For many who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD), the desire to quit is often overshadowed by the fear of withdrawal symptoms. Attempts to detox at home frequently fail because of the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, making people want to give up trying to be sober altogether.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we understand the importance of a medically supervised and clinically supported detox as the first step toward recovery from addiction. In our alcohol detox center in Florida, clients receive world-class, compassionate care in private rooms. Our team strives to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the detox process. Reach out to us at 833.551.2304 to learn about our non-12-step holistic approach to treatment.
A Closer Look at Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol plays a prominent role in American culture. Whether celebrating or commiserating, Americans turn to alcohol. Because alcohol is legal and socially acceptable in almost all situations, many Americans develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol early.
The first step to recovery is admitting the problem. While many people who suffer from alcohol addiction live in denial, others recognize the issue and make repeated attempts to overcome their addiction by trying to taper down their use or stop it altogether. The physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal usually result in a quick return to drinking.
Knowing what to expect from the detox process helps alleviate fears and makes clients more open to the process. It is important to remember that detox is unique to each individual and dependent upon your personal history. However, the following is a general timeline for alcohol detox:
- Six hours from the last drink–For most, this is considered a “hangover,” where symptoms can include headache, dehydration, sweating, increased heart rate, and anxiety.
- 12 to 48 hours from the last drink–Mild symptoms continue, with the addition of rapid or abnormal breathing, increased blood pressure, confusion, and mild hypothermia. Seizures may occur at this time for those with severe addiction.
- 48 to 72 hours from the last drink–Moderate symptoms continue, including possible seizures, delirium tremens (DTs), auditory or visual hallucinations, and disorientation.
Detoxing from alcohol can be life-threatening and should always occur in a medically supervised alcohol detox center. The dangers of the alcohol detox process are compounded when individuals are addicted to other substances or have co-occurring mental health disorders.
Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
The first stage of detox is acute withdrawal. Acute withdrawal symptoms are the main physical symptoms that begin with a rapid reduction or sudden cessation of drug or alcohol use. These symptoms can last for a few days up to two weeks.
The second stage of detox, called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), happens as the brain adjusts to the absence of alcohol and drugs after a period of addiction. Compared to the symptoms of acute withdrawal are primarily physical, PAWS symptoms are psychological and emotional. PAWS is known to last for several months, and up to two years, depending on the duration and severity of the addiction.
Common post-acute withdrawal symptoms include:
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
- Irritability, hostility, or aggression
- Panic attacks or anxiety
- Impaired concentration or foggy thinking
- Fatigue and low energy
- Lack of motivation or enthusiasm
PAWS is not only uncomfortable, but symptoms can occur sporadically. Cravings and poor impulse control, other common PAWS symptoms, often lead to relapse even for those deeply committed to recovery. Being aware of PAWS and knowing that the symptoms are temporary can help be prepared to manage them when they occur. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, education about PAWS is integral to our drug and alcohol rehab programs.
Contact Gulf Breeze Recovery Today
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we understand the importance of equipping clients with the tools and resources needed to maintain their recovery outside of the treatment setting. From detox through aftercare planning, we support you every step of the way. Contact us at 833.551.2304 to learn more about our unique non-12-step holistic approach to helping clients overcome substance use and co-occurring disorders.