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What Happens During Alcohol Rehab Withdrawal

America has increasingly rising rates of alcohol abuse, with currently 15 million people thought to have an alcohol use disorder in the US alone.

That being said, not everyone who needs treatment for reliance on alcohol gets it, with only one and a half million entering rehab each year to address their addiction.

Considering alcohol rehab can be a significant step toward sobriety, and for those looking at entering rehab, knowing what to expect from alcohol withdrawals can prepare you for the process.

Alcohol Addiction Withdrawal

An addiction treatment center can offer either inpatient or outpatient treatment options. Whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient program for alcohol addiction, acknowledging you need help to overcome substance abuse is the first step. 

The severity of the addiction and volume of alcohol consumed will play a massive part in the treatment plan and how it is approached in an inpatient or an intensive outpatient program. You will need to be assessed due to the medical complications that can arise from withdrawals from alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and can include some or all of the following:

  • Sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Tremors
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Intense cravings

People experiencing alcohol withdrawal can experience severe manifestations and intense symptoms associated with their bodies craving the substance that is being denied. Residing in a treatment center for inpatient care can allow medical professionals to work with you to alleviate some of these symptoms to make the process easier for you. However, moving past the withdrawal stage is possible even without on-hand medical treatment.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

Many people experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms may not even seek treatment; however, those with increased consumption or more extended periods of dependence can benefit from the intervention of addiction specialists who can help them through the process.

For some, it can be over within a few days; however, for others, they can be experiencing withdrawal for a few weeks as their bodies and minds adjust to sobriety.

Once the alcohol starts leaving the body, individuals will begin to experience any number of symptoms depending on their treatment plan and approach. In the first instance, physical symptoms such as vomiting or tremors can become apparent, with the potential for seizures most probable within the first 48 hours. A tailored approach can better address the reason behind the addiction, not just the addiction itself.

Despite being completely aware of their surroundings, those in withdrawal may experience alcohol hallucinosis, leading to increased stress, mental confusion, and disorientation.

It is worth noting the complications that can arise from alcohol withdrawals, including but not limited to; pancreatitis, gastritis, strokes, liver disease, cardiomyopathy, and more.
Successful treatment allows for the improved success of sobriety in the long term. This includes the application of both traditional and modern therapeutic methods that address the addiction and the reasons behind it when a person becomes addicted to alcohol, and how they can avoid relapsing in the future.

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