Alcohol is termed as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is said to affect a person's physical health, mental condition, and spiritual well-being. There are millions of people who consume alcohol in moderation, but there are some who tend to abuse it. For those who abuse it, it is better to get acquainted with some detox facts and be aware about what to expect when trying to quit.
The chemicals in alcohol affect the functioning of the brain. Also, it is a depressant and has various effects on the neurotransmitters in the brain. The human brain does not work well when there are fluctuations in the chemicals present in the body, so it tries to counter the influx of depressants by making adjustments to certain neurotransmitters. When one ceases its intake, the brain would need time and support to alter its current position and return to normalcy. This process is generally aided with medication or homemade remedies and is known as alcohol detoxification.
One of the facts is that people would experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. The intensity of the withdrawals generally depends on the person's physical condition, duration of its abuse, and the intensity of its use. An alcohol detox can be done under a clinic outpatient setting or as in patient in a hospital and some even prefer to do it at home. Although alcohol withdrawals are not life-threatening, it is advisable to consult a physician for a detox program.
Some of the mild withdrawals that one can expect are
- High Fever
Frequent mood swings and loss of appetite are also some of the common detox symptoms. A person undergoing this detox program may also experience temporary depression as the brain's neurotransmitters are accustomed to the chemicals in alcohol for stimulation. Some people who have other prevailing medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, etc., would experience associative symptoms and would preferably need to undergo an alcohol addiction detox program under medical supervision.
An important detox fact is that it would reduce the intensity of the withdrawals experienced by an alcoholic trying to quit. Some people opt for a detox program under the care of a physician while others do it at home.
When attempting it at home, one should make sure to observe the symptoms closely and seek medical help immediately in severe cases. The first thing to do would be to increase one's water intake. This would keep the body hydrated and improve cell functioning. The intake of water would also help the kidneys clear the toxins in the body by increasing urine production.
Alcohol abuse weakens the immune system and leaves one susceptible to many diseases and conditions. When one discontinues its consumption, it is advisable to take vitamin supplements that propagate general well-being and replenish the body with essential nutrients. Taking vitamin B and vitamin C supplements which are readily available over-the-counter might prove beneficial.
One should include vegetable and fruit juices in one's diet. This is because the diuretic qualities in them would help get rid of the toxins from the body while detoxing from alcohol. Beetroot, cranberries, carrot, and apple juices would boost the immune system of the body and are effective in fighting alcohol withdrawals.
When undergoing this treatment under the care of a physician, one would most likely be given benzodiazepines which enhance the functioning of neurotransmitters and act as sedatives. Some of the common treatment medications are Librium, Valium, and Ativan. The physician may also use Phenobarbitals like Tuinal and Seconal, which are used as anticonvulsants.
One of the very important facts is that it's just the first step of the treatment. After one goes through a detox program, it is highly recommended to connect with support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These support groups are run by recovering alcoholics to help other alcoholics live life on life's terms and deal with alcoholism one day at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.