A visit to an alcohol detox center is usually needed following a confirmation of an alcohol-related disorder. But what actually goes on in this procedure?
This guide will walk you through the three phases involved with alcohol detox. It includes withdrawal symptoms, their duration, develop, the medication that are used to treat them, the medication that is employed to help avoid cravings and resources for self-care once you arrive at the facility. Also, there is information about what you should do when you leave the detox center.
The effects of alcohol on the mind & Body
Alcohol is a popular drink in societies across the globe for centuries , and indulged in by many who believe it will ease stress or anxiety brought on by the pressures of life.
While there is no “cure” for alcohol dependence the process of eliminating it is a vital initial step towards sobriety. A patient’s goal while undergoing alcohol detox is not only to clear his or her system of all traces of alcohol, but also to discover how to remain abstinence in the future.
Difficulty in Alcohol Detox
Many people who are addicted to alcohol struggle to stop drinking, even when they are aware of the negative consequences.
The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol can be extremely severe and include seizures or delirium tremens (DTs), a life-threatening condition that usually requires hospitalization. People may experience hallucinations or psychosis as they withdraw, which can be life-threatening if not handled by a doctor.
Individuals who are at high risk of developing DTs are advised not to detox by themselves. They should also avoid shifting between levels of treatment until they are supervised by a doctor. It is essential to do detox within a secure and controlled environment such as an alcohol detox facility. Patients receive continuous support and supervision.
Alcohol detox usually occurs with three distinct phases: Withdrawal Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and protracted withdrawal.
The first two phases normally last for about a week while the third phase can be prolonged for weeks or even years following the time an person who is an alcoholic quits drinking. The symptoms of PAWS include cravings, mood swings, sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety and lack of concentration. Former drinkers must change their habits to control these symptoms. They can seek support from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), therapy, or psychotherapy.
Understanding Alcohol Detox Phases: A Timeline
In the first few hours after quitting drinking, he or she could begin experiencing post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) an illness that can last for weeks or even months after having quit drinking.
The first stage of detoxification from alcohol can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks and is marked by severe psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The withdrawal symptoms generally subside after about 48 hours (in some instances, they extend by up to 5 days). The physical aspect of detox starts in this period as well those who are undergoing a detoxification process may experience nausea, tremors vomiting, fever or chills. But, these symptoms usually only last for several hours in the maximum.
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The purpose of the patient who is in a detox program is to not only eliminate their body of alcohol, but also to understand how they can refrain from drinking in the near future. To ensure safety, detox centers provide 24-hour supervision and monitoring of patients.
While the patient’s withdrawal symptoms can be intense however, they’re rarely harmful (unless they are not treated).
After completing alcohol detox, former heavy drinkers typically undergo an “rehab” or post acute withdrawal phase. This may last for weeks or months following quitting, contingent on how quickly an individual adjusts to life with no alcohol. They might still experience some symptoms from previous withdrawals, for instance, insomnia and irritability. Additionally, they’ll likely experience Alcohol cravings.
The majority of treatment programs offer individual counseling sessions with an addiction medicine therapist and groups therapy with recovering alcoholics. In time, these programs have been shown to greatly boost recovery rates.
Individuals who are dependent on alcohol will often experience withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly quit drinking following a period of high intoxication, prescribed medication or other drugs. To reduce the risk associated with abruptly stopping drinking it is vital that people who want to quit drinking be aware of the warning the signs, and the effects of withdrawal. Some people may need medical supervision for alcohol detox especially if they’ve had a prolonged addiction for a long period of time.