What To Expect During Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcoholism can have many negative impacts on your health, employment status, and relationships. Deciding to stop drinking is a wonderful choice you can make for yourself. However, if you are a heavy drinker, or you've been drinking for a long time, you may experience withdrawal when you quit. Knowing what to expect during this process can make it easier to bear. Here is what you should expect during alcohol withdrawal:

1. Alcohol Cravings

This is the most common and most expected side effect of alcohol withdrawal. Even if you're sure about your decision to stop drinking, you will crave alcohol. Both your body and mind have become reliant on this drug, and you may feel a powerful compulsion to drink. It can be helpful to have another person around to hold you accountable. They can remind you of all the reasons you want to quit if you begin to feel your resolve wavering.

2. Unpleasant Feelings

You will probably experience many unwanted feelings during the withdrawal process. Anxiety, sadness, and anger are all common responses. You may feel emotionally out of control. Any mental disorders that were being suppressed due to self-medication with alcohol will come to the forefront. However, once you can identify these disorders and feelings, you will be able to seek appropriate treatment for them.

3. Insomnia

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. That means that it slows your heart rate, respiration, and brain activity. Alcohol can have a soporific effect, and many people with alcohol addictions have come to rely on it as a sleep aid. Once you stop drinking, you may have a hard time falling asleep. This will pass, but in the meantime, you may ask a doctor for sleep aids to help.

4. Hallucinations

In severe cases of alcoholism, withdrawal can cause vivid hallucinations. You may hear things that aren't really there, or feel sensations that don't exist. Fortunately, hallucinations usually only last a couple of days. If you think you may experience hallucinations when you stop drinking, you should seek medical assistance for your detox period.

If you think you're likely to experience withdrawal, consider detoxing with the help of a detox alcohol treatment service. You can find such a service as part of inpatient or outpatient treatment centers. Detox alcohol treatment can protect you from the most dangerous side effects of detoxing. There will be doctors on hand to help you if you succumb to some of the more severe side effects of withdrawal, such as seizures. Put yourself in the capable hands of the caring staff at a treatment center.