Drug and Alcohol

Why Detoxing From Alcohol Is Difficult

Detoxing from alcohol can be difficult, and potentially lethal when done on one's own. The Forge Recovery Center will help you through detox.

Why Detoxing From Alcohol Is Difficult

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 12, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Alcoholism is much more common than the average American realizes. In fact, more than 1.5 million Americans are hospitalized or enter treatment for alcohol addiction each year. These instances are linked to alcohol poisoning as well as withdrawal symptoms.

Those who try to stop drinking without detox treatment at a detox center will experience symptoms that are nearly impossible to treat without medical intervention safely.

Those in need of alcohol detox drink enough that their bodies are accustomed to the presence of alcohol. Without it, their bodies go into shock, showing symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can be so intense that many people who try to quit on their own relapse to stop the unpleasant or even painful sensations. 

What Is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox and withdrawal are not the same. Although they are both the process of ridding the body of harmful substances, withdrawal without professional detox is much more dangerous and comes with a long list of symptoms. Detox is the medically assisted form of withdrawal that helps to ease the symptoms and begins addiction treatment. 

Depending on the person, detox may include an introduction to other forms of therapies, counseling, or even exercise. The body needs to re-adjust to function without the presence of alcohol. During this time, the brain and body will react through unpleasant symptoms like headaches, nausea, or hallucinations. 

To ease such symptoms, detox is important. Entering a detox program is not just the best way to soothe those symptoms and offer comfort, but it keeps individuals away from alcohol as well, further preventing relapse. 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are also not easy to expect. They can change, grow, and become brutally intense quickly, so having the support of a fully trained medical staff offers the best chance at recovery and reduces risks of long-term damage.

Medical professionals will provide medication to treat the symptoms while offering support that prepares individuals for the next steps of treatment. 

Physical Challenges of Alcohol Detox

Even with alcohol detox treatment, withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, making detoxing a challenging experience. The physical symptoms alone can lead people in treatment to relapse. 

During alcohol detox, one may experience the following symptoms – particularly if the “cold turkey” route is taken:

  • Insomnia

  • Restlessness

  • Nausea

  • Sweating

  • Delirium tremors

  • Seizures

  • Hallucinations

  • Disorientation

Without proper medical intervention, these symptoms can be so severe that some people may relapse intensely, thus leading to alcohol poisoning and death.

It is crucial to detox from alcohol with the proper treatment from professionals. 

Professional detox highly reduces the risk of damage or death and improves the odds of long-term sobriety. When an individual is being monitored, supervised, and supported throughout this ordeal, they will feel more confident in their abilities to keep working toward recovery. The less discomfort an individual experiences, the more likely they are to recognize the benefits, clarity, and health of being sober. 

Emotional Difficulties of Alcohol Detox

The physical symptoms of alcohol detox may sound brutal enough, but the emotional challenges can feel even worse. For those struggling with alcoholism in addition to mental illness, the emotional and mental struggles may feel overwhelming.

Exhaustion, fatigue, fear, and pain can increase such struggles. For those who may have begun using alcohol to self-medicate their anxiety symptoms, these symptoms may feel even worse. Not only can alcohol detox reestablish those symptoms, but the anxiety that arises can lead to hyperventilation and heart palpitations. 

If someone has any physical health issues, these symptoms could become serious, so having medical staff present during medical detox is vital to one’s safety.

Even those without co-occurring mental health disorders may experience agitation, aggression, anxiety, and depression during detox. These symptoms are controlled and treated with medications in a detox facility, helping individuals feel calm during a stressful experience. 

Making It Through Alcohol Detox

Information concerning alcohol detox is meant to prepare individuals as much as possible before beginning. Alcohol detox is not a minor step in one's recovery. It is physically and mentally grueling, so entering a detox facility is vital for one's success and safety.

Alcohol addiction sets so many things against an individual's life. Withdrawing from alcohol comes with many symptoms and setbacks. Attempting it alone can feel impossible, putting individuals at significant risk for dangerous situations, health emergencies, or even death.

This may sound scary, but addiction is a serious disease with a serious level of required drug and alcohol treatment in order to recover.

Treatment becomes much easier and worthwhile with professional guidance and support. Alcohol detox may sound impossible, but that is a fallacy. Addiction is treatable with the proper help.

Alcohol is One of the Most Difficult Substances to Quit

It is readily available, legal, and socially acceptable. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be minor, but they are severely dangerous and uncomfortable in many cases. Even with medications to ease the pain and discomfort, the process is not easy. It takes a lot of personal strength and determination to remain in detox. You should accept that it is only one aspect of fighting addiction.

Detox is grueling both physically and mentally, but it is temporary. It is a momentary hardship, preparing you for the rest of addiction treatment.

The Forge Recovery Center will help you through the entire recovery process – we want you to succeed. From detox to aftercare, our caring staff will be in your corner, acting as companions as you journey down the road to recovery. Get started today – contact a Forge Recovery Center expert now!

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