Alcohol Detox Symptoms
Anyone who’s dealt with alcohol addiction has probably experienced many of the symptoms of alcohol detox and withdrawal. Withdrawal is what happens when an addict stops using an addictive substance, and it can be accompanied by many uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms. Detoxification is the process of withdrawal when it’s overseen by a physician or other licensed medical professional. Patients going through detox can receive treatment for some of the more painful or potentially deadly alcohol detox symptoms they may experience.
Treating Symptoms of Alcohol Detox
During detox, a doctor may be able to administer certain medications to help ease the alcohol detox symptoms a patient experiences. Some of the milder alcohol detox symptoms can be easily relieved with medications such as sedatives. More severe alcohol detox symptoms will also require treatment in the form of medication, as they may be potentially fatal if left untreated.
Mild to Moderate Alcohol Detox Symptoms
There are many symptoms of alcohol detox, and most can be considered fairly mild to moderate. Symptoms are both mental and physical, and can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling nervous, anxious, or jumpy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Insomnia and difficulty sleeping
- Excitability and irritability
- Mood swings
- Difficulty focusing
- Shaking and tremors
Some of these less severe alcohol detox symptoms generally appear within six to forty-eight hours after an addict’s last drink. These symptoms can cause discomfort, but in general they are not serious.
Severe Alcohol Detox Symptoms
A more severe addiction can understandably be accompanied by more severe alcohol detox symptoms. These more serious symptoms typically occur between two and four days after an alcoholic’s last drink, and can include:
- Severe tremors, shaking, and convulsions
- Extreme anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
Not only are these alcohol detox symptoms very uncomfortable and painful for the sufferer, but some—particularly seizures—can even be fatal. Fortunately, when under the care and supervision of a doctor, many of the symptoms of alcohol detox can be eased, and the risk of seizures and other dangerous symptoms can be greatly reduced.
What to Do if You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Alcohol Detox
If you’re in an inpatient or outpatient detox program and you begin to notice some of the aforementioned symptoms of alcohol detox, you should inform your supervising medical professional immediately. He or she will be able to determine whether medication is necessary. If you are not currently taking part in a medical detox program, but you begin to notice symptoms of withdrawal setting in, you should seek out your healthcare provider immediately, even if the symptoms are not severe. Mild alcohol detox symptoms, even if you are not going through an actual medical detox, may be a sign of more severe symptoms to come, and your doctor will be able to determine the best course of action based on your situation.
Preparing to Deal with Symptoms of Alcohol Detox
If you’re going through, or are thinking about going through a medical detox for alcoholism, you can better prepare yourself for the process by familiarizing yourself with some of the common alcohol detox symptoms. While not everyone will experience all the same symptoms, and there is always a varying degree of severity from one patient to the next, understanding what to look out for can help you (and your doctor) ensure that you have a safe detox, and that you receive whatever care you need to relieve any of the symptoms of alcohol detox that you may experience.