An addiction to alcohol is one of the most dangerous, and also one of the most common, vices that we humans are known to indulge in. When a person realizes just how destructive an addiction to alcohol can be and exactly what alcohol consumption does to their brain and their body, they certainly want to quit. If a person wants to quit drinking, the very first thing they need to do is get rid of the alcohol already in their body by going through an alcohol detox. There is a lot a person needs to know about alcohol, but the following are the things I wish I knew about alcohol detox a year ago:
Alcohol detox is not at all equivalent to rehabilitation
Every other person makes the mistake of confusing detoxing with rehabilitation. An alcohol detox is not at all the equivalent of a stint in rehab, and neither does it consist of the same things. However, alcohol detox is widely considered to be the first step towards rehabilitation as a person needs to sober up and get the alcohol out of their system before they can go on to taking part in a rehabilitation program. In addition, alcohol detox only takes a week (or a couple of weeks if a person’s addiction is more severe and the amount of alcohol in their body is greater), whereas rehabilitation takes at least 30-60 days.
It is as hard as it could possibly be
Slowly getting rid of every single ounce of alcohol in one’s body, with the body’s craving for alcohol getting stronger and stronger as each ounce leaves it, does not at all sound like a piece of cake. However, an alcohol detox is way, way harder than it sounds, which only goes to show how tough weaning off alcohol and ridding the body of every single molecule of alcohol that it contains can be. The first few hours of an alcohol detox feel like days, and the rest, well the rest are worse.
The degree of self-control required to taper off alcohol is simply astounding
Before a person goes on an alcohol detox, they are explicitly warned of the consequences of tapering off alcohol and are told that quitting drinking requires more self-control than they have ever had to exhibit before. However, the actual degree of self-control that a person requires in order to successfully taper off alcohol is simply astounding. Most people don’t have nearly as much self-control as it takes a person to make sure that not even a drop of alcohol enters their body until whatever amount of alcohol that their body contains has been flushed out of their system and is no longer there, which is why not everyone is capable of successfully going through an alcohol detox.
Detoxing can result in symptoms of withdrawal
As stated before, an alcohol detox is not at all the same thing as rehabilitation. However, while symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol are associated with rehabilitation, they can also be brought on by detoxing. When a person detoxes, they rid their body of all the alcohol it contains, and as their body gets rid of the alcohol in it, it yearns for more alcohol. Since a person cannot, at any cost, fulfill their body’s yearning for more alcohol while they detox, their body can start to exhibit symptoms of withdrawal. Headaches, pain and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol that are exponentially worse can be brought on by a full-scale alcohol detox.
Quitting alcohol changes you
Prolonged and heavy consumption of alcohol suppresses the neurotransmitters in a person’s body, effectively changing who they are and every inch, every aspect of their personality. When a person goes through an alcohol detox, the things alcohol did to their brain start being undone, as a result of which a person goes through a large number of different changes, some of which can be quite drastic and substantial.
Alcohol detox is the hardest if you go at it alone
If a person wants to go on an alcohol detox, they can either do so in the comfort of their own home completely alone or with the advice of a medical professional, or at an inpatient alcohol detox facility. Alcohol detox is the hardest if a person goes at it alone, which is one of the most significant reasons why any person who wants to go through an alcohol detox should get admitted to an inpatient detox facility.
The chances of getting it right the first time are very slim
Alcohol detox is like riding a bike for the first time without any training wheels on. While there are a few people that can ride a bike flawlessly in their very first attempt, the chances of a person doing so are virtually nonexistent. Likewise, the chances of a person successfully going through an alcohol detox are extremely slim, and that’s putting it mildly.