Get help today 888-287-0471 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Alcoholism Help – Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment Programs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 51% of Americans aged 12 and over have used alcohol in the past 60 days. With a statistic like this, it makes sense why alcoholism is a problem. If you are an individual that has suffered alcohol addiction, it is possible for you to get alcoholism help.

Available Addiction Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options available for you once you decide to get alcoholism help. What works for one person may not work for you. You should seek help from a professional that understands alcohol abuse. A professional can help you analyze your situation and find the right treatment program for you. A quick fixit not available for alcohol addiction.It is a long road to recovery.

Detox begins approximately eight hours after you have had your last drink, and it peaks anywhere from 24 to 28 hours. Alcohol detox can last up to a week, but it can last longer depending on the individual. Addiction is a disease that affects the way the brain works.

What are Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

While you are going through alcohol detox, you may begin to experience some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Moodiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nightmares
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Fever
  • Blackouts

Building a Tolerance Before Getting Addicted

Long-term use of alcohol usually results in tolerance. You may begin to drink more in order to experience the same results that you once did.

“Long-term use of alcohol usually results in tolerance.”
Withdrawal symptoms can also be felt after one missed drink in individuals who have been drinking over a long time. There are certain warning signs that accompany any addiction whether it is drugs or alcohol. When you become addicted to alcohol, the things that once gave you satisfaction, such as normal daily activities, no longer matter to you. You may find yourself constantly thinking of alcohol, and wondering when you will get your next dose. Some addicts will hide alcohol in random places so they always have it around.

You may begin using in secret or making excuses for your alcohol use. Addicts often feel anxiety that they will run out. Relationships often begin to deteriorate and an addict can even become aggressive and forget their responsibilities. This can also make it hard to hold down a job or maintain grades at school.

How Inpatient Treatment Centers Might Help

An inpatient treatment center is often the treatment of choice for alcoholism help. The main difference between inpatient treatment programs and other programs is that you will live in the facility while going through the program. This is often the best choice for individuals that have relapsed or for those that are suffering from multiple addictions. Inpatient treatment programs are far superior to any other type of rehabilitation because they remove you from any stress and old habits. Inpatient treatment programs allow you to spend all of your time and energy focusing on recovery.

Unsure where to start? Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.

Are Outpatient Treatment Programs Right for You?

“Outpatient treatment facilities are excellent options for those who suffer from only one type of addiction.”
Outpatient treatment facilities are excellent options for those who suffer from only one type of addiction. An outpatient program allows you to spend the majority of your day in a medically supervised program. The trained staff will help you get through the detox phase of the program, and help you focus on ways to occupy your time instead of resorting to drug use. You will spend your day going through the treatment program, and at night you will be allowed to return home to your family.

You are not required to stay but you are entrusted to return each day. This type of treatment is not the best choice from anyone that has suffered from years of addiction.

Medications Utilized During Detoxification

Medication is a commonly used treatment when you are trying to get alcoholism help with alcohol detox.Medications are usually used in conjunction with counseling when an individual with trying to get alcoholism help. There are currently three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the use in alcohol withdrawal. These medications include:

  • Acamprosate –Acamprosate works by changing the way the brain works. When you begin to abuse alcohol, it changes the way your brain functions. Acamprosate reverses the damage that alcohol does to your brain so that it begins to work normally again. When you begin taking the medication, it will prevent you from drinking again by eliminating the cravings for alcohol. One thing to keep in mind is the drug will not help unless you stop drinking. It will also not help to control the withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detoxification. Acamprosate is used in combination with a medication to control withdrawal symptoms in order to produce the best result.
  • Disulfiram is another medication used to help with getting sober. The medication produces unpleasant side effects when it is taken while drinking alcohol. The negative effects are enough to counteract the symptoms of feeling high and relaxed from alcohol use. The medication must be taken on a daily basis in order for it to be effective.
  • Natrexone helps to reduce any alcohol cravings that you may have while going through detox and rehabilitation. This is very useful for those in outpatient treatment programs because individuals in outpatient programs are more tempted to relapse during treatment.

Does Individual Behavior Therapy Work?

Alcohol addicted woman sitting with her Counselor talking to her at a private sessionIndividual behavior therapy allows you to meet one-on-one with a therapist to help discover why you do the things you do, and to help you get alcoholism help. The doctor will help the patient identify triggers that push you to abuse alcohol. Once the triggers are identified, you can replace that behavior with a new hobby or interest. You will also learn how to manage your time so you do not spend too many hours alone or too much time without anything to do. An individual that remains idle or one that gets bored easily may find himself or herself slipping back into old behaviors.

Group therapy is often used when you are going through alcoholism treatment. Group treatment allows you to speak with others that are going through a similar addiction. They can help you develop self-confidence and self-esteem by sharing past experiences and learning how others have learned to cope with addiction. It is often one of the most important steps in recovery. A group of recovering addicts will meet together with medical supervision to share experiences and advice with one another. You can also give one another suggestions on how to handle stress and daily living.

Family therapy is useful for those living with family members during the addiction, or anyone that may have hurt family members. This type of therapy brings problems and issues out into the open that may have occurred as the result of the addiction. It helps family members let go of old problems and begin anew. Family members are often enablers to the drug use because they will put up their own self-defense against the abuse. Their behavior can unintentionally enable the drug user to continue using. Family therapy helps family members recognize signs of abuse and teaches them to know what to say and what to do should a relapse occur.

Choosing the Best Treatment Facility

It is important to choose the right alcohol addiction treatment facility to suit you. You should ask several things about the treatment facility when you are looking to get alcoholism help. Visit the facility and make observations of the attitude of the staff and any patients that you see. Are they happy or do they all seem sad to be there? Meet with staff members and consider the following:

  • What forms of treatment does the facility offer? Will you receive individual care and group therapy? Is the facility strictly for those suffering from drug addiction or do they treat other addictions?
  • How long is the typical stay for someone going through tramadol addiction treatment?
  • What makes the facility different from any other program that you are considering?
  • What types of reviews have others made of the place? You can research online to see what others are saying about the facility.
  • Will you have your own room or will you have to share a room with someone else?
  • What types of foods do they serve? Do they allow special accommodations for meal plans?
  • Will you be allowed to talk to members of your family or friends while you are going through treatment or will you be isolated until you are released?
  • What forms of entertainment are allowed for guests? Can you watch TV and will you have access to the telephone or Internet?
  • What is the ratio of doctors and help to that of the patients? Will you constantly be waiting on care or do they have enough employees so you will be taken care of promptly?
  • What forms of payment do they accept? Do they file your type of insurance or will you have to pay out of pocket?

Studies have shown the longer that you remain in a treatment program the more successful your rehabilitation will be. It is also recommended that you stay in a facility for at least 90 days for it to be effective. This period can be different depending on the individual and depending on the severity of the addiction.

Regularly Attending Individual Therapy

Individual therapy will help you focus on how to deal with daily stress and will help you recognize any warning signs of relapse. Your physician may prescribe other medications to help you deal with anxiety so you can deal with any anxiety that you may be feeling.

The Benefits of Support Groups

Join a local support group to help you remain on track. Ask your doctor about a local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group near you. The groups are completely free and the only requirement for membership is that you have used or abused alcohol in the past, and you have a desire to get alcoholism help. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the sole purpose of AA is for members to remain sober and to help others that are seeking sobriety. AA members use a twelve-step method as a guide to live life without alcohol. These steps help you to identify weakness and to learn how to react during stress and moments of trial. AA support groups plan events and vacations so that members can recharge and learn new ways to fight their addiction.

Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine

When you have reached the recovery stage of your addiction, you should take good care of yourself to help keep yourself alcohol free. Exercise and meditation releases endorphins that can make you feel good so you do not have to turn to drugs and alcohol to be happy. Once you begin to eat healthy and feel good about yourself, you put yourself at a lower risk for relapse.

If you believe you or someone you love needs help to get alcoholism help, call the free national referral hotline in order to find help. It is always confidential, private and secure.


Did you know that nearly half of all American high school seniors have been drunk at least once?


Alcohol use can increase your risk of cancer, stroke and liver disease.It is extremely important after you get alcoholism help to keep all appointments and group meetings concerning your rehabilitation. Theses appointments and meetings will help keep you on track and will help prevent a relapse from occurring.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.