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Coping with Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Stages
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that occur with abrupt cessation of alcohol drinking. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal range from mild to severe. Since it’s necessary to go through this stage on the road to recovery, there’s a lot you can do to cope with withdrawal. This post will show you how to do so.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, especially when you also have nausea and vomiting. You can minimize the risk of dehydration and reduce the severity of nausea and vomiting by staying hydrated. Ideally, you should drink plenty of water and fluids rich in electrolytes such as sports beverages. These beverages generally supply the body with calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Additionally, one study found that water intake could reduce alcohol cravings.

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Eat a healthy diet

Nutrition plays an important role in coping with alcohol withdrawal. It’s important to bear in mind that alcohol use disorder can lead to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition. Lacking vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can put your health in danger.

Poor physical health could make you more vulnerable to symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Proper nutrition corrects nutritional deficiencies and improves your overall health. As a result, it can boost your chances for a successful recovery.

To cope with alcohol withdrawal more effectively, you will need to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, soups, and healthy fats. Strive to reduce or avoid intake of trans fats, heavily processed and refined foods, sugar-laden products, and other unhealthy foods.

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Take a cool shower

Alcohol withdrawal often includes symptoms such as clammy skin, sweating, and hot flashes. When trying to beat alcohol use disorder, it can be difficult to ignore these symptoms. Cool showers can help with that.

Taking a cool shower can take your mind off the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Evidence shows that cool showers are helpful for alleviating symptoms of depression, too. Depression is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Additionally, cool showers can also reduce anxiety and increase willpower. Improved willpower is helpful for the treatment process.

Increase physical activity levels

One of the hallmark symptoms of substance use disorder is a lack of interest and motivation to do anything, including exercise. The same happens during alcohol withdrawal. You may not feel like engaging in physical activity at this point, but you should still try. Exercise exhibits a positive impact on abstinence and it can reduce the urge to drink.

In order to cope with alcohol withdrawal, you may want to engage in mild to moderate intensity of exercise, if you don’t feel well enough to participate in vigorous workouts. Exercise is an excellent mind-body tool for people who want to recover from alcohol use disorder.

Meditate

Meditation makes people more mindful and it increases their awareness. This ancient practice also improves concentration and willpower, because it involves focusing on your breaths without paying attention to thoughts that come to your mind.

Thanks to meditation, you can be more relaxed during withdrawal. At the same time, your strong willpower makes it easier to overcome common symptoms that occur at this time.

Meditation isn’t difficult. You can start with a short meditation, e.g. three to four minutes, and practice regularly to gradually increase the duration of each session.

Stay occupied

Keeping yourself busy and distracted can be of huge help during alcohol withdrawal. The best thing is that you have plenty of options here. Ideally, you should do something you enjoy because it grabs your attention. For example, you can read a book, write, paint, hike, listen to music, take up a new hobby such as gardening, and talk to your friends. Options are truly endless.

Don’t socialize with drinking buddies

Various tips and strategies are helpful for coping with alcohol withdrawal, but one of the most significant things you need to do is to stop socializing with drinking buddies.

When people develop an addiction, they tend to neglect their family and friends in favor of people who also drink a lot. These people enable and support your drinking problem. So, spending time with those specific people could worsen your alcohol withdrawal and hinder recovery.

Try not to socialize with your drinking buddies. Instead, try to spend time with family and friends that truly care for your mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Find a support group

You don’t have to go through alcohol withdrawal alone. A strong support system is crucial. Your friends and family provide both support and encouragement during recovery. They can also monitor you and keep track of symptoms and their severity. Having someone around can prevent potential complications. That said, your alcohol withdrawal should be performed under medical supervision for the best possible outcomes.

Support comes in many forms that go beyond friends and family members. They also extend to support groups and 12-step programs. Support groups include regular sessions where people who are in the same situation motivate and encourage one another. This can mean a lot for your mental health, and it can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms more effectively.

Find an alcohol detox center

Alcohol withdrawal can cause serious symptoms. Some of these symptoms can be life-threatening and difficult to cope with. Alcohol detox centers can help because the whole process is performed under medical supervision. Patients need much-needed support and get to reduce the risk of complications that may occur. Some people receive medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for alcohol.

Other tips that may help

Besides the abovementioned, other tips that can help you cope with alcohol withdrawal include:
  • Get enough sleep or rest
  • Practice relaxation techniques to stay calm
  • Stay away from high-risk places, i.e. places where alcohol is available
  • Practice yoga
  • Take care of yourself and your hygiene
  • Write yourself a letter to stay motivated

Conclusion

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many coping strategies that can help you reduce the intensity of these symptoms and support your recovery. Remember, a strong support system is vital. You don’t have to do it on your own.