When a loved one is going through alcohol detox, it is essential for someone to be there with them for safety purposes and also for support. The ideal way to detox from alcohol is by entering an inpatient treatment facility where you will have personnel on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week who are knowledgeable in this field and can handle any medical issues should they arise. However, inpatient treatment is not always possible for everyone for different reasons.
Be Prepared to Help Your Loved One with Alcohol Detox
The first thing you need to do if you are serious about supporting and helping your loved one go through alcohol detox is to learn all you can about the withdrawal symptoms which can occur. By doing this, you will have an idea of what to expect during this procedure, and you will know what emergencies might arise from the withdrawal process. Depending on how long your loved one has been abusing alcohol and the amount of alcohol they consume, the withdrawal symptoms can be mild to extremely severe. You should be prepared, and talking to a clinic or detox facility is important so they will be aware of what your loved one is doing and can be contacted in case of a medical emergency.
Prepare the Home for Alcohol Detox
Make sure all alcoholic beverages are out of the house, and do not have anyone around that will be a bad influence on your loved one by drinking alcohol in front of them or tempting them in any kind of way. Have plenty of other beverages and water available, water preferably, but anything that will help keep them hydrated. Your loved one will probably be nauseated and not feel like eating the first few days so it is imperative that you keep them drinking plenty of fluids so they do not become dehydrated.
Vitamin and mineral supplements will help your loved one during and after the alcohol detox. Have bland light food on hand for your loved one to eat for the first few days, such as soup, rice, potatoes, and anything which will not be heavy on their stomach. Try to encourage them to eat something, even if it is very little. It will be better than nothing. Make sure your loved one is kept as comfortable as possible during the alcohol detox.
Support Your Loved One Through Emotional as Well as Physical Detox
Your loved one will go through emotional withdrawal symptoms as well as physical. Some of these symptoms will be anxiety, depression, irritability, nervousness, and nightmares. You need to prepare yourself for the mood swings and irritability they will exhibit. Just remember that these symptoms are all part of the detoxification.
Physical symptoms will include nausea and vomiting, headaches, insomnia, tremors, sweating, and enlarged or dilated pupils. If your loved one has been addicted to alcohol for a long period of time or if they consume large amounts of alcohol daily, the could possibly have more serious symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). Should either of these occur, seek help from a medical professional immediately.
Last but not least, keep encouraging your loved one through the detox period. Tell them how much better their health will be and how much better they are going to feel once the alcohol detox is over. You are their strength and security right now, so just make sure that if they have second thoughts about completing the detox you continue your support and encourage them in every way possible.