The Danger of Withdrawal: Is It Too Late to Recover from Being an Alcoholic?

Addiction can happen at any age, but so can recovery.  It’s common to think that your time for healing has passed or that you’re just too old to have a new life. The reality is that recovery, although daunting at times, is possible.

Inpatient rehab programs provide those working on their sobriety with the medical support to ease withdrawal symptoms and the tools needed to recover successfully. The truth is, it’s never too late to start working towards recovery.

Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

Once you decide to give up alcohol, your body will go through several stages of withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms (AWS)  are the symptoms someone physically experiences if they suddenly stop drinking alcohol.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has created three phases of withdrawal. Below are the typical symptoms many people experience in each stage:

Stage 1 (mild):

  • headache, insomnia, anxiety,
  • hand tremor, heart palpitations
  • gastrointestinal disturbances

Stage 2 (moderate):

  • symptoms can include those from Stage 1
  • increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • confusion, mild hyperthermia, rapid abnormal breathing

Stage 3 (severe):

  • symptoms can include those from Stage 2
  • visual or auditory hallucinations, seizures
  •  disorientation, impaired attention

By entering an inpatient rehab program, the chances of recovery increase dramatically. Recovery professionals can provide round-the-clock care and monitor any changes in your withdrawal symptoms. In the right rehab program, a successful recovery can happen.  

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal can be unpredictable and vary depending on your addiction history. Entering an inpatient rehab program can help manage withdrawal symptoms, making a recovery more likely.

Recovery, just like addiction, is different for everyone. If you have a short history of addiction, your withdrawal symptoms can be much milder, making quitting more manageable. With a long history of addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be more intense to manage.

Inpatient rehab programs have experienced recovery professionals who can provide medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Whether a patient’s experiencing mild or severe withdrawal symptoms, doctors are always there to help treat those in recovery.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Recovery can be daunting; it helps to go easy on yourself when things don’t go right. Entering an inpatient rehab program can help ease the withdrawal stage and provide tools to build a new life. Below are some things to keep in mind as you go through the recovery process.

Your Past Doesn’t Define Your Future

Past mistakes don’t define your future successes.  The idea of sobriety can undoubtedly be overwhelming if you’ve tried and failed many times in the past. You might even feel your time has passed, and it’s too late.

Almost anyone who has tried to get sober has failed. Many have failed once, if not multiple times. Finding a support group, a sponsor to help guide you, and help from your family and friends can make your recovery successful. The truth is that it’s never too late to become sober and start a new life.

Progress over Perfection

Perfection’s the enemy of progress; this is especially true in recovery. With a history of substance abuse, it can be easy to consider giving up when things get messy. The key here is to focus on your progress in your recovery, whether attending regular meetings or resisting old habits.

The truth of the matter is,  no one’s perfect, and no one ever will be.  It’s not uncommon to dwell on missed past opportunities to fix damaged relationships or reset your life. Celebrate the victories no matter how small and focus on building a brand-new life. It’s never too late to start your journey to sobriety and begin again.

Aspen can Help

Taking the first step into treatment for drugs or alcohol dependence can be scary if done alone. Let our team of medical professionals and recovery experts guide you as you begin to learn how to handle the stressors of a sober life. Our team is ready to help you every step of your road to recovery and to help change your life for the better. Contact the team at Aspen Behavioral Health to learn how we can help.


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