What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

These first few weeks are critical because they are when the risk of relapse is highest. There is no exact timeline for alcohol withdrawal, and individual factors, such as the level of dependence on alcohol, will influence it. When that person cuts out alcohol, there is a period when their brain hasn’t yet received the message and still overproduces the stimulating chemicals. With alcohol out of the equation, though, these chemicals cause withdrawal symptoms. Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling.

Detox can be dehydrating to the body as it uses any means — most notably vomiting, diarrhea and sweating — to expel alcohol and its toxins. Combining alcohol’s pre-existing dehydrating qualities with withdrawal-related dehydration can easily induce seizures and may prove lethal in some cases. If even two of these symptoms emerge within a short time after heavy and prolonged alcohol use ends, alcohol withdrawal will be the appropriate diagnosis.

Risks and Complications

Detoxing at home may seem like a cheaper, more convenient way to detox from alcohol, but it carries serious risks. Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in those who have moderate to severe symptoms, and there are risks that complications can occur during an at-home detox. Detoxing from alcohol at home can work for some people, but you should always consult with a doctor before attempting to detox by yourself.

  • You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use.
  • Alcohol withdrawal is a set of distressing and dangerous symptoms that stem from the brain lacking alcohol’s influence in the system.
  • Maybe you’ve never been interested in logging your innermost thoughts, but journaling can be a great tool to track your feelings as you work on quitting alcohol.

If you have decided that it is time to stop or reduce your alcohol consumption, knowing what happens to your body when you stop drinking can give you a better idea of what to expect. If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you’re uncomfortable opening up to your healthcare professional. Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use. By avoiding alcohol, you’re taking a big step toward improving physical health.

Impact on your health

Some people with AUD become dependent on alcohol and have withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking. The effects of withdrawal on your body and mind can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Talk to your doctor or a drug treatment specialist about what to expect as you experience alcohol withdrawal. Identify a family member or friend who you can call on to provide emotional support.

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Colorado Rehab & Detox: What to Expect at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake.

Posted: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Once you get back into the swing of your normal life, it might be easy to relapse and start drinking again. You have lots of options, including 12-step programs, private therapy, and group counseling. For example, if you have a medical or mental health condition, you’ll want services for that. Or if you’ve struggled for years and don’t have a strong support network, an inpatient program might make sense. If you need alcohol for your body to feel normal, then you likely need help. Getting through detox isn’t just a matter of willpower, and stopping «cold turkey» without at least medical help is never recommended.

You May Feel Happier

However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification. Professional detox is a vital first step, but alone, it is not enough to change the dysfunctional behavior patterns that result in addiction and dependence. Alcohol withdrawal creates a range of undesirable mental and medical symptoms. Although the effects are somewhat predictable, there is no way to know with certainty which symptoms will emerge and how intense they will become for each person. It’s difficult to predict who will and who won’t experience alcohol withdrawal — and how severe it will be. Some people experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia and mood changes, that can last for weeks or months.

Alcohol Detox

Find a supportive friend or family member to be with you while you withdraw and support your new non-drinking lifestyle. Remember you are facing a difficult challenge during alcohol withdrawal, but you are not alone. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ There are many resources available to help, including peer support groups, counseling, therapy, and inpatient rehabilitation. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild but annoying to severe and life-threatening.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

People who are dependent on alcohol will experience withdrawal symptoms during detox, which can make the process an uncomfortable and even dangerous experience. If you drink alcohol heavily for weeks, months, or years, you may have both mental and physical problems when you stop or seriously cut back on how much you drink. That’s why many of us wonder if a month of avoiding drinking is enough to “reset” your liver back to normal. But a full detox is needed for the most benefit, and how much time that takes depends on a variety of personal factors. It’s important to remember that they are only temporary and will usually subside within a few days. For individuals with severe alcohol dependence, however, withdrawal symptoms can be more severe and may require medical attention.

The amount of time it takes to detox from alcohol depends on several factors, including whether you’re detoxing at home or with medical supervision. Detoxing at home usually takes longer because you should be cautious to avoid serious complications. Many people stop experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms four to five days after their last drink. https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/alcohol-detox-safely-detoxing-from-alcohol/ When detoxing from alcohol at a professional facility, you can expect to be kept as comfortable as possible at all times. To begin the process, your health care team will perform a comprehensive exam. This will likely start with paperwork and documentation that outlines your medical history, then a medical exam to assess your overall health.

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