People who drink too much alcohol often live in a constant state of denial that prevents them from getting help. Your loved one might think that it is normal to drink so much if they’ve always been exposed to people who over-imbibe regularly. Or, they may feel as though their behavior is justified since they deal with a lot of stress or work in a career where drinking is normalized. You should also consider the possibility that your loved one knows that they drink too much, but they are afraid to reach out for help. People who are addicted to alcohol sometimes feel embarrassed about their behavior, or they may think that they lack willpower. Being unable to quit drinking isn’t a sign of personal weakness. Instead, it is a clear sign that your loved one needs someone like you who wants to know how to encourage someone to go to alcohol detox. Offering encouragement is a compassionate way to make sure that your loved one gets help before they damage their health and reputation.
The first thing that you should know is that there are different stages involved with alcohol addiction recovery. The first stage is alcohol detox, and this is a time when many people are vulnerable to dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms that can include comas, seizures and hallucinations. Your loved one may have heard about these withdrawal symptoms or even experienced a few of them if they tried to quit drinking abruptly. Alcohol detox also has a series of stages that your loved one may go through that generally follow this timeline:
- Six to 12 hours after the last drink: A person may experience minor withdrawal symptoms that are similar to a hangover such as a headache, increased thirst and nausea.
- 12 to 24 hours after the last drink: Alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to increase, and some people may experience tactile, auditory or visual hallucinations. Shaking and tremors might also occur.
- 24 to 48 hours after the last drink: Your loved one may be most at risk for seizures and changes in their heart rate during this stage.
- 48 to 72 hours after the last drink: Some people may be feeling better as they reach the third day. However, others might find that their symptoms increase to the point that they need hospitalization.
After around the fifth to the seventh day after quitting drinking, most people’s symptoms begin to decrease. For people with an addiction, feeling better can sometimes cause them to think that their problem is over. If they resume drinking alcohol, then they put themselves at risk for having to go through the detox process all over again.
Make a Convincing Argument for Going to Alcohol Detox
Heavy drinkers should not try to stop drinking abruptly at home. Your loved one is most likely to experience severe detox symptoms if they’ve been drinking large amounts of alcohol or had withdrawal symptoms in the past. People with known health issues such as heart disease are also at risk of having their medical conditions worsen during the alcohol withdrawal process.
Although the detox symptoms can be severe, it is important to avoid filling your loved one with fear. Instead, talk to them gently about your concerns. One way to start is by asking open-ended questions. You can ask them if they’ve ever worried about how much they drink or noticed that they feel differently if they try to quit drinking. While practicing compassion, you can even bring up things that you have noticed such as them drinking to the point of passing out or not remembering things you talked about while they were under the influence of alcohol.
If you can get a positive response from your loved one, then bring up the option of going to a treatment center that offers alcohol detox assistance. Talking about the services that a detox program provides can give your loved one reassurance that they won’t suffer during the withdrawal period. For example, they may be able to use medication to lessen their symptoms. They’ll also be able to have their health monitored so that the appropriate actions are taken if they do experience a problem. Quality detox programs also help your loved one find ways to avoid falling back into their addiction. Continuing their treatment after detox sets them up with the tools that they need for long-term recovery.
Do you want more details about alcohol detox programs that you can share with someone you love? Give us a call today at 833-610-1174 to find out more.