first step is often the most important step that someone will ever take in their lives. That is why we will always be there to make sure that that first step is not taken in vain. We’ll be there to help anyone ready to fully heal at the cellular level start living the life that they both desire and deserve. Take that first step, and we’ll be there for the rest of the walk.
Alcohol withdrawal can be very intense and painful. This is why managing alcohol withdrawal is critical. One should never try to detox from alcohol on their own because it can be very dangerous (even deadly, in some instances). Detoxing from alcohol in a professional setting is the best way to ensure that one is safe and secure during the process. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction and/or mental illness, we can help get you on the road to recovery. For more information on alcohol withdrawal and how The Redpoint Center can help manage emotional withdrawals after the alcohol is physically out of one’s system, please reach out at (303) 710-8496.