Alcohol Withdrawal and Treatment | Futures of Palm Beach
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Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal should never be faced alone. Here’s how Futures can help.

Alcohol addiction/Alcohol Use Disorder is primarily defined as a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol that negatively impacts the physical, psychological and social aspects of any person, at any age. In order for an individual to overcome alcohol addiction, he/she will experience alcohol withdrawal. It’s estimated that alcohol withdrawal affects nearly 2 million Americans every year, but only 10 to 20 percent of Americans who experience it receive treatment. Alcohol withdrawal is a major problem in the United States that is dangerous, and potentially fatal, if not treated properly.

Alcohol withdrawal is a variety  of symptoms experienced when an individual with alcohol dependence either stops or reduces alcohol consumption. As an individual continues to use alcohol, he/she develops an alcohol tolerance, which requires more alcohol to achieve the same effects. The body grows more and more accustomed to the presence of alcohol, and tolerance continues to build up as alcohol consumption persists. After developing an alcohol tolerance and dependency, the body can exhibit severe withdrawal symptoms in response to any decrease in alcohol consumption. These withdrawal symptoms can be an negative influence  for an individual to return to alcohol in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, contributing to continued alcohol dependency.

Anyone who struggles with alcohol addiction is at risk for experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol can strongly affect an individual’s life plans, other family members, his/her  job, overall health and relationships. Each situation is different, so the areas of life affected by withdrawal and the severity of these effects can widely vary. However, while circumstances vary, alcohol withdrawal is always a serious matter.

Withdrawal Symptoms

There are 3 stages of alcohol withdrawal, all of which pertain to the individual’s specific level of alcohol dependence. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very severe, so it’s imperative to seek medical attention if withdrawal symptoms become overwhelming, hazardous or life-threatening. The 3 stages of alcohol withdrawal are:

Stage 1: These symptoms may appear within 6-12 hours after ceasing alcohol consumption:

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

  • Shaky hands
  • Sweating
  • Mild anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Agitation

Stage 2: These symptoms can occur between 12-24 hours after ceasing alcohol consumption. The symptoms of Stage 2 are more severe than those of Stage 1. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms reflect over-activity in the body’s nervous system, and they increase in severity as the body struggles to adjust to the absence of alcohol. Hallucinations and seizures are indicative of the persistent over-activity of the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Uncontrolled biting of tongue, cheek
  • Teeth clenching
  • Seizures

Stage 3: These symptoms can also be more severe and can occur 3-4 days after alcohol consumption has stopped:

  • Hallucinations
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Uncontrolled biting of tongue, cheek
  • Teeth clenching
  • Seizures

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Fortunately, there are multiple, effective forms of treatment for alcohol withdrawal. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for alcohol withdrawal, and that safety should be prioritized when considering different treatment options. The safety and effectiveness of a treatment depends on the individual, the severity of withdrawal symptoms, and other important factors. Each case of alcohol withdrawal is unique and should be approached on its own terms.

While it’s possible for an individual to begin the alcohol detoxification and withdrawal process on their own, this can be dangerous due to the symptoms mentioned above. It is always best to speak to a doctor before beginning this process. In most circumstances, it’s necessary to have medical supervision to ensure that the process is safe, healthy and effective.

The best form of treatment depends on specific circumstances since some options cater more to severe cases while others work better with mild cases.

Some of the most common treatment options for alcohol withdrawal include:

Alcohol Withdrawal treatment Man Hugging Woman

  • Doctor visits with medication assistance: This option is tailored for mild cases of withdrawal. This treatment involves regular checkups with a doctor who monitors the client’s progress and prescribes medications to help ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Individual counseling and therapy: Individual therapy can help find the root of the problem and recognize triggers to help avoid relapse. Individual counseling explores the complexity of the client’s relationship with alcohol addiction and addresses any existing co-occurring disorders. This option provides thorough support and encouragement on the journey to recovery
  • Group therapy / Support groups: This option provides a support system and an outlet to voice concerns, fears and struggles and speak to others going through the same recovery process. Group therapy fosters an encouraging environment and helps create a strong network of accountability and compassion.


Types of Treatment Environments
  • Inpatient treatment: There are a variety of inpatient programs which can run the span of 30, 60 or 90 days of safe, supervised treatment at a private facility. Inpatient treatment is ideal for clients who struggle with overcoming alcohol addiction on their own. Inpatient treatment is medically supervised, providing a safe environment for more severe cases of.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment works best for more mild cases of alcohol withdrawal. Clients can attend programs and perform daily responsibilities as part of a recovery plan. Outpatient treatment provides consistent support and helpful resources for overcoming addiction and avoiding relapse.

Getting Help

At Futures of Palm Beach, we have a quality, professionally-led program that addresses alcohol withdrawal, its symptoms, and other factors that play a role in addiction and recovery. Some of the unique therapy and counseling approaches at Futures include:

  • Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Woman Yoga PoseArt therapy: Art therapy is a helpful way to creatively explore, describe and address the complex experience of alcohol withdrawal. Art therapy can take on many forms, such as painting, creative writing or dancing.
  • Individual counseling: Individual counseling is a highly effective form of therapy that helps the client comfortably and confidentially discuss their experience with alcohol withdrawal. Individual counseling also provides opportunities for regular check-ins to make sure that the recovery process is on track.
  • Physical training: Studies support the notion that physical training can have a positive effect on the process of overcoming alcohol dependence. Physical training helps with recovery in many ways, such as improving physical health, creating a sense of accomplishment and providing structure and achievable goals.
  • Fitness therapy: Fitness therapy utilizes exercise regimens to help fight addiction. Multiple substances cause the body to produce endorphins, but fitness therapy employs exercise to produce endorphins naturally, providing a healthy alternative to substance use.

At Futures, we have a wide variety of treatment options that can provide the needed support during alcohol withdrawal. We understand that every situation is unique, and our skilled, professional staff will help clients find the best treatment options for their recovery. Alcohol withdrawal does not have to be faced alone. Contact Futures today to learn more about our inpatient alcohol withdrawal program.

Contact Futures today to speak with a specialist and start your recovery.
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