Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment
How Do You Quit Something So Easy to Get?
One of the worst problems with alcohol is that it is highly addictive and yet one of the easiest things in the world to purchase. While it is true that some illicit drugs aren’t exactly hard to find, alcohol is legal. There’s little shame in alcohol because it is legal, which makes it all too easy to become addicted to.
Many people have had enormous success with using Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) because of the sponsor who becomes your mentor in the journey, and the spiritual aspects of the group mean a lot to many folks. That doesn’t work for everyone though.
Triggers are important to learn and understand. The major issue for most people is that they, frankly, just aren’t ready to quit. Perhaps they haven’t yet lost enough? Perhaps the saddest part of addiction, of any sort, is that you have the potential to lose absolutely everything that meant anything to you. Some lose careers, others lose their business. Some people lose their spouse, their children, all their money, their home, and ultimately their own lives. Alcohol slowly kills your liver, hardens arteries, bursts capillaries, causes kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and takes years off your life expectancy.
What you learn in rehab treatment centers is how to cope. You’re given coping skills and thoughts on how to seek help when you think about drinking. Rehab teaches you options, better ways of thinking, and they include talk therapy, sometimes adding medically assisted drug therapy such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication to help get you to the other side of addiction.
What Can You Expect When Trying to Break the Bondage of Alcoholism
The are many reasons to quit drinking alcohol but do not try to do it for your family or children. You can’t do it for any other reasons beyond the fact that you want to. No other reason will drive you like your own desire to live and be free of addiction. When you are sure, being incredibly strong in your drive to quit, you will finally be able to kick the habit, but it won’t be easy.
There are many symptoms to the withdrawals of alcohol. You’ll be shocked to learn that the symptoms are just as bad, if not worse, then kicking opioids. A short list of alcohol withdrawal symptoms is:
Sweats – You may find that you wake-up sweating badly in the middle of the night, making it hard to sleep. You might sweat constantly for days.
Flu-like symptoms – Including the sweating, you may run a fever, have chills, get cramps all over, have stomach upset and diarrhea. You will feel horrible and this can last several days to weeks, depending on how long and how much you regularly drank.
Severe anxiety and paranoia – You may find that you are extremely anxious and nervous. Every sound may set you off into total paranoia.
Agitation and Rages – It varies from one person to the next. You may experience mild agitations over normal daily irritations, or you may swing to the opposite end of the spectrum into full-blown rages that cause black-outs. It’s wise to detox from alcohol in a controlled environment for this reason, if you think there’s even a chance of blacking out and doing something in a rage, induced by withdrawals.
Tremors – You can have varying degrees of tremors. From mild hand-shaking to severe tremors all over your body. Along with these, you may feel extreme cramping and pain.
Hallucinations – You may find yourself seeing and hearing things that aren’t there. This is a dangerous condition. You are not in control of your faculties and could walk into traffic, try to drive while not being aware of what you are doing, or worse.
As you can see these alcohol withdrawal symptoms are quite severe and some of them in combinations can be extremely dangerous. Rehab facilities are set-up to help with these symptoms and set clients on the road to recovery. Alcohol addiction treatment centers are trained to be aware of your pain levels and how to help you through the withdrawals in the best way to ensure your success.
Being Prepared for Treatment
You will have the most success for your experience if you approach it with an open mind and are completely committed to doing this for yourself. You will want to talk to your close family and friends and let them know what you are doing. Insurance will often pay for this rehab. If you are worried about losing your job, talk to Human Resources about taking short-term disability leave of absence. Plan around vacation time if you wish to keep things more private where you work.
Plan for what you will need when you get home. Have family members go to your home and remove all traces of alcohol while you are in rehab. See if someone is willing to stay with you a few days. Set yourself up for success by preparing ahead of time.
Granted, alcoholism may have caused you to push a lot of people out of your life, but part of getting better is making amends. It is a normal part of getting better, to acknowledge that you’ve hurt many people along the way, and they may not believe you initially. You have your work cut out for you but be easy on yourself. It’s a journey, not a race.