Anhedonia/dysphoria symptoms, which can persist as part of a protracted withdrawal, may be due to dopamine underactivity. The risk involved in detoxing from alcohol depends on how severe your substance use problem is. If you’ve been dependent on alcohol for a long time, you are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. If your doctor thinks you might be going through alcohol withdrawal, they’ll ask you questions about your drinking history and how recently you stopped. They’ll want to know if you’ve ever gone through withdrawal before. Medication-assisted treatment typically helps shorten the timeline of withdrawal, and decrease the probability of potentially life-threatening side effects.
Over time, both the body and thebrain becomes dependent on drinking frequency and patterns. When you abruptly stop drinking, your body is deprived of the effects of alcohol and requires time to adjust to functioning without it. This adjustment period causes the painful side effectsof alcohol withdrawal, such as shakes, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety. People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal.
Other patients benefit from stays in comprehensive treatment facilities, which offer a combination of a 12-step model, cognitive-behavior therapy, and family therapy. Several medications may be helpful adjuncts to benzodiazepines in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. In using the CIWA-Ar, the clinical picture should be considered because medical and psychiatric conditions may mimic alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In addition, certain medications (e.g., beta blockers) may blunt the manifestation of these symptoms.
How Dangerous Is Detoxing from Alcohol?
Another reason alcohol dependence is so dangerous is that the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be fatal. For this reason, professional support for alcohol detox is highly recommended, particularly for those suffering from long-term alcohol dependency. The professional alcohol detox process is relatively short, so it will be crucial to connect patients to the next stages in the continuum of care. Inpatient or outpatient alcohol detox side effects treatment programs are available depending on the needs, abilities and goals of the patient. Following detox, you will be ready to begintreatment for alcohol addiction. The Recovery Village offers many different treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient rehab. Rehab is a proven treatment method for alcohol addiction because it addresses both the physical and psychological sides of the disease.
- The test is completely confidential and anonymous; your results are not recorded, are available only to you, and you are not asked for any personally identifying information.
- Call for an appointment with your provider if symptoms persist after treatment.
- Third, in one clinical study, alcohol was inferior to the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide.
- In this phase, professionals assist with the acute symptoms of withdrawal in a variety of settings.
- Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.
You will probably be tested for other medical problems that are related to your alcohol use, and will likely receive counseling regarding your alcohol use. Hospitals and detox centers have experienced staff who are familiar with these symptoms and have the tools to provide appropriate treatment. Excessive drinking is defined by the CDC as heavy drinking, binge drinking, or drinking that’s done by anyone who is pregnant or under the age of 21. Verywell Mind’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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Your brain eventually stops producing certain chemicals that it receives from alcohol, becoming dependent on the drug. That’s why when you quit drinking, it takes time for your body to adjust. This is what causes withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, irregular heartbeat and hallucinations. Some people are apprehensive to quit drinking due to withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detox is the first step in treating alcoholism.
Many unanswered questions remain regarding AW and its management. For example, researchers still must clarify the exact molecular and genetic mechanisms responsible for the varied manifestations of withdrawal.