by the staff of Drug Detox Central
Alcohol, for all its accessibility, is still a bit of a mystery. It is easy to get addicted to it and difficult to kick the habit and we still don’t know all the reasons why.
It was the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates who first described alcohol withdrawal. That’s how long this problem has plagued mankind. The only folk remedy that has been handed down is Milk Thistle. Modern science has confirmed that it is a good liver tonic, so the dark ages had at least one weapon in the war against alcohol.
We have many more medicines at our disposal — including Xanax — to help ease the detoxification process. Here is the underlying situation: alcohol changes your brain’s chemistry. So when you decide to get sober once and for all, your brain is going to fight you to get the chemicals it craves. How does this fight go? Well, first there is the incessant craving for alcohol. Then there is the anxiety that goes along with it. This is your brain trying to trick you into drinking. You will have the thought, “Just a little drink. To calm my nerves. And then I’ll never drink another drop.” But what happens is you get to that place over and over again. It can only be described as a hellish scenario where you are forever traveling in a circle, but thinking that this time it will be different.
The body also has purely physical reactions to the loss of alcohol. Diarrhea, vomiting, and sweats are common, so fluids are essential. Pepto-Bismal, dry toast and lots and lots of fluids will be needed. It is a messy process, but the physical reactions do decrease fairly quickly.
There is also the likelihood of seizures during withdrawals. This is why no one should try to detox from alcohol alone. Because the brain chemistry has been altered by years of alcohol exposure, you could say that the brain pitches a fit when it doesn’t get the chemicals it wants. That is a simplistic way to look at it, but when I use those words to describe the reality of what happens, people understand.
Alcohol detox is the best gift you can give yourself. It sounds scary and who would want the discomfort, but once you have rid your body of alcohol, you can truly begin to understand what it means to live a sober life.