Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be strong enough to make you lose your resolve to get sober. Trying to detox at home often leads to problems since you may not know how to manage your symptoms safely. At first, you might think that you can make it through dealing with a mild headache or nausea. However, withdrawal symptoms can quickly take a turn for the worse. In some cases, you could be setting yourself up for having dangerous symptoms such as hallucinations or seizures if you don’t have help with keeping your body stabilized as it adjusts to no longer having alcohol in its system. Pain medications can help with alcohol withdrawal, but there are things that you need to know about using it safely as you work through the early stages of your recovery.
Simply popping a few over the counter pain pills might temporarily help you with a headache, but they can’t stop you from experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. You may need to seek inpatient treatment for your withdrawal process if you have any of these risk factors for a severe reaction to quitting drinking.
You’ve been drinking regularly for over a year
You have a health condition such as epilepsy or heart disease
You’ve had delirium tremens or withdrawal seizures before
You have a known or suspected mental health condition
You’ve also been using other substances
If you do need pain medication while you are in a rehab program, the staff will be cautious about what kind you take. Some people do just fine with over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen. Others may need a prescription medication to help manage their symptoms. Supervised detox may involve using non-habit forming prescriptions in ways that help you deal with your symptoms safely.
For example, some seizure medications also have pain relieving effects that can help deal with both concerns at the same time. Since your goal is to detox from alcohol, you may prefer to deal with your symptoms naturally. If that is the case, then your treatment team can help you know when a medication is important for your recovery and when you can try to tough things out. Either way, you’ll benefit from having guidance with your detox process every step of the way.
What Other Ways Can a Detox Program Help With Alcohol Withdrawal?
Pain meds aren’t the only way to cope with your withdrawal symptoms. A rehab center is filled with people and activities that can help you feel your best as you move through your first few days of recovery. Your detox plan will likely address the need to nourish your body with healthy meals. Certain foods are known for helping people to feel better as they deal with an alcohol addiction. Correcting vitamin deficiencies can help you to minimize symptoms such as confusion and pain. You’ll also be encouraged to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important when you are taking pain medications, and doing so also helps you to restore your body’s proper balance. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, which might be made worse by withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Hydration helps these types of symptoms to pass faster.
There is also something that must be said for having moral support. Dealing with withdrawal symptoms can be scary. You may also be cranky and more prone to anger, which could create a bad situation if you are at home with your family members. Your treatment team will know how to help you stay calm, and they’ll reassure you that your body is adjusting to sobriety just fine. If you do experience delirium tremens or other serious symptoms, then you’ll feel safer knowing that a professional is addressing your care. Feeling safe and secure during this time in your life can ease symptoms such as anxiety and a racing heartbeat.
While you may have a few challenging moments, they’ll feel manageable when you have people there to help you stay distracted with relaxing activities. Your counselors can also teach you special techniques to stay on top of your symptoms. If you’ve ever practiced deep breathing or meditation, then you may already know just how helpful these practices are for keeping you calm. Being reminded of these techniques during difficult moments helps you thrive as you emerge from the withdrawal process.
Are you concerned about how you’ll deal with pain during alcohol withdrawal? You can talk to our counselors to get help planning for a safe and comfortable recovery by calling us at 424-499-2603 now!