Your Guide to the Stages of Alcohol Recovery

By detoxing, you jump-start the healing process, eliminating alcohol and its toxic by-products from your body and reducing acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the process. After the initial withdrawal process that peaks hours after consumption, alcohol detox your body will need time to remove toxins and alcohol from your organs. After this period, you might experience mood swings, sweats, and intense urges. It’s important that you’re in a safe and stable environment while you detox.

  • The mental challenge of this stage is not to let anything make you feel defeated.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can take its toll on the body, causing serious damage to various organs like the heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system.
  • Paying attention to your bowel health is an important aspect to detoxifying your body.
  • Self-detox is an individualized approach without professional or medical support.
  • Make sure you read and follow the advice carefully, and always be prepared to call an ambulance in an emergency.
  • You may not need to completely reinvent your life to quit drinking, but making a few changes in your surroundings to help avoid alcohol triggers can make a big difference.

For example, if you normally drink 20 units a day, try reducing this to 18 units a day. Additionally, sobriety also equips you with the clarity to make smarter food and lifestyle choices. You might be more motivated to pick up exercises, maintain a balanced diet, and look into other weight management strategies.

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While some natural remedies may offer support during alcohol detoxification, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using them. Examples include herbal teas, certain supplements, and mindfulness techniques. The severity of these symptoms vary on duration and intensity of alcohol use and other factors. Common signs of alcohol withdrawal symptoms are headaches, nausea, seizures, and insomnia.

If you typically drink espressos, which have more caffeine than other caffeinated drinks, start by cutting it with half or even a quarter of decaf coffee. Then, every few days, cut it down further, slowly reducing your intake over time. Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, LD, talks about safely scaling back your caffeine consumption and how to do so without getting a headache or other caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

What giving up that midweek glass of wine really does to your body

Avoid people who may encourage you to drink alcohol or may not support your decision to stop. It may be easier on your rehabilitation to skip visits with “drinking buddies” or avoid gatherings with a focus on drinking. Dietary guidelines recommend that if you drink, men limit daily drinking to two drinks or less per day and women limit their drinking to one drink or less per day. Consuming more than that can lead to liver damage and heart disease, and increase your risk for some cancers.

  • People frequently use alcohol to self-medicate themselves, but when they stop drinking, these disorders can worsen.
  • When it comes to drinking, my own experience tells me that it is not the first week but the following months and years that demand the hardest work.
  • The process can differ from person to person and is influenced by several factors, such as the frequency and amount of alcohol consumed, general health, and individual metabolism.
  • Detox doesn’t treat addiction, which is a disease characterized by compulsive behaviors, such as chronic alcohol use.

Studies show that intense cravings increase your risk for relapse. People who experience more severe cravings are also less likely to seek treatment for their opioid disorder.3 This makes it difficult to quit opioids or begin treatment. Detoxing from opioids is dangerous because it can cause withdrawal symptoms. Opioids bind with receptors in different areas of the body to block pain signals. Those that bind with opioid receptors in the brain release dopamine.