Alcohol Withdrawal

Providence Projects is a service with over 25 years of experience in the addiction detoxification field. We are here for you during your alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant and if you have tried to reduce or stop the amount you have been drinking, you may have experienced uncomfortable, painful or distressing symptoms that cause a cycle you may not feel you can escape from. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary in their intensity but when they are severe, they can be life-threatening.

The symptoms of withdrawal can begin as early as 2-hours or up to four days after quitting or reducing alcohol consumption, and in many cases, medical treatment or inpatient admission is necessary to manage your risks. We can soften the intensity of your symptoms with 24-hour supervision and support therapy throughout the most uncomfortable times, as you readjust to life without alcohol. As unbearable as the experience is, with professional counselling and medication-assisted therapy, we can help you to get through it and restore equilibrium in your life.

What Are the Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of physiological and psychological symptoms that begin when you stop or drastically decrease your alcohol consumption. You can experience withdrawal symptoms if you’ve been drinking heavily or consistently for any period of time. They may begin two hours after your last drink and they can peak 24 to 48-hours later.

In your initial stages of alcohol withdrawal, you might experience challenging symptoms like

  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Gastro-intestinal disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • An elevated heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rapid breathing

If you do not reach out for help and medical treatment, your symptoms may worsen and progress to include loss of consciousness, hallucinations or even seizures. Some people may also go through what is known as prolonged withdrawal or Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. This condition may persist for up to 12 months. If not managed, withdrawal symptoms often cause a relapse, as some of them are or may seem unbearable.

Alcohol Withdrawal during Pregnancy

We understand that some people suffering from alcoholism may only discover they are pregnant before they have had a chance to stop drinking. This puts you in a difficult and conflicted position where you understandably have concerns about your developing baby as well as your own health and wellbeing, and in good faith, you might take the decision to stop drinking.

Some women find themselves put off by the taste or smell of alcohol during early pregnancy. Seeking medical assistance is the safest way to move forward because withdrawal can be unpredictable and even though you may have read about the dangers of alcohol consumption in pregnancy, stopping abruptly could also have an adverse effect on your baby as well as yourself.

Alcohol withdrawal during pregnancy is a deeply personal path and the medications and treatments used will depend on your medical history and your drinking patterns. An inpatient programme that offers you 24-hour monitoring and support gives you the best chance of proceeding with a healthy pregnancy. There are a number of clinical options available to manage alcohol withdrawal in pregnancy, and the benefits and disadvantages need to be weighed up in consultation with our medical team.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens (DT) is a progression of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms and it poses a significant risk to your health. It may begin two to five days after you go through alcohol withdrawal, and it causes changes to your nervous system and mental health that need to be managed in a medical facility. DT is a complication of alcohol effects and it can induce violent delirium with tremors that can be fatal.

It is associated with long term alcoholism and can cause terrifying tactile, visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as profound confusion and anxiety. Physically, you may experience violent trembling and shaking, fever, a racing heartbeat and high blood pressure. You may be at risk of DT if you have previously gone through alcohol withdrawal, have been drinking for an extended period of time, or have a seizure disorder.

Drinking to Heal the Hangover – The Dangers of Developing a Tolerance

A hangover starts when your level of blood alcohol drops and drinking to manage the symptoms of a hangover perpetuates a cycle where you don’t give your body a chance to recover from the effects of alcohol. If you feel the need to drink more to manage withdrawal, this is a sign of tolerance, where you need to maintain a certain alcohol level in order to function and feel normal. As your tolerance to alcohol increases, you will need to drink more to get through your day-to-day life, which causes a complicated cycle of problems for your physical and mental health.

Are You Afraid of Withdrawal Symptoms?

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are scary and many people self-medicate with more alcohol to manage them. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it causes your brain to go into hyper activity in order to function at its normal level. But when you don’t sustain a certain blood alcohol level, your brain continues to be hyper excited, which is what causes the uncomfortable symptoms like shaking and tremors. The habit of drinking to cope with hangover symptoms normalises unhealthy patterns and can mask the fact that alcohol is interfering with your quality of life. The healthiest way to move forward is to treat the cause of alcohol addiction and not its symptoms.

Providence Projects - Your Reliable Residential Detox Provider

It is very difficult to predict or generalise the course of alcohol withdrawal or how severe your symptoms will be when you detox, because there are so many personal risk factors involved. By reaching out for professional help, our medical team will create a safe detox programme for you and your risk factors (like the amount you have been drinking, your age, and any co-occurring medical and mental disorders) can be compensated for. Our residential detox programmes protect your confidentiality and dignity, and are supervised by medical doctors 24-hours a day to ensure you are safe and comfortable. We begin with a thorough assessment so we can provide the most suitable resources during your recovery.

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