A single universal alcohol detox symptom doesn’t exist however, there are several different symptoms an alcoholic might encounter.
First, we need to understand what alcohol detox is. Detox is short for detoxification, which means cleansing the body of all harmful substances. In the case of alcohol addiction, this means ridding the body of alcohol.
When a person is physically addicted to alcohol, their body craves it. They need it every single day or they don’t feel like they can function. Coffee drinkers are notorious for saying that they "need their morning coffee" or they just can’t function. If they don’t have it they get tired and irritable, which has a negative impact on the rest of their day. Alcoholics feel the same way, only on a much larger scale.
When an alcoholic is put into detox, they are removed from all sources containing alcohol. This includes mouthwash and hairspray. Both of these substances include some alcohol and a desperate alcoholic might try to drink one or both to feed his or her habit.
Once the alcoholic is placed in detox, their body starts to go through alcohol withdrawal. This is when the alcohol detox symptoms kick in. Mild detox symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy hands and stomach cramps. More intense alcohol detox symptoms include hallucinations and seizures. The withdrawal symptoms subside after the alcoholic’s body gets used to not having alcohol. This usually takes around seven days.
The doctors overseeing an alcoholic’s withdrawal and detox can give the alcoholic medication that will help curb some of the symptoms. However, many doctors opt not to do this especially if the symptoms aren’t too severe. Many doctors feel that it’s important for the alcoholic to get rid of their physical dependence without the aid of another substance. When a person is in detox, they are also deprived of other potentially addictive substances including sleeping pills. The last thing the doctors want is for the alcoholic to trade one addiction for another.
A Temporary Stay
Just because an alcoholic goes to detox doesn’t mean that they’re going to complete an alcoholic treatment program. For many alcoholics the detox program is the first step in an alcoholism recovery program. However, others will leave the hospital or facility once they’ve gone through detox. This is really up to the alcoholic, especially if they’re of age.
College kids sometimes get thrown into a detox center after a hard night of binge drinking. This can happen if someone calls the police because they’re worried that their friend has had a dangerous amount of alcohol. It can also happen if cops are called to a party and notice underage kids that are extremely inebriated. Minors who are taken to detox must get a parent’s permission to leave the facility. These kids may or may not have an alcohol detox symptom or two while sitting in detox.