If you’re struggling with active alcohol addiction, seeking professional help can seem daunting. However, it’s essential to do so because quitting cold turkey can be very uncomfortable or even dangerous, depending on the extent of your dependency. A compassionate and well-trained detox team can make all the difference in successfully embarking on the recovery path.

What Does Alcohol Dependency Look Like?

Alcohol detox refers to the physical and psychological process of withdrawing from alcohol dependency. If you drink every day, your brain and body may be so accustomed to the alcohol’s presence that you could become very ill without it. However, given enough time, your brain and other organs can adapt to a healthier, sober equilibrium.

Symptoms Of Physical Dependency

The physical alcohol detox stage usually lasts a week or two, during which time your body will likely undergo four phases of withdrawal. The first stage starts within hours of your last drink and lasts at least six hours. It usually involves the following symptoms.

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea

The second and third stages typically last for a total of three to five days. These symptoms can include the following.

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Fevers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Delirium Tremens

During the final phase, these symptoms will taper off over a week, although you might still have lingering psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Signs Of Psychological Dependency

In addition to physical withdrawals, many people recovering from alcohol addiction also experience mental and emotional symptoms, which can last for many months. This happens because frequent alcohol consumption changes your brain’s physical structures and chemical balance. Some problems include the following.

  • Strong Cravings To Drink
  • Aggressive Behavior & Dramatic Changes In Mood
  • Isolation
  • Severe Anxiety

Luckily, neuroplasticity is a very real phenomenon, so given enough time and self-care, your mind can heal greatly. If you’re struggling to maintain good mental health while sober, seeking help from a therapist or support group is vital to prevent a potential relapse and overdose.

Physical & Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the severity of alcohol dependency. For the severest addictions, quitting cold turkey can cause delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening. Everyone’s detox journey will vary, but you might experience some of the following symptoms if you quit abruptly:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Fever
  • Physical & Mental Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Depressive Episodes
  • Anxiety & Panic Attacks
  • Irritability & Rage
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

What To Expect At Alcohol Detox Centers

During detox, you’ll spend a few days at a residential treatment center with licensed nurses and addiction specialists. Your care team will closely monitor your physical and mental health and may offer medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms. This is a much safer and more comfortable alternative to quitting at home.

A Safe & Sober Start In Utah

Alcohol withdrawal management can be dangerous if attempted at home without medical guidance, so it’s crucial to seek professional help during this challenging time. Medical detox is typically the starting point for recovery and can be followed by an extended stay in rehab or a sober living community, depending on your unique needs.

At Nexstep Medical Detox, we’ll help you arrange the next steps of your recovery journey by connecting you with these resources upon discharge. Contact us today for questions regarding our intake process.