In a world that too often gets too complicated to handle, drinking has always been one of the ways by which a person copes. From the first swallow to the last trickle, emptying the contents of a bottle brings a certain ‘high’ that instantly brightens the dark corners of a person’s life. As this goes on, though, the harsh truth exposes itself: that the succeeding ‘highs’ will only come if the number of bottles emptied have multiplied. When the chosen way to cope with the world’s matters have become another coping matter in itself, totally distancing oneself from that chosen endeavor is often the only possible way out. And so a person turns to alcohol detox.
Alcohol detoxification or alcohol detox is a process by which an alcoholic puts an immediate termination to his/her alcohol intake. It is considered to be the most frustrating and most physically demanding part of alcohol recovery since it brings about not only physical but also psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Patients undergoing the initial stage of Alcohol Detox encounter anxiety, irritability and tremors. Bad tempers, loss of appetite and shaking of the hands are also present in this state. This is because during the drinking, the brain has adapted to the normal level of alcohol in the body. Alcohol affects the receptors in the brain that decrease the body’s excitability so, when the alcohol suddenly exited the person’s system, the brain went back to its hyper excited state.
The symptoms worsen during the secondary stage. Symptoms that are life-threatening, if not treated accordingly, are experienced especially by those who are heavy alcohol drinkers. Hallucinations, alcohol delirium, seizures, depression, extreme emotional changes, increased anxiety and excessive irritability develop.
Because of the seriousness of the physical and psychological symptoms, the brain longingly thinks of a past time when the body didn’t feel such pain, and the patient gets compulsive thoughts and pines for a reunion with alcohol, making the process very maddening.
But, if alcohol detox is coupled with cross-tolerant drugs, the withdrawal symptoms can be avoided. A medical professional can prescribe medication to a patient to help make alcohol detox easier.
The most common drugs taken by a person on alcohol detox are benzodiazepines. They act as sedatives (reduces irritability and excitability), hypnotics (induces sleeping), and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety), among others. Other medical essentials include vitamins which guarantee that the body’s need for nutrients are still in check.
Without the drugs, basic care has to be followed. Diarrhea, vomiting and sweats are common bodily symptoms of alcohol detoxification so fluids and electrolytes must be always present to keep the body hydrayed and to prevent the seriousness of some withdrawal symptoms.
Coping with alcohol detox is not going to be easy. It will take a lot of discipline, constant self-reminders of the necessity of what you’re doing, and faith in a better tomorrow. But knowing that people who you love and people who love you back are coping with you too makes all the difference in the world. In the end, alcohol detox is something that one cannot only cope with, but also succeed over.