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Things To Understand About Alcohol Detox

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Most people do not realize how serious alcohol detox can be. In fact, if the patient has been drinking for a long time or a lot in each drinking session, the detox process can be fatal if not done properly. Trying to help a loved one detox from alcohol at home is usually not a good idea. The patient will need to be monitored to ensure they do not have a heart attack or stroke. In fact, the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can start as soon as a few hours after their last drink. Detoxification is the first step in alcohol rehab. Here are some things you should expect during this process.

Withdrawal Symptoms 

When a person drinks daily, even if not to excess, they can start to experience headaches, nausea, anxiety, and sweating within just a few hours after their last drink. Without having any more alcohol, the symptoms will move on to hallucinations, hand tremors, and seizures for the next day or so. After that, a heavy drinker may experience symptoms that could be fatal, such as high blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, and irritability that can lead to dangerous actions for up to a week.


At an inpatient facility, the medical personnel will monitor the patient in regard to mood, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. They will also make sure the patient has adequate nutrition, which may involve a feeding tube or an IV. The patient will be given medications to help with any medical condition. Quite often, the abuse of alcohol has caused actual medical issues in the patient.

Withdrawal Medications

In addition to medications for medical conditions, the patient may be given things to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. Commonly used drugs include benzodiazepines. These may help keep the patient calm and may keep them sedated so they can rest and begin to heal. These drugs will be administered in a manner that will not lead to addiction. 

Alcohol detox is not pleasant. It is hard on the patient and hard on family members to watch them go through the withdrawal. Once the alcohol is completely out of their system, and the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the patient can start to attend rehabilitation. this can be done as an inpatient or on an outpatient basis. It is important for family members to be involved in this to keep the patient on track and off alcohol. 

Contact a clinic to learn more about alcohol detox