Drinking Alcohol While Detoxing: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you drink alcohol while detoxing, you will interrupt the detox process and worsen your withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol detoxification is the process of eliminating alcohol from the body after a prolonged period of heavy drinking.

It can cause uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, tremors, nausea, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs).

If you drink alcohol while detoxing, you will interrupt the detox process and worsen your withdrawal symptoms.

You may also increase the risk of complications, such as dehydration, liver damage, and brain damage.

Drinking alcohol while detoxing can also make it harder to quit drinking in the long term, as it reinforces the addictive behavior and prevents the brain from restoring its chemical balance.

This is because alcohol contains ethanol, a substance that affects the central nervous system and various organs in the body.

Ethanol can impair judgment, memory, coordination, and mood.

It can also cause inflammation, dehydration, and toxicity in the liver, brain, heart, and pancreas.

Ethanol can also interfere with the production and function of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and GABA, which are involved in regulating mood, reward, and relaxation.

Ethanol can have both positive and negative effects on the body, depending on the amount and frequency of consumption.

In small doses, ethanol can produce a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, and sociability.

However, in large doses, ethanol can cause intoxication, impairment, and overdose.

Chronic ethanol consumption can lead to physical dependence, tolerance, and addiction.

It can also cause various health problems, such as liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, brain damage, and increased risk of cancer.

It is quite common to drink alcohol while detoxing due to the strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when quitting.

Many people may drink alcohol to cope with the discomfort, stress, or emotional issues that triggered their drinking in the first place.

However, drinking alcohol while detoxing is not a solution, but a problem.

It can make the detox process longer, harder, and more dangerous.

You can seek professional help if you drink alcohol while detoxing or if you have trouble quitting on your own.

There are various treatment options available, such as medication, counseling, therapy, and support groups.

These can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms, address the underlying causes of your drinking, and prevent relapse.

You can also contact a helpline, such as the National Alcohol Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), for confidential and free advice and referrals.

To avoid drinking alcohol while detoxing, you can take some steps to make it easier for yourself. For example, you can:

  • Remove all alcohol and alcohol-related items from your home, workplace, and car.
  • Avoid places, people, and situations that may tempt you to drink or trigger negative emotions.
  • Inform your family, friends, and co-workers about your decision to quit and ask for their support and encouragement.
  • Find healthy and enjoyable alternatives to drinking, such as hobbies, exercise, meditation, or volunteering.
  • Reward yourself for your progress and achievements, such as saving money, improving your health, or reaching a milestone.

Finally, remember, alcohol detoxification is a challenging but rewarding process that can improve your physical and mental well-being.

It is important to seek medical supervision and professional help if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms or have a history of heavy drinking.

You are not alone in your journey, and there are many resources and support groups that can help you achieve your recovery goals.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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