Topsail Addiction Treatment

Alcohol Detox in MA

The Truth About Alcohol Detox

By definition, Alcohol detoxification (detox) is “the abrupt cessation of alcohol intake in individuals that suffer from alcohol dependence.” Virtually all rehab facilities will require a detox period before you can be admitted. Detoxing can be hard to accomplish on your own and also potentially dangerous.

The detox process’s abruptness can lead to several uncomfortable and even dangerous side effects for the patient. Most patients recover from alcohol detox within a few weeks, assuming they are in a safe, secure environment (see medical detox) and have the necessary support and resources.

Alcohol detox can be a physically, psychologically, and emotionally exhausting experience, but we also understand its importance as a crucial first step to your addiction treatment. TOPSAIL has a caring and experienced staff who will support you and the clinical resources to put you in the best possible position to succeed in your recovery.

Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal Timeline

Research shows that alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to emerge within 4-12 hours of the last drink. As alcohol is metabolized and cleared from the body fairly rapidly, the onset of withdrawal symptoms can be rapid. Fortunately, they subside just as quickly.

Withdrawal tends to peak around the second day and subside by the fourth or fifth day.7 There are several additional factors that may play a part in a person’s withdrawal timeline. These include

  • The patient’s age (younger patients tend to detox quicker)
  • Any significant medical issues
  • Past episode of significant and/or complicated withdrawal
  • Family history of alcohol withdrawal
  • Consumption of sedatives or anti-anxiety medications

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

All patients will experience some form of withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are fairly consistent for most patients. Most individuals will experience things like headaches, nausea, and stomach cramping. The well-known Delirium tremens (DTs) only affects only about 5% of long-term drinkers. Most of the symptoms will resolve over a few days with the help of rest, fluids, and good nutrition. 

At TOPSAIL, we understand how important the detox step is in your overall recovery and treatment, and we strive to make this critical first initial stages of your detox program as safe and comfortable as possible.

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome manifests itself differently depending on various individual factors such as age, physiology, mental and physical health, the abuse of other drugs, the length of alcohol consumption, the frequency of alcohol consumption, and average amount consumed. 

Most heavy drinkers will experience at least a few or even all of these physical and mental symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or intense nightmares.
  • Severe nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Tremors
  • Profound sweating
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Fever
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Mental Impact of Alcohol Detox

Unlike the physical symptoms of detox, the mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may last for much longer – from several weeks up to several months. Anxiety is also a very common symptom of long-term alcohol abuse. Anxiety-related disorders may be  treated with medicine, and we have licensed and experienced psychiatrists to help you through the mental and psychological challenges.

Mental/Psychological Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired memory and judgment.
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound, and tactile sensations.
  • Auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations
  • Delusions

Helping People Conquer Addiction in Massachusetts

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