Detoxing from alcohol is the first step for freeing yourself from your addiction. However, if not done correctly, detoxing can be very dangerous and even detrimental to your health. It should be done with extra caution and coupled with some form of addiction treatment. Safely detoxing should only be attempted in a supervised environment such as a hospital or detox facility.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox Side Effects
Withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur somewhere on the road to recovery. During detox, you may start experiencing symptoms as early as a few hours after your last drink. Symptoms will build likely but reach their peak at 72 hours after the last drink. These symptoms may include nausea, increased heart rate, cold sweats, tremors, irritability, anxiety, fevers, seizures, insomnia, decreased appetite, and even hallucinations in some extreme cases. Symptoms are likely to change the longer you go without a drink.
It can be challenging to predict just how long detoxing will take. Many factors go into this, including the frequency, heaviness, and duration of drinking. Your body and personal history with alcohol will determine your detox timeline and the severity of your symptoms. These symptoms may last a week or longer.
The Importance of Tapering
Tapering off of your alcohol consumption is crucial to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms and other health issues. Safely achieving sobriety and detoxing can only be done through tapering. Cutting off cold turkey can lead to extreme withdrawal symptoms and cause medical problems. Detoxing can be dangerous and should be done cautiously—with tapering. It is recommended that detoxing be done with medical supervision and support.
Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups can help you cope as you learn from other’s experiences and battle addiction together. A specialist or recovery center can provide medical supervision. If you have unsuccessfully attempted to detox from alcohol in the past, it may be beneficial to attempt again with the aid of a recovery center.
How You Should Taper
Though tapering can help you lessen your alcohol intake in a healthy way, it is not a treatment for addiction. Addiction is a disease and should be addressed by a professional.
Your tapering schedule should be built to meet your needs. This is one of many reasons it is helpful to have the input of a medical professional. You should consider how much you drink daily, how long you’ve been drinking, your height, weight, and other personal factors. The longer a person has been drinking and the more they have been drinking, the slower they should taper, and the more difficult detoxing will be. Many tapering schedules are calculated by percentage—for example, drinking 5% less each day.
If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction and attempting to detox from alcohol, help can be found at Ardu. We provide healing for the mind and body through multiple therapies and medical support. Our team will help you safely detox from alcohol, recover from your addiction, and develop tools to combat future difficulties. Contact us today to learn more.