To mention one of the highest problems about addiction, alcohol dependence will definitely be in the list. This is common problem for regular and heavy drinkers. They are already involved within alcoholic body situation and must struggle to find the proper way to detox from it. Maybe we think it’s easy to detox from alcohol dependence, by just stop drinking it. But the case is way more complicated than that. In this article, we will talk about 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence. But before we enter the main point, let’s know more the things related to alcohol detoxification.
Goals of Detox from Alcohol Dependence
Detoxing your body from alcohol dependence is not an easy task. It’s so easy to be addicted, but it’s hard to get rid of it. However, to unlock the 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence, you should know these 3 goals of alcohol detoxification, defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine as follows:
- Provide a safe withdrawal from alcohol dependence
- The withdrawal should be humane and protect the patient’s dignity
- Prepare for long-term treatment
Never Do It in A Sudden
When you are already in addiction of something, the basic rule when you want to quit is to do it slowly, step by step. Never do it in a sudden. In terms of quitting alcohol, the sudden process is called “cold turkey”. Never consider doing this at home or without supervision from professional medical help. Why you should avoid detox from alcohol dependence all of sudden? For heavy drinkers, their bodies are producing the brain and hormones chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine to balance the depressive effect of alcohol. When someone stops drinking alcohol in a rush, the body will produce too much chemicals. This abnormal situation will cause negative impacts such as:
- Adaptive changes within the brain to maintain the basic function
- Vomiting because the body can’t stand the sudden change. This possibly leads to choke on the vomit.
- Dehydration due to hormonal imbalance, and lethal dehydration is extremely dangerous
- Abnormal heart rhythms can cause stroke
- Delirium tremens, which is a medical emergency happening 24 until 48 hours after the last consumption of alcohol. The worst impact from Delirium Tremens (DTs) is death.
These are the negative impacts of not doing proper steps to detox from alcohol dependence. That’s why you need to understand properly about your body. Next we will talk about the symptoms that you will feel when doing 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence.
What Will You Feel During Detox from Alcohol Dependence
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will be different between one person and another. It depends on the habit, history, medical record, psychological condition, and overall health. When you decide to start 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence, these symptoms will appear within 6 hours. You can consider to do warm bath to relieve some symptoms and make you relax. The symptoms are classified into 4 categories:
- Minor withdrawal
- Major withdrawal
- Withdrawal seizures
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
5 Steps to Detox from Alcohol Dependence
To be able in escaping your body dependence from alcohol, there are 3 stages that you must follow, which are:
Like what we mentioned earlier, this is the time for body to compensate the rapid and unexpected changes. You have to put big concern in this stage due to its danger. The first phase will happen only few days after the detox started. Within the first 72 hours, people will be at the biggest risk of suffering major withdrawal. The symptoms include body tremor, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, shakiness, hallucinations, DTs and heart failure.
The second stage will be longer than the previous one. It may occur over than a month. In this phase, your brain will be back to its normal function. Also, you will get used to the sickening symptoms that happened during the first stage. There will still be lingering symptoms, but in lower level.
The third stage is the last stage after a month or two. During this phase, your body will less likely to feel significant symptoms. The anxiety and dissatisfaction feeling will start to fade away. But you have to remember that the urge to go back in bad habit may appear. Never get attempted to do this. Chances are you will feel the need to relapse to alcohol dependence during this final phase.
So now you understand what your body might feel during the detoxification process, here are 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence that you might consider:
1. Attend Rehab Center
Considering the danger of doing alcohol withdrawal, it will be easier for you to join an alcohol rehab center. The safe environment will give you motivation to pass the detoxification process. You can also join support groups that focus on long-term sobriety. By joining such group, you will understand how to avoid situations when you are forced to drink too much.
2. Make A Schedule
The schedule of detox from alcohol dependence should suit your habit. If you used to drink more than 10 times per day, it is recommended to do the cycle within 7 days. Limit the consumption from 10, 8, 6, and so on until the last day, zero intakes. The schedule should be applied throughout the day.
3. Drink A Lot of Water
Keep your body hydrated is one of the most important steps to detox from alcohol dependence. Drink water rich in electrolytes to maintain your nutrient. As we discussed before, alcohol detoxification will cause hormonal imbalance within your body, that’s why you need to compensate it with a lot of water. Do this in moderation, like one drink per hour continuously.
4. Healthy Diet
The more balance the foods that you consume, the better it will be. You have to build healthy body condition within the process of detox from alcohol dependence. Consume meals contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Never let your body malnourished, as it will make the recovery process difficult.
5. Meditation & Breathing
Meditation will help you to focus on the goals of alcohol detoxification. Yoga is one of the examples. It can help you to treat alcohol addiction. The movement within yoga also includes controlled breathing. This will help your body gaining oxygen and stabilize your blood pressure.
After examining these 5 steps to detox from alcohol dependence, slowly reduce the quantity of alcohol intake, day by day. Do this gently until you feel the detoxification process is success. Never get attempted to relapse to alcohol, as you have to go back through the hard process. If you feel any negative symptoms, drink enough alcohol to subside it. Most importantly, if you feel any discomfort, go find professional help.