Alcohol is one of the most widely used legal drugs because of its ability to alleviate the anxiety associated with everyday life and certain social situations. As harmless as alcohol may seem when compared to more aggressive, illegal drugs, alcohol can still be addictive and cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries if misused.
Addiction to any substance is a painful internal struggle between giving in to the substance and maintaining abstinence. Alcohol detox is one of several steps in addiction recovery that can help you to win this fight and transition from substance dependence to independence and control over your future.
When people are addicted to alcohol, their body and mind adapt to the substance in such a way that when they stop drinking, they start experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is merely the body’s response to no longer receiving the chemicals it had grown accustomed to. Your chances of developing this kind of reaction increase as your alcohol intake increases, but everyone’s experience with alcohol withdrawal will be different depending on the severity of their addiction and other key factors.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings
- Nightmares and insomnia
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea with vomiting
- Increased heartbeat
Medically Assisted Detox
Initial withdrawal symptoms of alcohol dependence sound unpleasant enough, but these symptoms do have the potential to turn into severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures. If not treated, these symptoms may prove to be life-threatening. Many Orange County detox programs like those at Chelsea By The Sea utilize medically assisted detox procedures to ensure that our patients remain safe throughout their transition.
Medications to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepines remain the primary medication for alcohol detox programs because this medication, like alcohol, is a depressant. Treating a depressant addiction with another depressant may initially sound counterintuitive, but benzodiazepines are a safe substitute for alcohol that also happen to reduce the likelihood and severity of potentially deadly seizures.
This kind of medication is not just given to any patient. Instead, the level of withdrawal severity determines if and how high a dose of benzodiazepines should be given to a patient.
Another aspect of benzodiazepines that helps with addiction is the way benzodiazepine intake can be gradually decreased over time, so that withdrawal symptoms are gradual rather than sudden and intense.
Anticonvulsants are also used to alleviate withdrawal along with antipsychotics for severe withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations and delirium.
How to Get Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering for alcohol addiction, contact Chelsea By the Sea by calling 1 (844) 31-CLEAN to learn about our treatment services. Chelsea By the Sea is a California addiction recovery center that is family-focused and pet-friendly and offers medically assisted detox, family interventions, and residential treatment. No one should have to face the struggles of addiction alone. At Chelsea By the Sea, we’re ready to fight with you towards recovery.