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If you feel like you may have an alcohol addiction, you’re not alone. In England, there are over 602,000 people who are dependent on alcohol. However, only 18% of them are receiving treatment. 

At Help4Addiction, we can help you get your alcohol consumption under control and break free of the addiction for good, aiming to prevent relapse.

Knowing about alcohol addiction and the alcohol addiction detox process is the first step to controlling your drinking – so read on to learn more about alcohol addiction and the alcohol detox process, including alcohol withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

At Help4Addiction, we don’t want you to be in the 82% that aren’t receiving treatment. To take control of your life, contact us today to learn about alcohol detox and alcohol rehab clinics, and for professional treatment advice from a certified addiction professional.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Addiction is characterised by the lack of control over taking, doing, or using something – to the point where it could be damaging your mental and physical health as well as your lifestyle. Although addiction is often associated with gambling, drugs, and smoking, alcohol is also an addictive substance. 

Alcohol addiction, known as alcohol use disorder (AUD) in professional environments, refers to the inability or difficulty in stopping or controlling alcohol use. People with AUD will typically drink despite the negative health, social, and occupational consequences. The disorder includes aspects of alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, and alcohol dependence – and is considered a brain disorder. 

There are a variety of factors that can increase the chances of you becoming addicted to alcohol. For example, genetics and family history. There is an abundance of evidence that suggests that alcoholism can be genetic, due to variations in genes – for example, ADH1B and ALDH2

Drinking under the age of 15 could also be a risk factor for alcoholism – it could lead to you being four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence in your lifetime.  As well as this, stress can also be a risk factor for alcoholism. This can include early life stressors as well as cumulative life stressors, or a combination of both. High anxiety levels can result in the urge to drink alcohol to relieve the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Frequent drinking can also be a risk factor for alcohol addiction – if you have a habit of binge drinking or drink over the recommended amount, you may be at more risk of developing alcohol dependence. 

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What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction?

There are many signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction. If you recognise any of the following, contact our friendly team today to find your local treatment centre and to discuss how we can help you.

Here are some of the key signs of alcohol dependence:

These aren’t the only signs of alcohol addiction, but these symptoms often present in those with alcohol dependence.

Alcohol Withdrawal And Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

If you’re a heavy drinker, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you lower the amount you drink or you stop drinking altogether. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous and are a clear warning sign that you’re drinking too much.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are part of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can occur when you’re dependent on alcohol and you stop drinking. 

The more you drink, the higher the chances of you experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome – which is why it’s recommended that you drink no more than 14 units per week. If you feel like you’re exceeding this amount or you’re experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and you’re struggling to stop drinking alone, we can help at Help4Addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Some signs that you may be going through alcohol withdrawal and experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome may include mild withdrawal symptoms and severe symptoms such as:

Some people may experience severe withdrawal symptoms, with symptoms such as a fever, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, and even seizures. Severe withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating – which is why many people choose to detox from alcohol and complete alcohol rehab in treatment centres.

However, it should be noted that not everybody will experience physical withdrawal symptoms and mental withdrawal symptoms/ psychological withdrawal symptoms – although it is more common in heavy drinkers.

Withdrawal symptoms don’t always present immediately – you may notice withdrawal symptoms on the second third day after your last drink, lasting around a week.

Signs That You Need Alcohol Detox

Alcohol addiction can be debilitating and can have negative physical and mental effects on yourself. However, it can also be harmful to the people around you.

This includes your family and loved ones – including your children and your partner/ spouse. If you are dependent on alcohol and alcohol is taking over your life, then you most likely have a problem. Heavy drinking doesn’t always indicate an addiction, but if you feel out of control, then it’s best to get help.

If somebody you know is dependent on alcohol and is facing difficulties in their life due to their drinking – then they may have a drinking problem. Read on to learn how alcohol rehab can help you or your loved one.

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety During Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox can be a physically and emotionally challenging process, and fear and anxiety are common feelings that individuals may experience during this time. The fear of the unknown, uncertainty about the future, and concerns about the detox process itself can all contribute to anxiety and fear.

However, it’s important to remember that these feelings are normal and can be managed. One of the most effective ways to overcome fear and anxiety during alcohol detox is to stay informed and educated about the process. Knowing what to expect and understanding the steps involved in the detox process can help individuals feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Another important factor in managing fear and anxiety during alcohol detox is to have a strong support system in place. This can include family, friends, therapists, or support groups who can provide encouragement, comfort, and guidance throughout the detox process.

These individuals can offer a listening ear, words of encouragement, and practical support, such as transportation to and from appointments. Self-care is also critical in managing fear and anxiety during alcohol detox. This includes engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

It’s also important to prioritise sleep, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated. Individuals may benefit from professional support from a therapist or counsellor who can help them address their fears and anxieties in a safe and supportive environment.

Therapists can provide coping strategies, emotional support, and guidance to help individuals manage their feelings and work through any underlying emotional issues that may be contributing to their anxiety.

Fear and anxiety are common during alcohol detox, but they can be managed with the right support, information, and self-care strategies. With a strong support system, education about the detox process, and professional help if needed, individuals can successfully navigate this challenging but important step in their recovery journey.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The length of time it takes for alcohol detox to be completed can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the individual’s alcohol addiction and the type of detox program they are participating in. Generally speaking, alcohol detox can take anywhere from several days to a week or more to complete.

During the early stages of alcohol detox, an individual may experience symptoms of withdrawal, including nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, and tremors.

These symptoms may intensify over the first few days before gradually subsiding. In more severe cases of alcohol addiction, withdrawal symptoms may persist for a longer period. The type of detox program an individual participates in can also impact the duration of the process.

Medically supervised detox programs are typically shorter in duration and may last only a few days. In these programs, medical professionals monitor the individual’s withdrawal symptoms and provide medications and other treatments as needed to manage symptoms and ensure their safety.

In contrast, non-medical detox programs may take longer to complete, as they rely on natural methods and do not use medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. These programs may involve holistic therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, and meditation, to help individuals manage their symptoms and promote healing.

In general, it’s important to remember that the duration of alcohol detox can vary from person to person, and the process may take longer or shorter depending on an individual’s unique circumstances. It’s important to work with a qualified medical professional or addiction specialist to develop a personalised detox plan that meets an individual’s specific needs and provides the best chance for successful recovery.

Coping with Alcohol Detox Side Effects

Alcohol detox is an essential step in the recovery process, but it can also be challenging and uncomfortable, as the body adjusts to the absence of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity and duration – and may include physical and psychological side effects.

Coping with these side effects is an important part of successfully completing alcohol detox. Some common side effects of alcohol detox include nausea, vomiting, headaches, tremors, sweating, and insomnia. In more severe cases, individuals may experience seizures or delirium tremens, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause seizures, fever, and confusion.

To cope with these side effects, individuals undergoing alcohol detox may benefit from working with a medical professional or addiction specialist who can provide medications and other treatments to manage symptoms and ensure their safety.

This may include medications to manage anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms, as well as IV fluids and other interventions to prevent dehydration and other complications. Other strategies for coping with alcohol detox side effects may include getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Participating in relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga may also help manage anxiety and promote relaxation. It’s important for individuals undergoing alcohol detox to communicate openly with their medical team or addiction specialist about any side effects or concerns they may have.

With the right support and treatment, individuals can successfully complete alcohol detox and move on to the next phase of their recovery journey with confidence and hope for a better future.

After Alcohol Detox: What’s Next in Your Recovery Journey?

Completing alcohol detox is a significant accomplishment and an important first step in an individual’s recovery journey. However, it’s important to remember that detox alone is not enough to overcome addiction. After detox, it’s important to continue with additional treatment and support to address the underlying causes of addiction and prevent relapse.

The next step in an individual’s recovery journey after alcohol detox is typically an addiction treatment program. This may include inpatient or outpatient rehab, counselling, or therapy, and may involve a combination of individual and group therapy sessions.

The goal of addiction treatment is to help individuals develop the skills and tools needed to manage cravings, avoid triggers, and maintain sobriety over the long term. After completing addiction treatment, ongoing support is critical for maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.

This may involve participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other peer support programs, continuing therapy or counselling, and developing a strong support network of family and friends who understand the challenges of recovery.

Other strategies for maintaining sobriety after alcohol detox may include developing healthy habits and routines, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep. Finding new hobbies or activities that provide enjoyment and a sense of purpose can also help reduce stress and prevent relapse.

In summary, after completing alcohol detox, the next steps in an individual’s recovery journey typically involve addiction treatment, ongoing support, and developing healthy habits and routines. By continuing to prioritise sobriety and seeking out the resources and support needed to maintain it, individuals can build a healthier, happier life in recovery.

The Help4Addiction Rehab Clinic Process

At Help4Addiction, we can find you the perfect rehabilitation clinic and treatments for you or your loved one, whether it be at a residential rehab centre or an outpatient clinic.

The first stage of the rehab process usually includes completing alcohol detoxification – contact us to see if you can partake in our alcohol home detox kit.

Upon completing the alcohol detox, you’ll receive mental health support and therapy – your rehab centre of choice will provide you with consultant psychiatrists and qualified therapists. Depending on the rehab centre, you may also be offered holistic therapies and recreational facilities. These are common in private rehab centres as well as residential services. Read on for more detail about the Help4Addiction rehab clinic process.

Detox

A detox (aka detoxification) is the process of weaning from a substance in an effective and controlled environment, typically by tapering the substance or by substituting it with a less damaging alternative. 

A safe and effective detox will minimise the negative withdrawal symptoms, preventing complications and streamlining the detox process.

This is the first stage of alcohol addiction treatment – and it can be difficult as alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. During this stage of alcohol rehab, all access to alcohol will be cut off, allowing your body to free itself from alcohol dependency.

You may be provided with alcohol addiction medication to help you manage the unpleasant alcohol withdrawal symptoms and to reduce alcohol cravings. This process usually lasts around two weeks, but this can depend on your age, weight, and your typical alcohol drinking habits and drinking history

Many people prefer to safely detox on an inpatient basis in a residential rehab facility, especially when it comes to serious withdrawal symptoms.

Therapy

Upon successfully completing the detox phase, you’ll undergo alcohol addiction therapy. Depending on the treatment facility you choose and the nature of your addiction, you’ll be offered alcohol counselling and group sessions to help you overcome your alcohol addiction.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is widely offered. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, and actions are linked – and understanding more about your thoughts and feelings can help you control and understand your actions. CBT can be effective when it comes to understanding your triggers, which can help you prevent relapses in the future.

Secondary Treatment

Upon completing rehab, you may want to continue secondary treatment or aftercare. This usually involves attending outpatient centres as well as attending support groups. Once you’ve been discharged, we won’t just wave goodbye – we know stopping drinking can involve a long recovery process, and we will support you throughout your recovery.

Be sure to contact us to find a treatment provider today, whether it be for alcohol addiction or other substance abuse. We can help you with cocaine rehab, heroin rehab, cannabis rehab, and many more. Have a chat with us to discuss the best treatment providers for you, whether you have a specific treatment provider in mind or a specific treatment centre.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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