Getting clean from any substance isn’t easy. There are a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive factors that can contribute to the addiction in the first place, and more still that can weigh on a person after the habit stops. Overcoming withdrawal symptoms is one of the first steps toward becoming alcohol-free for the long-term. It can be hard to do but getting clean is possible. Here at Futures of Palm Beach, we can help.
For those severely addicted to alcohol, withdrawal symptoms can begin to set in less than a few hours after the last drink. Symptoms of withdrawal can include hand tremors, heart palpitations, dehydration, irregular blood sugar levels, nausea, sweating/hot flashes, insomnia/restlessness, and seizures, according to the American Family Physician.
It is estimated that approximately 2 million Americans each year go through some form of alcohol withdrawal, while only 10 to 20 percent of them are treated at hospitals or other health facilities. Getting treatment for alcoholism is absolutely imperative, especially if you have a heavy drinking problem. As is the speculation with the late singer Amy Winehouse, the effects of alcohol withdrawal can be so intense for some drinkers that the symptoms can become fatal. If you fit into this category, you should seek medical attention immediately for help with alcohol withdrawal.
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Ways to Cope With Alcohol Withdrawal
Medically assisted detox from alcohol can be very crucial for some users but other coping techniques should not be ignored. For those with mild cases of alcoholism and those coming out of detox, there are still many emotional, psychological, and social factors that need to be dealt with. The urge to drink may still be there, but by exercising healthy coping strategies, you can ultimately free yourself of addiction.
- Drink water and replenish electrolytes to ward off feelings of dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting during withdrawal. This will also help with dehydration, an affliction many recovering alcoholics can suffer.
- Balance blood sugar levels by eating healthy fruits and vegetables. Alcohol can do damage to the liver, the organ that helps to metabolize sugar in your body. Because alcohol is metabolized into sugar, your body needs to balance itself out with the loss of alcohol.
- Develop a support system of friends, family, and peers to help talk you through cravings and other stressors related to your recovery.
- “Urge surf” through the desire to drink. “Urge surfing” is when you ride out the craving without fighting it and without giving in. The idea behind it is that your craving will subside quicker and you’ll learn to ride the wave through cravings.
- Avoid bad influences or drinking situations to keep temptation at bay.
- Medications like benzodiazeprine and disulfram can be used to ease some withdrawal symptoms.
- Employ relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga to balance yourself.
- Remember why you quit drinking! At one point you said to yourself “enough is enough.” When you’re coping with withdrawal, sometimes your brain can forget those reasons. Keep in mind the reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place to keep you on the right track.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
If you have found yourself wanting to quit drinking but can’t, call us at Futures of Palm Beach today. We understand the intricacies of addiction and know how alcoholism can impact your life. Whether you need intensive inpatient or outpatient care, or you just want someone to talk to, we can provide the support you need.