Making the tough decision to get help to overcome addiction to or dependence on alcohol is a positive step. It is, however, not an easy one to make. Before any addiction treatment center can help you, you first have to undergo detox to clear the alcohol from your body. Perhaps you think you can detox on your own to save time, money, possibly the embarrassment of others knowing you are quitting drinking and trying to get clean. But this is dangerous because the effects of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to moderate to severe to life-threatening. Symptoms begin within two hours of cessation of alcohol use and can persist for weeks. Read on to learn more about the dangers of alcohol withdrawal and why you should always consult a rehab program like Lucida Treatment Center for help with detox and recovery.

Detox Can Prove Fatal

The absolute worst outcome from alcohol detox, if you do it incorrectly, is that you can die. In order to be safe, trained professionals must medically monitor your detox so they can assist in the event of an emergency. They can also ensure comfort and ease symptoms during withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal is so dangerous because an alcoholic relies on alcohol both physically and mentally in order to function. This is a compulsion that becomes an alcoholic’s basic need for survival. Additionally, alcohol is physically addicting, so that when your body does not have what it is used to, you get sick. As a result, this can kill you.

Other Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

If you try to detox on your own, without medical supervision and assistance, it can be very unsafe. The following symptoms are common:

  • Dehydration
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Repeated seizures, called delirium tremens or DT – which can kill you in alcohol withdrawal

Risk factors for DTs increase with multiple detoxification attempts and include a history of seizures, older age, liver abnormalities, and functioning and acute medical illness. Symptoms of DTs usually peak at five days and include:

  • Severe tremors
  • Racing heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever of a low grade
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures

Getting Sober the Safe Way

If you are serious about getting sober and have decided now is the time to do so, talk with your doctor. Get referrals and recommendations about your options for medically-monitored, safe detox. If you have insurance coverage or can take advantage of reduced-fee or sliding-scale pay plans, the best choice may be to go into rehab. Remember, getting rid of the alcohol in your system is just the preliminary step in your overall goal to live clean and sober.

Additionally, you need to learn coping skills. You also need to understand the disease of addiction and how you can incorporate healthier behavior patterns into your life. Participating in self-help or 12-step support groups will also help you maintain your commitment to living in sobriety. The encouragement and support you receive in these groups are invaluable in your quest to live free of substances.

The important thing to keep in mind is that getting clean and sober requires eliminating the alcohol from your body during detox. Additionally, there are many dangers of alcohol withdrawal. But you do not have to get sober alone. There are state chemical dependency clinics as well as inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment facilities like Lucida Treatment Center. At our facility, we have 24/7 medically-monitored detox programs available. If you want to learn more about the programs and facilities that we offer at Lucida, contact us at 1.866.947.7299 so we can help you start your detox and overcome addiction today.