Woman considering Questions About Alcohol Detox

Answering Some Common Questions About Alcohol Detox

Last Updated: Jul 6th 2022

Reviewed by North Jersey Recovery Center

Detoxification (or detox) is an important part of addiction treatment. Detoxification is a process that aims to rid the body of toxic substances after using alcohol or drugs for a long period of time. While the alcohol detox process can include some side effects (ranging in severity), with the proper help a person can get through it effectively and safely. 

Some people may be hesitant or nervous about the detox process, this is why we’ll be looking at some of the most commonly asked questions about alcohol detox. It’s important to know that our specialized team at North Jersey Recovery Center is by your side every step of the way. After detox has ended, a person will move on to a more personalized treatment schedule. If your or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction or a substance use disorder, give us a call today.

What are the Signs That a Person Has an Alcohol Addiction?

First and foremost, it is important to understand the signs that a person may be excessively drinking. While drink here and there, some people become dependent, often falling into addiction. People may drink for a variety of reasons, whether it be stress, trauma, or mental disorders. Regardless of the reason, alcoholism and alcohol use disorder (AUD) continues to be rampant in the U.S. and abroad. 

Alcohol use becomes a problem when it begins to impact a person’s life and behavior negatively. There are some telling signs that arise once a person has begun to abuse alcohol. Some of the most common ways to spot alcoholism/AUD include:

  • Drinking in isolation
  • Wanting to stop drinking but being unable to
  • Lowered performance at school, work, and home
  • Hiding the amount of alcohol that is being consumed
  • Experience certain withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Engaging in binge drinking (drinking excessively in a short span of time)

If you or a loved one is experiencing the effects of alcoholism/AUD, it may be time to get help. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we provide quality care for all our clients and the process begins with detox.

What is Alcohol Detox?

As a depressant, alcohol can cause several different effects on the mind and body with continued use. As time goes on, a person can end up becoming dependent and addicted to alcohol. Again, detoxification is a careful process that involves purging the body of toxic substances. The overall process is best done under professional supervision. 

While some people may think it’s better to detox at home (also known as cold turkey), this is not recommended. Alcohol detox side effects and withdrawals can be especially problematic and relying on addiction treatment specialists is important for safety and success in detox. There are several different methods and options available during detox (therapy, medication assistance, etc.) 

What Happens When You Detox from Alcohol?

When a person stops alcohol use entirely, the body will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. While these symptoms may be uncomfortable at first, they eventually subside and allow a person to continue through treatment. During the detox process a person may experience the following feelings:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Cravings to drink
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stomach pains/vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue

After a few days, a person may begin to experience:

  • Fever
  • Agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Seizures

Especially in the later phase of alcohol detox, these symptoms can be especially complicated if a person takes on the process alone. Here at NJRC, we make sure that all our clients are taken care of with the utmost care.

Can Alcohol Withdrawals Be Deadly?

While there are some life-threatening alcohol detox side effects, it is important to go through the guidance of medical professionals. A person should stay away from trying to detox on their own. There are several factors that contribute to how dangerous alcohol withdrawals can be. Since a person’s body works overtime during this process, a person’s health has a lot to do with it. 

If a person has been abusing alcohol for long periods of time, their body may feel the full effects of withdrawal. In some cases, this can be dangerous if the person’s body cannot handle the withdrawal effects. The best way to detox the body from alcohol in a safe manner is to do it under professional medical supervision. Since alcohol withdrawals can be unpredictable, having medical professionals can make all the difference. Regardless of where a person is with their addiction, it is crucial to get professional help

What Does Alcohol Withdrawal Feel Like?

While alcohol withdrawal effects vary from person to person, there are a few ways to spot withdrawals. Withdrawals occur when a person has become addicted/dependent on alcohol use. Once alcohol is removed from the equation, a person will begin to feel the effects. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Shaky hands
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures

If a person is feeling any of these symptoms, they may be experiencing withdrawals from alcohol. During the detox process, a person may be assisted to help relieve some of these alcohol detox side effects. 

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?

A common question that is typically asked is how long the detox process really takes. This varies from case to case, like with all instances of addiction treatment. Typically, the process takes anywhere between 2-8 days, depending on the person. After the detox process is complete, a person goes on to addiction treatment programs, such as inpatient or outpatient treatment.

What Happens After Alcohol Detox is Over?

In cases of addiction rehab, detoxification is usually just the first step. After finishing the detoxification phase, individuals will then move on to more personalized treatment with medical professionals. Addiction is typically a multi-leveled process and requires more than just physical detox. 

There is usually always an underlying reason why a person may be using alcohol, to begin with. Whether it is stress or a co-occurring mental health disorder, there is always another factor at play usually. It is important to not only understand why a person began their drinking habits but to also learn the necessary tools to stay sober. 

Certain triggers and coping mechanisms may end up causing a relapse. This is why treatment after detox provides the necessary tools to navigate through life, cravings, and triggers that arise. Addiction treatment after alcohol detox can involve: 

Does a Person’s Body Repair Itself After They Stop Drinking?

Alcohol can affect several parts of a person’s body, including the brain, the cardiovascular system, and the central nervous system (CNS). Alcohol can change how a person thinks, thus creating an attachment to drinking that is tough to combat. While it may seem like it’s too far gone, there is always a way to overcome alcoholism and live a healthier life down the line. 

When it comes to binge drinking and drinking in excessive amounts, the liver in particular is usually damaged. The digestive system, organs, pancreas, and immune system are all weakened in the process. This can end up causing damage and disease down the line if a person does not stop drinking. It has been shown that alcoholics tend to be at higher risk of catching pneumonia and other diseases. 

Fortunately, the body can repair itself if the person did not consume alcohol in large quantities for a long period of time. However, it is always encouraged to get professional help, achieving a better life, free of drinking is possible for everyone. With the right level of care, sobriety is possible. 

What are the Options for Naturally Removing Alcohol From the System?

There are several patterns that can be utilized before and after treatment to help naturally detox from alcohol. While these alone won’t completely detox your body, they can help a person ease into the process. Some strategies for naturally removing alcohol include:

  • Eating smaller and healthier meals may help. In turn, avoid big, heavy meals with no nutritional value. 
  • Staying hydrated is key for flushing out toxins in your body and making you feel healthier
  • Staying clear of processed and sugary foods, as well as processed foods with lots of salt
  • Exercising regularly, physical activity can make a big difference in a person’s recovery and mental state

North Jersey Recovery is Ready to Help You

Now that you know some of the commonly asked questions about detox, it’s time to take the next step. Our team is ready to help you overcome addiction and take control of your life in a structured and safe environment. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, it may be time to get help. Give us a call today to get started.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by North Jersey Recovery Center