Detoxing Off Alcohol And Understanding The Process

Alcohol abuse kills over 80,000 people per year in the United States. Fortunately, it is one of the nation’s most preventable causes of death. Alcohol abuse affects your entire body including the immune system, liver, brain, mouth, pancreas, and heart. More than 75% of people who die from alcohol poisoning daily are adults. Teen alcohol use kills 5,000 people each year, and over 30% of all driving fatalities are caused by alcohol impairment. Alcohol addiction can not only ruin the user’s life, but it affects their family members and loved ones. Many continue to abuse the substance to avoid symptoms of withdrawal. Detoxing from alcohol can be an extremely uncomfortable experience depending on the level of addiction. In severe instances, it can be deadly when attempted at home without a doctor’s supervision. However, detoxing is the first critical step to recovery and ridding the body of this harmful toxin.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When one is physically addicted to alcohol, their body will experience withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol is removed from the body. During the detox process, the body removes toxins making the experience psychologically and physically uncomfortable. This is why many with severe drinking problems will continue to drink to avoid the negative consequences. Excessive alcohol abuse disrupts the neurotransmitters that send signals to the central nervous system. The main neurotransmitter that creates feelings of relaxation called gamma-aminobutyric acid becomes imbalanced when alcohol is abused. This creates the “hangover” effect as well as other physical and mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures

Excessive alcohol use also affects the another neurotransmitter called dopamine that is responsible for regulating mood, energy, and enjoyment. When a heavy drink quits alcohol completely the production of dopamine stops suddenly causing their own withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

The severity of the withdrawal symptoms are dependent on how long the person has been abusing alcohol, how frequently they drink, and the amount they consume at a time. Their addiction to other drugs, gender, weight, age, and family addiction history can also come into play. You should contact a medical professional if you are experiencing any dangerous withdrawal symptoms while detoxing. For some, the withdrawal process can last days or months. Just one serving of alcohol can take an hour for the body to absorb it into the bloodstream. However, the liver can only metabolize minimal amounts of it per hour. That is why detox programs can last for over a week. Withdrawal symptoms can occur anywhere from four to 12 hours after their last drink. Usually, they are the mild side effects which are sweating, vomiting, and confusion. Heavy drinkers may experience severe withdrawal symptoms within 48-72 hours after their last drink including delirium tremens, or seizures. In serious instances, delirium tremens are potentially fatal and are responsible for up to 15% of alcoholic related deaths per year. Some symptoms of delirium tremens are:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Extreme tremors

The Alcohol Detox Process

Every time you consume alcohol, the body will naturally begin to detoxify. The liver works hard to metabolize ethanol to try and quickly remove it from your system. Heavy or frequent drinkers cannot successfully detoxify from the ethanol because they are continually adding it to their system. The alcohol abuser can either quit cold turkey or wean themselves off of the alcohol. Stopping all at once can be dangerous when done on your own. Detoxing through a professional medical facility is the safest option if you are ready to quit drinking. Nurses and physicians will be able to monitor you 24/7 to help manage your pain. During the detox process, the two main risks are delirium tremens and dehydration. Those who are severely dehydrated can increase their risk of life-threatening seizures. Delirium tremens can cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

A successful detox period can decrease the chance of relapse. During the process, there are three crucial steps. First, the subject will be fully evaluated to determine the right treatment plan. Blood tests, mental and physical screenings, and risk assessments are performed. You will then be stabilized to help you cope through withdrawal. Your physician may administer certain medications, prescribe a proper diet, and educate you on what to expect during the recovery process. The final step is to prepare you for entering a substance abuse treatment program and aftercare. Several detox facilities include managed drug treatment as well as holistic and alternative programs that may include:

  • Meditation and yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Creative arts therapies

Your treatment specialist will be able to help you find the right detox program that will best suit your needs. Rapid detox helps the addict speed through the process and requires anesthesia-assisted detoxification. This is ideal for those who want a painless way to detox and essentially sleep through withdrawal. Addicts have been known to detox within hours instead of weeks completely. Rapid detox is becoming popular especially among working professionals as they can finish the process during the weekend and return to work. Once you have completely detoxed from alcohol, you will notice several health benefits that may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Clear skin
  • Increased mental focus
  • Reduce risk of disease
  • Better sleep
  • Better digestion

Following detox, the patient will begin to take on the long road to recovery. There are inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers that can continue to address the psychological sides of the disease. Ongoing and family therapy during treatment is highly recommended.

Are you ready to get started?  Call us today 877-978-3125

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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