What happens when you have a dependency on alcohol and you stop drinking?

Alcohol addiction can take its toll on your mind and body, as well as your relationships with family and friends. It’s important to understand that, after a certain point, the addiction renders you helpless and out of control. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to professionals for help.

You might think you can quit drinking on your own, but there are an array of serious side effects of alcohol withdrawal. Medical professionals recommend inpatient detox programs for people whose bodies have become dependent on alcohol.

The Hader Clinic offers same-day admissions and specialised detox withdrawal programs for such people. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction and needs help, book a free consultation today.

What is alcohol addiction?

First, it’s important to understand what behaviour qualifies as an addiction to alcohol. There’s enjoying a casual drink with friends, and then there is having one drink and not being able to stop yourself from reaching for that next glass.

Early on, some addicts won’t have built up a physical dependency on alcohol yet. And other alcoholics can strategically take days off from drinking to ensure they don’t develop that dependency. And then there are those who will get shaky and nauseous if they don’t have a drink within a certain amount of time.

What are the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

Side effects if alcohol withdrawal

When you stop drinking suddenly after drinking regularly for a period of time, your body will show physical side effects of withdrawal. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Shaky hands

A more serious side effect is called delirium tremens (DT). DTs usually start 48 to 72 hours after putting down your last drink. This is a serious side effect of alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal. If you experience any of the below symptoms, you need to call 000 straight away.

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Whole-body tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating and fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Disorientation
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Seizures

How to treat alcohol addiction?

Seeking help for an addiction can be scary for those who are suffering. There is a lot of stigma around suffering from an addiction, and those who experience it feel deep-seated shame and guilt. If you, or someone you know, is suffering, it’s important to be gentle, kind, and empathetic.

Detox and withdrawal at The Hader Clinic

The Hader Clinic in Geelong is registered as a private hospital within the Health Department in Victoria. The prescribed service of acute detox and withdrawal is a government regulated service which can only be delivered by licenced facilities like ours.

Our detox and withdrawal programs range from 7-14 days with constant medical supervision.

You will receive:

  • A safe, comfortable environment
  • 24/7 nursing support
  • Help in managing the symptoms of withdrawals

Before entering treatment, our medical team will assess you and your unique needs to ensure you receive the best care possible.

What happens next?

Once you’ve safely detoxed from alcohol, there are a number of pathways you can take. You can choose to go home if you wish, and continue seeking outpatient treatment or access community services.

We offer an intensive outpatient package, which comprises:

  • Daily check-ins at our Melbourne clinic
  • Individual counselling with our trained and experienced staff
  • Urine drug screening
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Peer support

You can also access Alcoholics Anonymous groups in  your area. We also offer family and peer-to-peer support groups which you can attend on a casual basis.

If you feel like you need more support, you can access our residential rehabilitation programs.

The primary program

Alcohol addiction rehabilitation

This program is offered as the first step in the road to recovery after detox. Patients typically stay for 30 days, in a private hospital setting, staffed by qualified medical teams 24/7. You’ll also receive access to:

  • Daily check-in groups
  • Psychosocial educational groups
  • Weekly individual support groups
  • Daily peer support groups
  • Recreational activities and sport

The secondary program

This is the next stage of treatment where our patients practice living in a structured therapeutic environment. Here, you can apply what you’ve learned in the first 30-day program, over a period of 60-90 days.

You’ll receive access to the same services as the primary program, but you’ll be granted more independence. Our aim is to enable and empower you to transition back into the community as a healthy, recovered person.

Why choose The Hader Clinic

We have over 20 years of experience in treating addictions. We know substance abuse is a mental health disorder. You are not an addict because you are a bad person. Neurologically, the problem stems from pleasure and award centres of your brain – an area outside of your control.

Our multi-disciplinary treatment team comprises:

  • Clinical psychologists
  • Consulting psychiatrists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Registered nurses
  • Family counsellors
  • Addiction counsellors
  • Consulting GPs
  • Drug and alcohol support workers

Book a free consultation with The Hader Clinic today to start on the road to recovery.