Alcohol DetoxAlcohol Detox CentersDetox CenterManaging Alcohol Cravings During Detox
As a rule, recovery from alcohol addiction starts with a period of detox or detoxification. At the beginning of detox, you stop drinking. When you take this necessary step, you can expect to experience consequences in the form of withdrawal symptoms. Among the most typical symptoms of withdrawal are intense cravings for more alcohol. Unless you get help for these cravings, they can easily overwhelm you and set the stage for a relapse. An alcohol detox center will provide the assistance needed to manage your alcohol cravings. Supervised detox will also help you cope with the other potential effects of withdrawal. The end result is a much greater chance that you will successfully reach initial sobriety.

Why Do You Experience Alcohol Cravings During Detox?

Why do cravings and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal occur? Addiction is based partly on physical dependence, which means that your brain treats alcohol as an expected part of its chemical environment. Addiction also includes psychological dependence, meaning that you have a mental or emotional need for alcohol. This emotional need is closely tied to your physical need. When you enter detox and stop drinking, your dependent brain will react by sending you into withdrawal. Physical signs of alcohol withdrawal include such things as:
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
Cravings during withdrawal also have a physical side. However, their effects are largely psychological. They create a compelling urge to start drinking again.

How an Alcohol Detox Program Helps

One of the main goals of alcohol detox is helping you manage withdrawal. This doesn’t mean that you can entirely avoid cravings and other symptoms. Instead, an alcohol detox program aims to decrease the intensity of your symptoms.  This is important because of the effects that untreated withdrawal can have on you. At the very least, these effects will make you feel uncomfortable and unwell. Furthermore, if your symptoms get too intense, you may doubt your ability to make it through the withdrawal process. As a result, you may have increased chances of halting your recovery and returning to drinking. Cravings, in particular, are known for their potential to push you toward a relapse.  By easing your symptoms, an alcohol detox program helps keep them at a tolerable level. Common options for achieving this goal include:
  • IV fluids and other forms of support for your overall health
  • Medical monitoring of your vital signs
  • Sedatives and other medications
These options may be used separately or in combination. 

The Alcohol Detox Timeline

Not everyone withdraws from alcohol at the same rate. However, it’s possible to give a rough estimate of your likely detox timeline. Most people enter withdrawal when they’ve gone about six to twelve hours without a drink. For the next one to three days, the symptoms of withdrawal grow worse. After reaching a peak of intensity, symptoms fade over the next few days.  Unfortunately, your alcohol cravings during detox may not fade over the same short amount of time. In fact, it’s common to experience lingering cravings. That’s one of the big reasons why detox is the beginning of your alcohol recovery, not the end. To learn to cope with your cravings long-term, you need to enter a primary alcohol treatment program. All addiction specialists recommend that you take this next step. 

Get Help Managing Your Alcohol Cravings During Detox

To get help managing your alcohol cravings and other symptoms, seek out a detox program in your area. High-quality programs have extensive experience treating everything from mild to severe withdrawal. No matter how your symptoms affect you, trained experts will help you stay safe at all times. They will also provide the targeted help you need to keep your withdrawal symptoms under control.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment