If you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol consumption, they might be dealing with an addiction. Alcohol addiction can lead to alcohol withdrawal, symptoms that can be so uncomfortable; they lead people to drink repeatedly no matter how much it might hurt them, just to avoid those symptoms. But does alcohol require detox?

Is Alcohol Addictive?

Yes, alcohol is addictive. Any addictive substance requires detox. Detox from alcohol can help you remove any remaining toxins from your body. Understanding why you might need a Southern California alcohol detox program starts with understanding how alcohol addiction works.

With alcohol consumption, you get a hit of happy chemicals or hormones in your brain that leave you feeling good every time you drink. This is the same feeling you are supposed to get as a reward when you do good things for yourself, like exercising, having sex, raising children, working hard, or eating right.

Occasional drinking might give you some of these same feelings, but if you drink regularly, your body starts only to produce these feelings when you consume alcohol. You might even reach the point where doing the things that are supposed to give you rewards, like exercising or eating right, simply don’t cut it.

What’s more, alcohol consumption changes the structure of your brain and the way your brain communicates with your body. The more this happens, the more likely you are to experience alcohol withdrawal if you try to stop drinking. As soon as you stop, the buildup of toxins in your body can lead to withdrawal symptoms. So, does alcohol require detox? Yes, it absolutely does.

Does Alcohol Require Detox Before Treatment?

Before you get any type of treatment for alcohol addiction, you need to detox from alcohol. An alcohol detox program should be done in a professional setting by medical staff who can monitor your vitals, check for any complications, and give you medicine to help ease your symptoms. The difficulties of alcohol withdrawal can be very serious, resulting in severe dehydration, seizures, hallucinations, and tremors. There is a high risk of health problems and even death if you don’t have the right alcohol detox program.

What are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Understanding answers to questions like “does alcohol require detox” means understanding what your withdrawal symptoms can be. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can start within a few hours of your last drink. If you are physically addicted to alcohol, and you suddenly stopped drinking, or you suddenly start drinking much less than normal, you might experience:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Rapid or abnormal breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

The more you succumb to alcoholism, the worst the changes in your brain activity become. When you drink regularly, it changes the function of your GABA and glutamine receptors in your brain. This slows down your brain function, decreases anxiety, and gives you a feeling of sedation. Your brain decreases the amount of GABA your body would normally release and increases glutamate to compensate for the changes that alcohol produces.

This leads to tolerance. The more often you drink, the more your brain adapts and changes the regular amount of GABA and glutamate. So, when you stop drinking, these neurochemicals aren’t produced to the degree they should, and it disrupts your brain activity. You end up hyper-aroused, on the opposite end of decreased anxiety and sedation.

These symptoms can be mild to severe, but fear of severe withdrawal symptoms prevents many people from getting the help they need.

How to Find Alcohol Detox Programs

Don’t let fear hold you back from getting the help you need. When you find the right alcohol detox program, you can get help for withdrawal management before you transition into an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.

To start any Beverly Hills rehab program, you have to start clean. And getting clean means moving through the withdrawal symptoms. For alcohol addiction, withdrawal symptoms can last up to one week. Things like anxiety, insomnia, and abdominal pain can set in almost immediately while other symptoms progress over the course of the next few days. Having a medical team on hand can help you manage these symptoms as they ebb and flow, keeping you as comfortable as possible.

One of the biggest fears people have when it comes to getting clean is the fear of withdrawal symptoms. We can help you change your life at our Beverly Hills rehab facility by getting medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms and ensure you get through the withdrawal timeline safely and effectively. With Total RMH, we provide alcohol detox programs that begin with withdrawal management. 
Contact Total RMH to help set up a withdrawal management program today.