How To Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol detox is a necessary and the first step towards sobriety. However, some patients may be so physically and mentally dependent on the substance that the moment the alcohol is taken away from their presence, they experience withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms depend on how dependent the person was on alcohol. It could be mild to severe to the point of medical intervention. There is also the main issue of preventing the patient from relapsing since they will do everything to get access to alcohol in order to relieve their pain. As such, we have created a guide on how to successfully deal with alcohol withdrawal at home.
Alcohol Withdrawal Relief Tips To Try
Drink electrolyte-rich fluids
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often include nausea and dehydration. As such, it is important that the patient stays hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, preferably those rich in electrolytes. Sports drinks will keep them hydrated and help them stay energized. They may also consume foods rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium as these are likewise rich in electrolytes. The electrolytes help the body hydrate itself.
Be with company while going through alcohol withdrawal
Inform your friends and family when you are about to begin your detox journey so that they may make themselves available for you. They will help you throughout the detox process by eliminating alcohol in your presence, treading the subject of your recovery lightly, and overall become a supportive entity to motivate you through it all. Detoxing alone is very difficult and you must take all the help you could get to make it more bearable.
You are not alone
It is very comforting to know that you are not alone on the difficult journey of alcohol detox. Millions of patients have gone through it and survived. They came out stronger than ever, with more resistance to their cravings. Take comfort in the fact that that is perfectly attainable and that you are not in solitude on this journey. You may attend group therapy and other group counseling sessions to seek inspiration from fellow patients’ stories.
Conquer your cravings
Expect your alcohol cravings to become persistent during detox. There will come a time when you will badly crave a drink. It helps to be aware of what your personal triggers are. These could be stressors or certain social situations. It is best to avoid these triggers and find a way to ride out your cravings. You may do this by distracting yourself with activities, contacting your sponsor, or just talking to a friend. Once you master the art of conquering the first few cravings, the next ones should be more manageable.
It is easy to lose sight of why you are even attempting to become better in the first place, especially if your cravings are intense. As such, it is important to stay grounded so that you will be mentally prepared for all the hurdles of recovery. You may begin by writing yourself a letter full of encouragement, love, and support. Keep this letter nearby so that it is easily accessible whenever you are tempted to quit from recovery. Another tip is to create a “first aid kit.” This kit will not contain medical items but rather meaningful items that will help you stay grounded and motivated. The items may include letters from loved ones, photos of your family, or simple reminders of the good life before the addiction. Whenever you feel like you are on the verge of relapsing, just sift through the items to help you stay on track.
A healthy mind and body will do a lot in keeping you motivated. When your health is declining, your thought processes may be compromised which means that you are more likely to relapse. As such, it is important to nourish your mind and your body. Stay active. Eat a balanced diet. Regularly journal or meditate.
A healthy body is also more resistant to alcohol cravings since your sugar levels are stable. Alcohol turns into sugar when metabolized which means that sugar imbalances may trigger cravings. Make sure to incorporate lots of whole foods and less sugar in your diet to keep your sugar levels stable.
Steer clear of enablers
Do not interact with your drinking buddies since they can easily influence you to go back to drinking. These drinking advocates will hamper your growth. They will cause you to fail your mission for sobriety by tempting you with “just one drink” which can easily turn to more. They do not carry your best interests at heart since they themselves are not interested in recovery. They would want to see you suffer alongside them which is why it is best to cut ties with them during your detox period.
Practice breathing techniques
Breathing techniques are powerful quick fixes for cravings. Breathing techniques engage your prefrontal cortex which is the region of the brain responsible for reasoning and critical thinking. Simply put, breathing techniques help you reset. One simple exercise is to breathe in through your nose, hold for four seconds, breathe out through your mouth, and hold for four seconds. Repeat for as many times as necessary.
Get medical assistance when going through alcohol withdrawal
It is not recommended to go through alcohol detox alone. Severe withdrawal symptoms may manifest and these will require professional medical help. Contact R&R Recovery for an individualized plan on how to detox safely and correctly. If necessary, you may be admitted to inpatient rehab so that you will be surrounded by healthcare professionals 24/7 to medicate the worst withdrawal symptoms you may experience.