When the time comes to start asking these questions surrounding quitting alcohol, it typically means that it’s time to start the process itself. Wondering what happens when you stop drinking is only natural given how severe it’s portrayed in the media. While most situations are dramatized in movies and TV, the concerns around alcohol withdrawal is very real.
Don’t let the concerns of what happens when you stop drinking keep you away from a life of freedom from addiction. As a leading addiction treatment center, America’s Rehab Campuses are fully equipped to help with the process of detoxing which includes managing withdrawal symptoms. Medication is provided for physical symptom relief and mental health professionals are on-site for the psychological impacts.
Breaking Down the ‘Shock’ of Quitting Alcohol
Hearing that your body will go through a form of shock when you quit drinking can be enough for many to give up on sobriety and continue their alcohol abuse. As such, it’s important to understand that the shock one goes through will vary by individual as well as the severity of their alcohol consumption.
Once you stop drinking, your mind and body have to learn how to function without it. As a depressant, alcohol slows down your brain’s processing speeds and inhibit communication between the various parts of the nervous system. The drunk feeling so many are after comes from these interactions, leading to loss of fine motor skills and the ability to process information as it’s received.
Without the alcohol present, your mind goes into overdrive after being suppressed for so long. It takes anywhere from 12 to 48 hours for the withdrawal symptoms to begin. The most common withdrawal effects include:
- Heightened levels of fear and paranoia
- Fever and sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
A majority of these symptoms will alleviate themselves within 7-10 days of your last drink, though the impact alcohol abuse has on the brain is a lifelong side effect. The more severe cases of alcohol addiction can see an additional set of symptoms known as delirium tremens, the outcome of immense dependency on alcohol developed through consistent heavy drinking over long periods of time.
Delirium Tremens and the Symptoms
Delirium tremens, also known as DT, is a condition that requires immediate medical attention and follow-up supervision for a safe detox. DT can manifest as more severe versions of the withdrawal symptoms listed above with added chest pains and possibility of stroke or heart attack.
DT will also include new psychological symptoms such as:
- Inability to process information or hold conversation
- Quick and severe reactions to stressful situations
- Confusion and delusion about what’s real and what’s not
You may have noticed that many withdrawal symptoms mirror the effects alcohol has on us during consumption. The reason is that the areas of the brain impacted by alcohol are unable to function properly without it due to the dependencies created.
Keeping the Shock to a Minimum
The most important goal for any addiction recovery is to keep the individual as comfortable and safe as possible during and after detox is complete. America’s Rehab Campuses are staffed with compassionate medical professionals who understand the needs of safe detox which allows them to put more energy into creating a comfortable experience.
It’s never too late to seek treatment for problem alcohol use, especially with the 24/7 support of our medical staff. Get your free confidential consultation for you or a loved one today to get started down the path of recovery.