Georgia Alcohol Detox Center
Get Clean Safely in Our Medically Supervised Detox Facility
For casual drinkers, too much alcohol causes a hangover; after it wears off, the ill effects of your night out are over. For anyone with an alcohol use disorder, not using alcohol can be much worse than a hangover. Like any other addictive substance, alcohol can cause withdrawal symptoms in anyone who is dependent on it. After just two weeks of heavy alcohol use, quitting may be more difficult than just saying “no thanks, not today.”
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, know that there is hope. Through alcohol detox at Mount Sinai Wellness in Georgia, you can begin to heal and rebuild your life. Our trained professionals can help you get through the withdrawal phase in a safe environment.
What Is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox alone isn't treatment, but it is the important first step for people who are dependent on alcohol. Detox is necessary to help overcome the painful physical withdrawal symptoms that can occur when a person suddenly stops drinking. Quitting "cold turkey" without medical supervision can be dangerous and often causes a person to immediately start drinking again, perpetuating their addiction.
If you need alcohol for your body to feel normal, then you likely need to undergo detox. An alcohol detox program can provide the support you need to get through the initial hurdle and prepare you for subsequent treatment.
Alcohol Use vs. Dependence
Just because someone drinks regularly doesn’t mean they’ve developed a dependence or substance use disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) considers someone at a low risk for developing an alcohol use disorder if they stay under prescribed limits. For women, this means drinking 3 or fewer drinks per day and 7 or fewer per week; for men, the recommended numbers are 4 or fewer drinks per day and 14 or fewer per week. Someone who regularly drinks more than this, or shows signs of an alcohol addiction, will likely need professional help to change their drinking habits.
Regular use of alcohol causes chemical changes in the brain. It is a depressant, meaning it slows brain action—so to compensate, the brain has to produce more of certain hormones to balance out its presence. Heavy drinkers therefore produce more serotonin (a mood booster) and norepinephrine (a stress hormone). Without the sedative influence of alcohol, the brain becomes overstimulated. As the brain readjusts, patients may have a difficult time with the symptoms this causes.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Support in fighting their cravings isn’t the only reason for someone with an alcohol use disorder to seek treatment. Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult to tough out—and can even cause serious health risks for some. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will vary in severity depending on how much a person drank and for how long before quitting.
Symptoms may include:
- Heart palpitations or racing heart
- Confusion or disorientation
- Sweating and hyperthermia (raised body temperature)
Not all of these symptoms are equally serious; some may be easier to weather alone than others. The severity of withdrawal tends to vary depending on genetic factors and the intensity of the patient’s addiction.
Alcohol Detox Timeline
Not all patients experience withdrawal the same way, but it does progress along a similar timeline as the brain reacts to chemical changes.
Initial Symptoms: 5 – 10 Hours After Last Drink
Withdrawal usually starts with more minor symptoms as hormone overactivity stimulates essential systems. These effects usually peak 1 to 2 days after the last drink and then slowly fade. They may include:
- Racing heart
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety and irritability
- Difficulty sleeping and vivid and/or bad dreams
Alcohol Hallucinosis: 12 – 14 Hours After Last Drink
Some patients experience hallucinations during withdrawal. If present, these may last for two days. They are often very detailed.
Withdrawal Seizures: 6 – 48 Hours After Last Drink
Most likely to happen around 1 day after a patient gives up alcohol, withdrawal seizures can happen once or repeatedly.
Delirium Tremens (DT): 2 – 3 Days After Last Drink
Experienced anywhere from a few days to over a week into the withdrawal period, DT doesn’t occur in every patient, but can cause serious complications for those who experience it. Anyone with the condition should seek medical help immediately if they are not already under supervision.
When Withdrawal Gets Dangerous
There’s no way to know for sure if someone’s withdrawal will threaten their health long-term, which is why many patients with alcohol use disorders seek out a medical detox facility. Monitoring the early stages of withdrawal can help medical professionals identify patients at risk for DT. Typically, they will show signs of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS), which is characterized by two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nervous system irregularities (unusual sweating, heart rate above 100 bpm)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Hand tremors
- Inability to remain still (patients may fidget, pace, or experience general restlessness)
- Hallucinations (seen, heard, or felt)
Without treatment, AWS can lead to DT, which is caused by an overdose of adrenaline. Around 1 in every 20 alcohol detox patients experiences this condition.
Safe Alcohol Detox in Georgia
Stay safe with round-the-clock monitoring for all kinds of substance use disorders at Mount Sinai Wellness Center. Our doctors provide emotional support as well as the medications needed to alleviate the worst symptoms and ensure patient safety throughout the process. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous. Often, the symptoms become unbearable and drive someone back to using despite their desire to quit for good.
A successful detox is the first step toward lasting recovery. We create personalized care plans for each patient both during detox and for continued alcohol addiction treatment. Come see the difference at Mount Sinai Wellness Center. Our holistic program has helped many patients regain their health. Are you ready to join them?