Alcohol detoxification is a very serious process that takes a lot of time, determination and help, so it is better not to be tried alone. Detoxing alcoholics need guidance and monitoring in their attempt to leave their addiction behind.
The detoxing process starts from the moment the ongoing of alcohol stops abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms occur six to 48 hours after the last drink and they are usually the opposite of the effects generated by alcohol itself. They can either improve or get worse over the next one to two days. Their severity level is influenced by factors such as frequency of use, regular dosage, duration of use, alcoholic`s physical health and mental state.
In the first stage, among the physical symptoms an alcoholic might experience after withdrawal are restless, fast pulse, insomnia, trembling or spasms, sweating, numbness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and itching. In the same time, they can get paranoiac and anxious. In severe cases, alcoholics deal with seizures, severe stomach pain, body tremors and poor balance when they walk, along with paranoia increase, hallucinations and confusion.
In the second stage, the symptoms can last up to 6 months or more, but their intensity decreases as time goes by. The alcoholic is facing insomnia, headache, weakness, muscle trembling, sexual problems or other physical symptoms. As for the psychological side, he or she can be anxious, depressed, irritable, impulsive, or experience low concentration, poor memory and mood swings.
The alcoholic must receive professional counseling in order to succeed in his or her decision because the physical withdrawal symptoms are connected to emotional and mental symptoms. For starting the detoxing process, a rehabilitative center is the best option for an alcoholic because the emotional support is vital in dealing with his or her cravings. There are psychologists and medical doctors who work together so that they can effectively monitor the patient`s physical and psychological well-being. Counseling is provided during one-on-one and in group sessions. This stage usually lasts from two days to one week, but it can take longer if the addiction is severe. Each case is different, so it requires individual and personalized approach.
At doctor`s recommendation and approval, the patient is released from the rehabilitative center and enters an aftercare program. Now, the alcoholic must implement the strategies learned during counseling and treatment. He or she has to exercise refusal skills and get surrounded only by positive persons who support his or her recovery. The aftercare is also sustained by a specialist in charge with monitoring an guiding the alcoholic.