The Use — and Abuse — of Alcohol
People who suffer from alcohol use disorder and wish to free themselves from their dependence are in a complicated and even dangerous position. Not only are they dependent on alcohol physically and psychologically, but it is also readily available to them. Additionally, regular alcohol use is encouraged everywhere they look. Furthermore, people who drink regularly without any issues are all around them. Plus, some of the most highly respected voices in the medical profession even indicate that drinking in moderation can have health benefits.
But that outlook is not as rosy as it might seem. The fact of the matter is that alcohol use and abuse costs the U.S. millions of dollars each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drinking alcohol — especially to excess — costs American citizens billions of dollars each year and is the cause of tens of thousands of deaths. As anyone who has struggled with alcohol dependence knows, it can also cost people their jobs, their families, and their personal lives.
Are you physically dependent upon alcohol and are ready to regain your freedom? The first step is detoxification at a care facility like the alcohol detox center at LA Detox. But before you begin, you should understand what detox from alcohol entails, and the alcohol withdrawal timeline.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol has a depressive effect on the body. It is not an emotional depressant in that it does not necessarily make you sad. However, it slows down specific reflexive and chemical processes in the body. Indeed, after habitually consuming alcohol for a prolonged period, the brain changes its chemistry to compensate for this depressant effect of alcohol. The brain produces more substantial quantities of chemicals that are natural stimulants to counteract the alcohol. Over time, this becomes standard operating procedure.
When a person stops feeding their brain alcohol, the stimulants that it has been producing overwhelm the brain. Then, like a runaway train, it threatens to speed out of control. Common effects of alcohol withdrawal — like insomnia, excessive sweating, shaky hands, fever, elevated heart rate, anxiety, headaches, nausea, and vomiting — are the result of this overstimulation.
The degree of these effects can vary. For this reason, you must experience detox in a clinical setting, guided by medical professionals like the ones at the alcohol detox center at LA Detox.
Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Before entering a detox program like the one in our Los Angeles clinic, however, it is also essential that you know what to expect in terms of the timeline for alcohol withdrawal.
The alcohol withdrawal timeline is made up of three parts. Each stage comes with its own set of symptoms and side effects. And the length of each is variable.
- The initial stage of alcohol withdrawal occurs in the first eight hours after you have the last drink. The associated symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
- The second stage lasts between 24 and 72 hours after the last drink. This phase commonly involves high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, irregular heartbeat, irritation, confusion and disorientation, and fever.
- The third and final stage occurs two to four days following the last drink. Symptoms and side effects often include hallucinations and delirium, fever, seizures, and severe agitations.
All of these symptoms tend to decrease five to seven days after the last drink, which is when rehabilitation and recovery can truly begin. These symptoms must be monitored by a medical professional. Unchecked alcohol withdrawal can at best lead to relapse, and at worst, lead to severe injury to the patient, or even death.
Treatment During the Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
When you are ready to take your life back from alcohol use disorder, don’t let the alcohol withdrawal timeline frighten you. The alcohol detox center at LA Detox in Los Angeles is here to help. Don’t try to go it alone, and don’t hesitate. Contact us online today for more information or call us at 866.932.8563. Help is just around the corner.