The effects of alcohol withdrawal have stopped many that have sought the better life promised to them by sobriety dead in their tracks. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary greatly in intensity from barely noticeable to barely bearable.
The problem is compounded by the fact that alcoholism by its very nature instigates the usage of a substance other than oneself to numb feelings of pain and discomfort. During withdrawal, not only is the security blanket of alcohol not available to numb the pain, but the lack of the security blanket is the actual cause of the pain. This can make it very difficult to abstain from alcohol.
The good news is: There is definite hope. This is evidenced by the countless individuals who have persevered through the withdrawal process and are presently victorious in their fight for sobriety. Many of the tactics that these recovering alcoholic used to withstand the pain of withdrawal can be helpful to the alcoholic who has recently begun to fight the urge to drink. Whether the alcoholic themselves, of loved ones of the alcoholic, the following suggestions will aid greatly in learning how to help with alcohol withdrawal.
Dehydration and nausea are common during alcohol withdrawal. Increasing fluid intake is important, especially electrolyte-containing fluids.
Depend on a support system
Alert those close to you that you intend to begin a detox from alcohol. The support of friends and family can be a make or break aspect of the program. It may be wise to schedule days during detox in a way that does not leave the detoxing person alone for long periods of time.
Avoid People, Places And Things
This concept, which is central to Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy, may be of even greater importance during a recovering addict’s detox phase. Many of these drinking buddies unfortunately, will not want to see the recovering addict kick the drinking habit. These buddies will often minimize the recovering person need for sobriety and may go as far to offer a drink.
Not all drinking buddies will be unsupportive of a recovering alcoholic’s search for sobriety. Minimal contact should still be kept with well-meaning drinking buddies however, as mental triggers can many times instigate intensity in physical withdrawals.
Stand Strong Through Cravings
One certainty while enduring alcohol withdrawals will be periodically experiencing intense cravings for a drink. These cravings will often start small, then increase in intensity until reaching a peak that may temporarily dominate all thoughts of the recovering individual. If the resolve of the affected person stays intact the cravings will pass in a short while.
It is important that to remember that these cravings can occur at any time. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security after fighting off a craving. Also, do not get overconfident if a considerable amount of time passes between cravings.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise will not rank high on the to-list of persons suffering through alcohol withdrawals but can offer great benefit. When a person exercises, endorphins are released into the brain that stimulates feelings of euphoria. These ‘feel good’ endorphins create feelings of happiness in the recovering individual and can help combat withdrawal symptoms.
Exercise also increases confidence, which gives long-term benefits to the process of alcohol recovery.
Find A Hobby
It has been said that an idle mind is the devil’s playground. The recovering alcoholic that begins the process to stop indulging in his addiction will suddenly find that he or she has a lot more time on his hands than he has been accustomed to. The addict may become shocked once discovering just how much of his or life centered on drinking.
The efforts to remain sober will be enhanced if the recovering alcoholic can find productive activities with which to fill the void in time and activity. Many times the a long forgotten hobby can be rediscovered. Just as impactful can be the beginning of a brand-new hobby.
Reading Is Fundamental
As is the case with rediscovering hobbies, many addicts will come to the realization that it has been many years since the reading of their last book. Books are a fantastic way to escape the drudgery of withdrawal. Select a reading choice with no regards to anything except for pleasure.
Take A Walk
Going for a long walk is a good way to battle against tough times during the detox process. Sometimes, just finding the strength to pull oneself from the couch and head outdoors can be the needed catalyst to recharge the mind and body.
While walking it is important to breathe deeply while taking time to be fully attentive to the details of the scenery around the individual. There should be no thought of past or future events but should remain only on deep breathing and the surrounding scenery.
The road to recovery is never easy and the withdrawal symptoms associated with detox from alcohol is no doubt one of the worst parts of the recovery process. The suggestions above can bring relief from impact of withdrawal but it is important for the recovering alcoholic to remember that the fight for his or her sobriety will not be won without some discomfort. It is also important to remember that all suggestions are not necessary for every individual. For some, incorporating a few of these options and making good use of them is sufficient.