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Alcoholism Detox

Anyone living with chronic alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction or alcoholism should begin their recovery process with alcohol detox as the first step in their comprehensive treatment program. Alcohol detox is a necessary part of the recovery process. Any person who has been a heavy drinker or alcoholic will need to go through this process in order to completely recover from their alcohol addiction.  

Detoxification from alcohol helps to manage the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the recovering person and is the first step in nearly all treatment programs. When an addicted person stops drinking alcohol they are sure to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as physical cravings, shakiness and mood disturbances. While any trace of alcohol remains in the user’s body they will continue to experience these withdrawal symptoms which will likely cause their recovery to become derailed and their sobriety to falter.

Detoxification from alcohol only addresses the physical nature of one’s alcohol addiction and is not by itself complete addiction treatment. Think of alcohol detox this way, it is the first important part of several vital components that make up one’s total recovery process. The reason why detoxification is the first important step in recovery is because while alcohol or any other substance remains in the user’s body their body is working on removing it and not on recovering. Going through the alcohol detox process is a way for the body to flush out the toxic residue left behind by the alcohol and other substances the user has ingested.  This process should always be conducted with medical professionals at hand to assist if any physical or psychological problems arise. Detoxification works to rid the body of all traces of alcohol and other addictive substances allowing the addict to focus on their recovery and not continued withdrawal symptoms. Some of the more common alcohol withdrawal symptoms experienced during alcohol detox include nausea, restlessness, muscle cramps and irritability.

The beginning of one’s alcohol detox program is when their withdrawal symptoms will be the most severe. It is during this time that access to medical professionals is vital to ensure that the recovering alcoholic’s medical and emotional needs are being met. Alcoholics who have been addicted for an extended period of time may suffer severe withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, delirium and sometimes convulsions. There is no way to know how severe one’s withdrawal symptoms will be as the alcohol and other toxins are expelled from their body. Each person’s rate of detoxification varies based on their age, metabolism and the rate and amount of alcohol they regularly consumed. Generally speaking alcohol detox runs 4 to 7 days on average for most recovering alcoholics. It is not unusual for a person to require medication during their alcohol detox process to prevent some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms. The trained professionals in the detox program will judge whether the recovering person is in need of detox medication or if they can avoid taking additional drugs during their recovery.

Detoxification from alcohol is defined as a period of medical treatment that rids the body of alcohol’s toxins. Some treatment programs begin various types of counseling during a person’s detox program while others wait until the withdrawal process is complete. The initial purpose of alcohol detox is to help the person become alcohol-free and relieve their initial withdrawal symptoms. Addressing these primary issues prepares the person to enter into a longer-term treatment program and begin focusing on their addiction issues. Long-term alcohol treatment’s objectives are to achieve lasting sobriety, rebuild the person’s relationships with their family and friends and provide them with the necessary skills to avoid drugs and alcohol when temptation calls.

This process can take place either on location at the treatment facility, in a stand-alone detox program, or in a hospital. A majority of treatment programs have their own detox facilities onsite and will begin the detoxification process directly after enrollment into their program. Other programs may not be equipped to handle detoxification and withdrawal and need to send their patients to specialized stand-alone detox programs. Once the patient has completed their detox they then return to the rehab center to complete their recovery program.

What can you expect when you enter alcohol detox?

  • Inpatient care – because alcohol addiction is a serious health issue that can cause intense withdrawal symptoms and medical complications it is necessary to conduct this process on an inpatient basis.
  • Intake – when enrolling into a detox program you will be asked for your full drug history, medical history and psychiatric history to better understand your personal recovery needs.
  • Stabilization – this is a general term used to describe all medical and psychological interventions necessary to assist in balancing you physically and mentally.
  • Medication – some people going through the detox process require medication to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms from developing.

Fill out the form below and an alcohol treatment specialist will respond to your request shortly.

  • Alcohol Facts
  • Alcohol-related crashes killed 2,206 youth in 1995, reflecting 36 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the age group.
  • One in 9 who drink will be an alcoholic. Alcohol increases the concentration of dopamine and serotonin, feel-good chemicals, it disturbs levels of glutamate, which can make people feel high, and it interferes with other chemicals that can make people tired.
  • Size, gender, physical condition, what you eat, how much sleep you have had, are you taking any medications, the actual alcohol content of your chosen drink all affect how intoxicated you become.
  • Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 30 minutes and nonfatally injure someone every two minutes.