Alcohol detox can be a gruesome and dangerous process. The severity of physical and mental symptoms experienced by an alcoholic when he first tries to quit can be shocking and even overwhelming.

Often an addict’s first attempt to quit fails, and attempts thereafter become harder and harder.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Understanding what causes alcohol withdrawal can shed some light into the actions that alcohol detox programs take to make withdrawal easier.

You may already know that alcohol is basically a poison. It has its effect on its drinker because first the body tries to speed up in order to deal with the threat. His body goes into action to try to metabolize the alcohol. If the person takes in more alcohol than his body can handle, his body starts slowing down. Basically his vital organs are not able to function correctly and so they gradually stop working.

During this process the body’s nutrients become depleted. The various vitamins in his system get used up in his body’s struggle to clean out the alcohol. As an alcoholic abuses more and more, he gains a tolerance to its effect, which causes him to imbibe more and more alcohol to get the same fix.

Eventually, however, the massive quantities of alcohol cycling through his system leave him nutritionally deprived. What is more, his body comes to depend on alcohol in order to function.

When someone suddenly stops taking alcohol after habitually abusing it, his body rapidly undergoes changes. He experiences physical symptoms because his body has nothing to give it strength. The one thing it has come to rely on to continue functioning, alcohol, is no longer present. What is more, alcohol has masked the depth of exhaustion and pain that his body has actually been in the whole time.

How an Alcohol Detox Program Can Help

During the alcoholic’s withdrawal, his fluid levels may drastically drop. One thing that drug detox programs are able to do is provide fluids and electrolytes via IV in order to prevent life threatening complications.

Drug detox programs also administer “banana bags” – special IV fluids with vitamins designed to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as shakes, irritability and restlessness.

One of the most important aspects of withdrawal that a drug detox program can help with is reassurance. Withdrawal can subjectively seem unbearable, and it is easy for an addict to give up and take drugs just before he’s actually gotten through the worst of it. By going to an alcohol detox program, you or your loved one can have a better shot at successfully completing the process and starting on the road to a drug-free life.