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What to Expect During Alcohol Detox

guy laying on couch during alcohol detox center

Quitting alcohol cold turkey is generally not recommended for anyone with more than a very mild addiction. When you need help cutting alcohol out of your life, reach out to your local trusted alcohol detox center for support. 

At Northpoint Nebraska, we understand the risks of quitting alcohol on your own. Our alcohol detox center is here to help you get through alcohol withdrawal safely and with minimal discomfort. Give us a call today at 402.698.3475 to learn more about how we can help you manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Do You Need the Help of an Alcohol Detox Center?

If you have come to the realization that you are dependent on or addicted to alcohol and are ready to make a change, your first thought may be to cut back on drinking or quit cold turkey. Some people can successfully moderate or eliminate drinking without too much trouble. However, those with moderate to severe alcohol addiction may find it difficult, if not impossible, to stop drinking on their own. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be rather uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. You may experience:

  • Dehydration
  • Headaches¬†
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Digestive issues
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal for those with severe alcohol addiction, so it is crucial to get professional help from an alcohol detox center. These facilities can help keep you safe and comfortable as you detox from alcohol.

What to Expect During Alcohol Detox

Before you enroll in alcohol addiction treatment, you are likely wondering what happens during alcohol detox. Going into treatment without knowing what to expect can cause anxiety or worry. To help put your mind at ease, here is an idea of what to expect during alcohol detox:

Intake Assessment

You will have your first appointment at the treatment center to evaluate your current health status and the condition of your addiction. You will be asked for your alcohol use history and the existence of alcohol addiction within your family. After conducting a physical examination and filling out your health history, your care team will work together to develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.

The First 12 Hours After Your Last Drink

The first withdrawal symptoms begin to develop and may start out mild but quickly worsen. You may experience cravings for alcohol and feel anxious, nauseous, and shaky. Digestive upset and headaches are also common at this time. To help you feel more comfortable, your treatment team may administer medications such as:

  • Pain relievers to alleviate headaches
  • Benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety
  • Intravenous fluids to address dehydration
  • Withdrawal management medications to reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal discomfort

Day One and Two

Withdrawal symptoms increasingly worsen and may include more severe symptoms like tremors, hallucinations, and seizures. Your treatment team may adjust medications as needed to maintain your comfort. They will also provide you with recommendations for self-care, such as getting plenty of rest and fluids to help your body heal.

Day Three Through Seven

This is a particularly high-risk time for those with severe addictions. Delirium tremens (DTs) can occur at this stage, increasing the risk of seizures and coma. Working closely with addiction treatment professionals can help you get through this vulnerable stage of withdrawal. They can provide you with the necessary medical treatment if symptoms become unbearable or dangerous.

Beyond the First Week

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin tapering off, although some people may continue to experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms for several more weeks. Now that the alcohol is out of your system, it is time to focus on sustaining your sobriety. Attending therapy sessions is crucial, as well as making healthy lifestyle changes that are conducive to sober living.

Northpoint Nebraska: Your Trusted Alcohol Detox Center

Understanding what happens during alcohol detox can help you make the right choice for your recovery. Attending treatment at an alcohol detox center can give you a much better chance of getting sober and staying sober. 

When you are ready to overcome alcohol addiction for good, call Northpoint Nebraska at 402.698.3475. Our alcohol detox center program can help you safely quit alcohol and move on to a healthier, happier life.