There comes a moment in every alcoholic’s journey that they realize their drinking goes beyond normal social behaviors. Once you realize alcohol has become an addiction for you, you may try quitting, only to give up when withdrawal is painful and difficult.

If that’s your story—or if the fear of painful alcohol withdrawal symptoms has kept you from quitting in the first place—don’t despair. Read on to learn more about alcohol withdrawal symptoms and how you can detox from alcohol as safely and comfortably as possible.

What are the alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

As explained by WebMD, alcohol is a depressive substance that slows down brain function. If you drink alcohol on a frequent basis, your central nervous system adjusts by keeping your brain in a more keyed up state. If you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, your brain stays in that more awake state, which can spark a host of painful physical symptoms.

It can take as little as six hours after your last drink to begin experiencing anxiety, headaches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, sweating, or shaky heads. In 12-24 hours, you may experience seizures or hallucinations. Five percent of addicts in withdrawal also experience delirium tremens (DTS) after 48-72 hours alcohol-free.

These symptoms make detox difficult, especially if you attempt to quit drinking on your own.

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Is it safe to do alcohol detox at home?

Uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms aside, it might be easy to believe that home would be the best place to detox. You can stay in the comfort of your own bed, stay close to loved ones, and save money on addiction rehab. There are even online programs that can make at-home, self-supervised treatments seem doable if not easy.

However, detoxing from an alcohol addiction at home is neither safe nor easy. For one thing, cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms make it nearly impossible for an addict to quit alcohol through sheer willpower. Professional support is critical throughout the early days of detox and the following weeks of learning to live a sober lifestyle. After all, addiction recovery doesn’t stop upon the completion of detox.

It’s also important to remember that once your body has built up a physical dependence on the presence of alcohol, to suddenly quit drinking is extremely dangerous. As mentioned above, delirium tremens (DTs) can occur 48-72 hours after quitting alcohol. DTs involve hallucinations, a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, fever, and more. Without proper treatment, these symptoms can lead to a heart attack or even prove fatal.

A safe detox includes tapering off your intake over a period of time. Without proper training, it’s impossible for you or your loved ones to properly monitor your physical symptoms for signs that you need immediate medical attention.

For these reasons, it’s always best to seek out medically supervised detox in order to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms and safely, successfully quit drinking alcohol.

What is medically supervised detox?

Medically supervised detox is an opportunity to safely detox from alcohol with professional support. An addictionologist can also determine if you’re a candidate for pharmaceutical support to manage and minimize any uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Medically supervised detox can take place in a hospital or in a rehab center.

Where can I safely detox from alcohol in Hawaii?

It’s important to remember that detox is only the first step of recovery from alcohol addiction. Here at Hawaii Island Recovery, we provide medically supervised detox to help you begin your journey to recovery as safely and comfortably as possible.

After you detox, you’ll benefit from a full treatment plan that empowers you to return to your family, work, and life without drinking. This treatment plan includes evidence-based therapies, experiential therapies, and holistic health services all within the helpful framework of the popular 12-step program.

To learn more about how you can safely detox from alcohol in Hawaii, contact us today at 877-721-3556