In today’s fast-paced world, people can confuse success with the ability to juggle responsibilities. However, managing your job, family, and social commitments shouldn’t be the yardstick for determining a healthy relationship with alcohol.
The term alcohol use covers a broad spectrum. While some might equate frequent drinking with success or relaxation, this pattern can be a dangerous precursor of addiction. Ultimately, both binge drinking and daily consumption are significant indicators of alcohol dependency.
At The Ridge, our team’s collective experience provides us with a nuanced understanding of this issue. We recognize that every situation is unique. For example, daily drinkers may need a distinct approach compared to those who drink less frequently or are inclined to occasional binges. With our knowledge and commitment to personalized care, we treat every client according to their unique situation.
Our qualified clinicians aren’t only trained to support you through the alcohol detox process, but can guide you through every stage of recovery. Whatever their situation, we’re passionately committed to helping people reclaim their lives from alcohol.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detoxification, often simply termed “detox,” is a medically supervised procedure designed to help a person’s body eliminate the alcohol present within its system. The detoxification process aims to manage the immediate physiological effects of stopping or reducing alcohol consumption, especially for those who’ve developed a physical dependence on alcohol.
Frequent, excessive drinking over a long period results in the body becoming accustomed to alcohol. As a result, the brain undergoes chemical changes, adapting to the constant supply of alcohol and incorporating it into its ‘normal’ functioning. This adaptation leads to physical dependency.
If consumption is suddenly stopped or reduced, the body reacts, leading to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These vary depending on the person and/or degree of alcohol consumption. They can include stomachaches, increased anxiety, or visual and auditory disturbances. In extreme cases, there could even be a risk of seizures. This is why it’s essential to never try and quit cold turkey on your own and seek help from a healthcare expert.
Along with our holistic treatment programs, The Ridge provides a controlled environment and medically supervised approach to help you manage detox side effects from alcohol, and reduce potential health risks. While supervised detoxification is often critical, it’s essential to understand that it represents the initial phase in the broader spectrum of alcohol addiction treatment. Detox addresses the immediate physical challenges of alcohol cessation. However, alcohol dependence or addiction often has deep-seated psychological, behavioral, and social components.
Call (513) 457-7963 now to learn more about our alcohol Detox!
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline: Symptoms, Medications, and Coping Strategies
Alcohol withdrawal can be a very challenging period, often characterized by potentially dangerous symptoms. Below is a detailed, evidence-based timeline detailing the symptoms—along with potential treatment and interventions—at specific durations after your last drink.
It’s important to note that alcohol use affects each person differently, and the severity of symptoms may vary. That being said, this timeline of alcohol withdrawal serves as a rough guide.
|Time From Last Drink||Withdrawal Symptoms||Medications/Interventions|
|6-12 hours||Anxiety, Insomnia, Headache||Benzodiazepines, Hydration, Rest|
|12-24 hours||Tremors, Nausea, Vomiting, Increased Heart Rate||Thiamine, Electrolyte Replacement, Beta-blockers|
|24-48 hours||Seizures, Hallucinations, High Blood Pressure||Anticonvulsants, Antipsychotics, Blood Pressure Medications|
|48-72 hours||Delirium Tremens, Fever, Excessive Sweating||Intensive medical care, Benzodiazepines, IV Fluids|
|3-7 days||Continued Anxiety, Insomnia, Mood Swings||Counseling, Support Groups, Antidepressants, Mood Stabilizers|
|1-2 weeks||Fatigue, Irritability, Depression||Continued Counseling, Sleep Aids, Ongoing Medical Monitoring|
|2-4 weeks||Improved Mood, Reduced Cravings||Rehabilitation Programs, Support Groups, Behavioral Therapy|
Again, while this alcohol detox timeline provides a comprehensive overview, individual experiences can vary widely. Therefore, It’s crucial to consult healthcare professionals to understand and approach each situation uniquely.
Coping Methods for Alcohol Withdrawal
Managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, especially in severe cases, should always be overseen by medical professionals. However, certain coping methods can help support you through the process. Some of these are:
Stay hydrated – Drinking enough water is essential for overall health and can help ease some withdrawal symptoms.
Eat a balanced diet – Proper nutrition has been shown to aid in the recovery process. The Ridge’s Nutrition Program ensures clients receive diet plans tailored according to their nutritional requirements.
Avoid caffeine – While it might be tempting to drink caffeinated beverages to stay alert, caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and sleep disturbances.
Engage in relaxation techniques – Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help alleviate anxiety and stress during withdrawal. At The Ridge, our trained mindfulness & yoga practitioners can help you ease the severity of alcohol withdrawal.
Reach out for support – Encourage individuals to connect with friends, or family support groups for emotional guidance during this challenging time.
Physical exercise – Light exercise like walking or stretching can boost endorphin levels, helping to improve mood. The Ridge provides a comprehensive exercise program run by professionals, ensuring you’re supported according to your fitness level.
Early Withdrawal: Up to 12-Hours Post Alcohol
The first signs of alcohol withdrawal usually begin to show around 6 to 8 hours after your last drink. As your blood alcohol level drops, you may begin to feel shaking, nausea, and insomnia. Anxiety could also begin to set in, as well as abdominal pain and body aches. During this time you may experience an urge to drink to relieve these symptoms.
Below are some common withdrawal symptoms people experience during the first 12-hour period after their last drink:
- Headaches due to dehydration
- Nausea and vomiting due to an increase in production of stomach acid and irritation of the lining of the stomach
- Insomnia because alcohol disrupts the natural stages of sleep, causing deep sleep early on and wakefulness later
- Excessive sweating due to dilated blood vessels and increased heart rate
- Shaking due to a sudden rush of brain activity that the body can’t keep up with
- Anxiety because of a disruption in brain neurotransmitters and cravings
Mid-Withdrawal: 12-72 Hours Post-Alcohol
During the next 12 to 72 hours, you may face other alcohol withdrawal symptoms which tend to be more dangerous than previous ones. Mid-withdrawal is usually characterized by a continual rise in blood pressure and body temperature, as well as an irregular heart rate. Furthermore, due to alcohol’s effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters, this period can often precipitate disorientation and confusion. You will also likely experience dehydration, as well as a loss of appetite and resulting malnutrition.
This is usually when the most serious side effects of alcohol withdrawal can occur, known as delirium tremens, or DTs.
Phase two of alcohol detox spans 12 to 72 hours after the last drink.
It is usually characterized by:
- Low blood sugar caused by the sudden elimination of the sugar found in alcohol as well as malfunction of the liver
- Hallucinations caused by a flood of dopamine, low blood sugar, and vitamin deficiency
- Mood swings because of changes in hormone levels in the brain
- Seizures – 4% of people withdrawing from alcohol experience grand mal seizures one to two days after quitting, which are caused because of a depletion of nutrients, dehydration, and insomnia
- Delirium tremens – 4 % of people withdrawing from alcohol experience this rapid onset of extreme confusion, seizures, tremors, increased heart rate, and hallucinations, which are due to sudden changes in brain functioning.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
During this period, to ensure patient safety, close monitoring is essential. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an approach primarily for treating substance use disorders (SUDs), particularly opioid use disorders and alcohol use disorders. MAT combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat SUDs.
Prescribed medications can help manage insomnia, dehydration, nausea, and seizures. Tranquilizers like benzodiazepines are used to calm the brain and reduce over-activity, while other medications can be used to manage blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce cravings. Furthermore, nutritious supplements and healthy meals help regulate the mind and body and aid in recovery. However, it’s essential you only take such medications under the guidance of a trained health professional.
Post Withdrawal: 2 Weeks To 1-Year Post Alcohol
After you’ve successfully navigated the physical challenges of alcohol withdrawal, your journey shifts to addressing the emotional aspects. This next phase (termed post-withdrawal) can last from two weeks up to a year after you’ve stopped drinking. It’s a pivotal time to embrace therapy and rehabilitation.
While you should undoubtedly take pride in your detox achievements, the path to full sobriety has only just begun. You’ll encounter cravings, possible triggers, and evolving brain chemistry adjustments as you learn to live without alcohol.
Feelings of anxiety, depression, and intense cravings might surface during this period. However, with the right therapy and counseling, you can deepen your understanding of addiction, bolster your emotional strength, and acquire the skills needed to manage these challenges. The Ridge offers specialized programs and support to guide you through this process, ensuring you’re equipped with the tools to maintain long-term sobriety.
Ongoing: Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
If you find yourself grappling with the lingering effects of alcohol withdrawal weeks or even months after detox, you might be experiencing Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). These withdrawal symptoms can emerge unexpectedly, catching you off guard, and are indeed a challenge faced by many on the path to recovery.
PAWS is a testament to how deeply alcohol can impact the brain and body, even after initial withdrawal symptoms subside. If you recognize these signs, seek support when they arise. With perseverance and the right help, you can navigate these hurdles and continue on your journey to lasting sobriety.
Symptoms of PAWS:
- Loss of consciousness
- Emotional outbursts
- Delayed reflexes
- Hostility or aggression
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble with memory
- Sensitivity to stressful situations
What Are The Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal That Occur During Detox?
Those who drink large amounts of alcohol, or do so frequently, build up a tolerance to the substance. This means they require more alcohol to feel the same effects and have to consume more of the drug to experience them. This can quickly spiral into a life-threatening addiction.
Many different types of drinkers can experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking. However, this is less common among binge drinkers who go days or weeks between binges. Binge drinkers often become used to the hangovers and the day-after-drinking feeling. Daily drinkers, on the other hand, usually become uncomfortable within the first 8 to 12 hours of stopping drinking. This can make relapse more likely.
For those battling alcohol addiction, life goes on, but often under the shadow of its influence. This daily struggle can lead to decreased productivity, mood swings, irritability, and heightened anxiety, among other challenges. When you attempt to quit, you can be met with the harsh reality of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that can occur during detox are:
- Stomach cramps
Long-Term Treatment and Rehab After Detox
When embarking on this phase of your recovery, it’s essential to maintain an open line of communication with your therapist and actively engage in support group sessions. Medications like Disulfiram can be introduced during this stage. This drug acts as a deterrent if you consume alcohol—it triggers severe nausea, making the very thought of drinking deeply unappealing. Furthermore, antidepressants and sleep aids can be beneficial, helping you manage anxiety and ensuring restful sleep.
As you progress beyond the detox phase, you’ll notice a gradual alleviation of symptoms, heralding an improved sense of health and well-being. However, remember that the road to recovery is rarely linear. Setbacks might occur, but they’re a common aspect of the healing process, and you should never beat yourself up about them.
With professional support from The Ridge, you’ll discover that the task of building a sober life becomes progressively more manageable and fulfilling. Stay committed, stay engaged, and remember that every step you take is one step closer to a brighter, healthier future.
Do Binge Drinkers Have Different Symptoms During Detox?
Binge drinking is the act of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a relatively short period. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume five or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. Most people who binge drink aren’t alcohol dependent, although it’s still a form of alcohol abuse, and can easily lead to addiction.
While they can go long periods without drinking, binge drinkers still meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. You may have seen or experienced the results of binge drinking yourself. Certain people who become quickly intoxicated often become unable to control their actions, leading to a host of consequences. Drunk driving, unsafe sex, falls, injuries, poor judgment calls, trouble with the law, and domestic violence are all associated with binge drinking.
Binge drinkers are also at risk for alcohol poisoning and even death because of high levels of alcohol in the body. Not only can this habit lead to immediate threats to your health, as well as the well-being of those around you, but studies also show binge drinking has long-term effects as well:
Binge drinking statistics according to the CDC:
- Adults (ages 18+): 1 million adults ages 18 and older (6.2 percent of this age group) had an alcohol use disorder. This includes 9.8 million men (8.4 percent of men in this age group) and 5.3 million women (4.2 percent of women in this age group).
- About 6.7 percent of adults who had an alcohol use disorder in the past year received treatment. This includes 7.4 percent of males and 5.4 percent of females with an alcohol use disorder in this age group.
- Youth (ages 12–17): An estimated 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 (2.5 percent of this age group) had an alcohol use disorder. This number includes 298,000 males (2.3 percent of males in this age group) and 325,000 females (2.7 percent of females in this age group).
- About 5.2 percent of youth who had an alcohol use disorder in the past year received treatment. This includes 5.1 percent of males and 5.3 percent of females with an alcohol use disorder in this age group.
Another form of alcohol abuse is frequent drinking. Those who drink daily don’t always binge drink, although the former doesn’t preclude the latter. People within this category get accustomed to having a certain level of alcohol in their system at all times, meaning they must drink daily to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Some daily drinkers pride themselves on being high-functioning adults – they maintain their careers, volunteer in the community, and fulfill most family and household duties. Many live in denial, falsely believing they don’t require support, as they feel secure in their lives and abilities. They might even be viewed by co-workers and loved ones as successful and accomplished. But this only clouds the truth.
The fact is daily drinkers have a serious addiction to alcohol and need professional help. In most cases, it’s only a matter of time before the addiction begins to catch up with them and things start to unravel.
How Many People Need Alcohol Detox?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 NSDUH:
- An estimated 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 (2.5 percent of this age group) have an alcohol use disorder. This number includes 298,000 males (2.3 percent of males in this age group) and 325,000 females (2.7 percent of females in this age group) (SAMHSA).
- 62 percent of underage high school seniors have been drunk at some point.
- Youth who begin drinking before the age of 15 are twice as likely to abuse alcohol and four times more likely to develop a dependence on the drug.
- An estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 18 live with a parent who struggles with alcoholism.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol Abuse?
Consuming alcohol over extended periods can have a devastating effect on your body and mind. Today, the long-term effects of alcohol abuse are well-documented, and a chronic addiction can lead to a host of serious health conditions, along with psychological and social issues.
Some of the most common are as follows:
- Liver damage – Fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
- Increased cancer risk – Especially mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast cancers.
- Cardiovascular problems – High blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and irregular heartbeats.
- Brain impact – Potential for depression, anxiety, and memory issues.
- Digestive issues – Inflammation or even cancer in the pancreas and stomach.
- Weakened immune system – Making you more susceptible to diseases.
- Bone damage – Alcohol can interfere with the production of new bone, leading to a higher risk of osteoporosis or fractures.
- Mental health issues – Potential for increased depression and anxiety.
- Dependency and addiction – The risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.
- Social and economic impacts – Strained relationships, job loss, or legal troubles.
Do You Need Alcohol Detox?
At this point, you may be asking yourself: Do I need alcohol detox? The answer to this question very much depends on your relationship with the drug. If you can’t abstain from drinking for one month, or because of the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, you need help. Furthermore, as we’ve stressed, if you’re a heavy drinker, it’s dangerous to quit without support. This is because you may experience life-threatening or severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t be afraid to seek out professional alcohol detox. Under the guidance of trained clinicians, you can withdraw from alcohol safely and securely. This can help you curb severe withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to overcome the addiction and bring fulfillment back to your life.
If you think you may have an alcohol-related issue, we recommend going to Psycom.net and taking the self-assessment to determine your level of drinking and need for treatment.
Understanding The Admissions and Assessment Phase
The journey to being alcohol-free usually begins with an important step called the admissions and assessment phase. This is where healthcare professionals try to understand a person’s drinking habits to figure out the best way forward.
During this phase, being honest about your alcohol use ensures you can get the help you need to detox safely. Following a personal consultation and insurance verification, The Ridge initiates a streamlined admissions process. This begins with a pre-admission assessment to gauge the medical and clinical care you require. Based on your assessment, you’ll either be directed to our detox program or one of our alcohol use disorder programs.
So, if you think you may be dependent on alcohol and need a professional detox, the first step is to contact a treatment facility. To understand clients’ needs and create tailored treatment plans, our team of physicians and treatment providers conducts assessments on all incoming clients. This gives us a foundation from which we can help you detox from alcohol, and teach you invaluable skills to help you ensure lasting sobriety.
Start Medical Detox in Cincinnati Ohio, Today!
Not everyone requires the same level of care for alcohol treatment. Some people may benefit from an Intensive Outpatient Program aided by counseling and support group participation. Others, a supervised detox at an inpatient facility that offers structure and supportive care. Then there are those who require detox in a hospital setting—there, they’ll be monitored closely by a team of medical experts, and treated with supportive care to ensure safety.
As one of the top drug and alcohol rehab centers in the world, The Ridge’s treatments cover every aspect of alcohol addiction, from medically supervised detoxification to long-term recovery. We take our clients’ safety seriously, which is why we conduct thorough assessments before enrolling them in an alcohol detox program.
At our luxury facility, we don’t just support your journey to recovery; we have the resources to ensure isn’t it’s comfortable and genuinely enjoyable. Under the expertise, care, and unparalleled dedication of our team, we can guide you to a renewed, alcohol-free life.