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Is Detox From Alcohol Painful?

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It is perfectly normal to be concerned about the pain or discomfort that might arise during detox from alcohol. While the period of withdrawal is far from easy, it doesn’t have to be painful. In professional detox facilities, patients get care, medical attention, and the necessary medications to ease pain and ensure comfort throughout the detox.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms During an Alcohol Detox

Individuals who struggle with an addiction may already be familiar with the first withdrawal symptoms that arise when alcohol consumption stops abruptly. In fact, it is normal for these withdrawal symptoms to begin just a few hours after the last drink was consumed. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms during detox from alcohol include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness or shaking
  • Extreme sweating

Fortunately, most of these withdrawal symptoms will peak at around 72 hours, or three days after beginning the detox. From then on, the symptoms will gradually become less noticeable until all of the physical signs of withdrawal are gone.

The Potential Dangers of a Cold Turkey Detox

Detoxing from alcohol puts patients in a volatile, vulnerable state. Under medical supervision, patients will be carefully monitored to ensure that there is no unusual pain or major medical problems that could be harmful or even fatal. Attempting to detox cold turkey from home, however, won’t offer the same kind of treatment or care. One of the biggest risks of detoxing from alcohol without proper medical supervision is the possibility of experiencing delirium tremens, or DT. This is a withdrawal symptom experienced by a small percent of those detoxing from alcohol, but it can cause serious side effects. Common symptoms of a DT include hallucinations, anxiety, extreme confusion and even seizures. In a detox center, DT is not a major problem, but at home it could potentially be fatal.

How Detox Centers Can Minimize Pain

On the most basic level, a detox center can reduce pain by ensuring that patients withdrawing from alcohol aren’t at risk for emergency problems like seizures, hallucinations or extreme dehydration. They can also ensure that patients have the necessary medications to minimize discomfort and avoid any pain. This might include sedatives or sleeping medications to ensure the body can sleep and avoid additional discomfort or insomnia. Detox centers also offer things like physical exercise and nutritious meals. This allows patients to get a comprehensive approach to wellness that goes beyond just the cessation of alcohol and makes a more complete view of recovery possible. Detox from alcohol certainly doesn’t have to be painful, especially if you opt to detox at Stepping Stone Center for Recovery. Call 866-957-4960 to learn about alcohol detox options. With our help, you can beat your addiction once and for all.


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