Get Support for Comfortable Alcohol Detox at South Shores
Are you committed to getting sober but struggling with the early alcohol withdrawal symptoms? You might have already made the commitment to discontinue alcohol use. If so, this is a great first step on your path to recovery. However, many people encounter a side effect of stopping that they weren’t prepared for – painful alcohol withdrawal headaches that just won’t stop.
If this sounds familiar to you (or you’ve seen a loved one struggle with these symptoms when quitting drinking) this blog forms the perfect resource for getting help and support!
South Shores Detox and Recovery can help you in the early days of alcohol withdrawal when you have the most severe symptoms. Our detox facility is comfortable and safe, allowing you to get the care you need to conquer alcohol use disorder for good.
Whether you need more information to get help or a dedicated facility for alcohol detox, keep reading to learn more and get relief!
How Are Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches Different than Hangovers?
Alcohol consumption is often a slippery slope for people who are prone to substance abuse. There is a key difference between an alcohol withdrawal headache and a hangover though. A hangover occurs in the morning after your drinking, most often because of dehydration. Nausea frequently accompanies a hangover.
Alcohol withdrawal headaches are caused when you have no more alcohol in your system. As a result, they frequently start in the morning upon waking up and continue on until you have a drink. At this point, your body is reinforcing the habit of drinking in order to cope with your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
It is possible to have both types of headaches simultaneously. Think about your current alcohol use to determine which type of headache you may have. Binge drinking habits and overdoing it can lead to a hangover, but you might have headaches caused even by moderate drinking.
The latter is likely caused by withdrawal symptoms.
When Do Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Surface?
Many people who are thinking about the potential for alcohol withdrawal syndrome are wondering when they can expect symptoms to surface as well as when they will be at their peak. In other words, what is the alcohol withdrawal timeline?
Acute Withdrawal Phase of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
The acute withdrawal phase (which is often when alcohol withdrawal headaches surface) can start as early as six hours after your last drink. This is why many people wake up in the morning with headaches because it can be triggered by a lack of alcohol during sleep.
Other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in these early days include:
- Tremors, especially in the hands
- Extreme irritability or mood swings
- Fever or elevated temperature (often accompanied by sweating)
Fortunately, there is good news about these early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal: they usually only last for a day or two.
Severe Symptoms in Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
While these early symptoms are uncomfortable, you may be at great risk of more dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens. If you are in the post-acute withdrawal syndrome phase of your recovery, consider some of the symptoms you may experience:
- Heart palpitations
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Mood swings, including anxiety and irritability
- Excessive sweating
- Confusion (delirium tremens)
At any stage of the process, you may still encounter those nagging alcohol withdrawal headaches that can make you even more uncomfortable and irritable. This is why it is often beneficial to put yourself under the care of a team of medical professionals. We can evaluate your symptoms and offer you some relief for some of the more common symptoms.
Most of the time, these symptoms peak around one week after your last drink and start to subside after that.
Will Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches Truly Go Away?
Unfortunately, there are times when headaches last beyond the point at which you started quitting alcohol. Most people experiencing the effects of withdrawal symptoms find that symptoms decrease around 72 hours after their last drink. However, some people experience these first symptoms for an extended period.
This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and can last four to six months following the last drink.
During this time, you may continue to experience headaches and may find that you are at greater risk of relapsing in your sobriety. Alcohol addiction is particularly difficult to handle, so we recommend that you segue from a medical detox to an inpatient treatment facility where we can keep you as comfortable as possible with around-the-clock care.
While cravings may never truly go away, these physical symptoms will eventually fade as you get further away from alcohol use and more established in recovery from drinking.
Effective Treatments for Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches
The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to combat serious headaches related to alcohol consumption. Here are some creative ways you can reduce the severity of your headaches during the early days of sobriety.
Fluids and Electrolytes
Oftentimes, the cause of a withdrawal headache is dehydration caused by alcohol consumption. While you can receive fluids from medical intervention, you can also consume more water or sports drinks that are high in electrolytes. In particular, you want more sodium and magnesium to combat dehydration.
Keep in mind that your diet will also play a key role in your healing. Try not to consume too much sugar which can also contribute to headaches. Sugar-free sports drinks are better for you than fruit juice which is often loaded with sugar.
Sometimes, it helps just to separate your physical symptoms from your emotional state. Mindfulness is designed to help you focus on the sensations of the body without attributing any emotional baggage to them. Among those with migraines, some research points to the fact that mindfulness improves quality of life, pain catastrophizing, and depression.
Dialectical behavioral therapy often teaches these mindfulness-based skills. You can learn them in one-on-one therapy with a counselor or as part of a group therapy setting with peer support.
Use a Coping Skill
If you have already taken medication for your alcohol withdrawal headaches and pain persists, it might be time to distract yourself from the pounding of your head. This means you need to do something that makes you feel better: art, yoga, meditation, running, singing, or anything at all that you love to do.
Our counselors can help you come up with coping skills that will minimize your more severe symptoms that present as psychological symptoms.
Our Medical Detox for Alcohol Consumption
Many people associate detox with drug use, but it can be equally helpful for those with an alcohol use disorder (which describes 28.6 million adults). South Shores Detox and Recovery can help you combat your withdrawal symptoms with around-the-clock care for alcohol use disorder.
First, we can offer you prescription medications that will make you more comfortable as the alcohol leaves your system. This can include prescriptions to combat your insomnia, bring down your fever, and alleviate the pain associated with your headache.
We can also monitor you for dehydration which can contribute to your headaches.
Our team of medical professionals is experienced in all types of chronic alcohol use disorders and can help anyone experiencing alcohol withdrawal headaches and the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Get comfortable with us as you start on the path to recovery.
Moving into Inpatient Care for Drinking
While these symptoms may not be life-threatening, they can be quite challenging to bear. Alcohol abuse is tricky to treat, especially if you have lingering symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. After you move from a detox program, you should consider inpatient care.
This allows you to retain access to doctors and nurses at all times. For those who have lingering alcohol withdrawal headaches, this is a great way to ensure that they do not progress or debilitate you. We can keep a close eye on your symptoms to ensure you are improving.
Plus, you have just done all of the hard work to detox. Inpatient rehab for alcohol at South Shores gives you ample opportunity to practice sober living in a safe environment where you will not have the option to drink again. It can set you up for a more successful run in partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs for alcohol use.
Get Support to Overcome Alcohol Withdrawals Today
Maybe you already know from past experience that you will have severe withdrawal symptoms related to a chronic alcohol use disorder. This is a great reason to seek medical care immediately for your foray into sober living. From medical detox to inpatient medical treatment, our expert team at South Shores can help you remain as comfortable as possible.
Our admissions team is ready and waiting to welcome you to our recovery center. Find out more about the programs we offer for alcohol detox and use by reaching out for a confidential consultation today!