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What Really Detoxes When You Withdraw from Alcohol

The liver is a well-known component of alcohol detox, but there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. Alcohol abuse heavily impacts the entire body, and when it is taken away, everything goes haywire.

Over time, alcohol “soaks” the important neurological pathways that deal with the neurotransmitters GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. Alcohol changes the way these circuits communicate, and the body overcompensates by releasing more neurotransmitters. When a person stops drinking, the neurotransmitters are firing erratically, and without alcohol to suppress the activity, withdrawal symptoms appear. It’s like a game of tug-of-war; when one person lets go (stops drinking), the other falls back, flailing wildly (nervous system).

This is why medical detox is critical for the alcoholic. The drastic increase of activity in the brain and central nervous system may cause delirium tremens (DTs) which could be life threatening. In addition to the nervous system, your heart is also under stress during detox and needs to be closely monitored. Benzodiazepines are most commonly used during alcohol detox to calm the nervous system, and will noticeably reduce the shakes many of us experience in withdrawal.

The digestive system begins detoxing, the liver is slowly filtering out toxins, and the rest of your body is feverishly working to flush itself of the poison. Your skin is sweating, you may be nauseous and dehydrated, and insomnia is keeping you awake for all of it. Fortunately, detox helps alleviate some of these symptoms and helps keep you as comfortable as possible.

Those who are dependent on alcohol are often malnourished. Again, detox helps with this, too. Alcohol prevents the absorption of B-vitamins, especially vitamin B-1 (Thiamin). In addition to adding healthy food into your diet, supplements are given which may prevent nerve damage often seen in alcoholics as the result of thiamine deficiency.

Aside from a whole body detox from alcohol, your mind begins its own detox. You will begin to think more clearly, and feel as though a fog has been lifted. You may begin experiencing emotions you haven’t felt in a long time. Most importantly, you will start to feel good. You won’t dread waking up in the morning, and may even want to start doing light stretching or yoga. If you want to start feeling better, don’t put your health and happiness on the back burner any longer. Recovery is possible, and we are here to help you get started.

The Serenity Recovery Center stands as a landmark of the Encino Hospital Medical Center offering the best of detox. Committed to providing comfort and care, our private detox program supports the first foundational steps of sobriety. Contact us today for information: 866.294.9401