One of the biggest fears people have about visiting a rehabilitation center and getting treatment for their alcoholism is the fear of going through detox. When a person reaches the point that they are ready to get treatment, they usually reach rock bottom. They are willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild their lives.
Some people feel that they don’t need rehab. Instead, they believe they can break free from alcohol addiction by going cold turkey. So they get rid of all the alcohol and maybe even lock themselves in a room and try to endure withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, the withdrawal symptoms become so severe that the person breaks and goes back to drinking alcohol to make the withdrawal symptoms disappear.
After going through that harrowing experience, they are terrified of giving rehab a try because they don’t want to experience withdrawal again. However, what many people fail to understand is that there is a difference between trying to detoxify on your own and going through it with the help of experienced people who can guide you through the detox process safely and safely.
<h2>What Is Alcohol Detoxification?</h2>
Alcohol detoxification is a natural process that your body goes through as it tries to get rid of the waste products and toxins that have built up from excessive consumption of alcohol over a long amount of time. In a treatment setting, alcohol detox is often accompanied by medical observation, counseling, and medication.
Detox is not rehab. Detox addresses physical alcohol dependence. This prepares a person to get help addressing the psychological and emotional dependence on alcohol.
A person who has been drinking for a long time will likely have negative side effects during detox. Some of these withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous. If a person drinks for many years, they can develop a tolerance, which leads to biological changes that create false homeostasis. When this balance is disrupted to help an alcoholic restore their healthy state, it can be a delicate situation.
<h2>What Happens During the Detoxification Process?</h2>
Alcohol detoxification is the step that prepares you for longer rehabilitation. It can be safely performed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. However, it is recommended that heavy alcohol users receive round-the-clock monitoring. There are three key steps involved in the majority of detox processes.
The first step is intake. During the intake process, a medical team will do a comprehensive review of the individual. They will look at their medical, psychiatric, and substance use histories. This will help them completely understand the person that they are working with.
The second step in many programs is the use of medications. These medications can mimic the effects of alcohol on the brain to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Medications may be used to address co-occurring disorders and ease some of the physical discomforts of withdrawal.
The third step is stabilization. This is where a patient will receive the psychological and medical therapies needed to help them reach a good mind and body balance necessary for further rehabilitation.
The Side Effects of Detox
Going through the detox process in a rehabilitation facility and possibly using medications to help with the detox process can mitigate some of the negative side effects. However, other side effects are unavoidable.
The first phase of side effects is brought about by acute withdrawal. This is experienced during the first few hours an alcoholic stops consuming alcohol. It is a process that can continue for days or, in extreme cases, weeks. Some of the adverse side effects during this phase of withdrawal include:
• Body tremors
• Profuse sweating
The second phase is called early abstinence. This is the longest phase of alcohol detox and can last a few months. During this time, your brain starts to regulate itself and return to normal functioning. During this phase, it’s common for people to experience restlessness, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
The First Step to Long-Term Recovery
The detox process is not the most pleasant. But for many people, it is the biggest hurdle to overcome on the road to a life of sobriety. It’s key to clearing the mind and healing the body so that a person suffering from alcohol addiction can pursue full treatment. Would you like to learn more about the alcohol detox treatment options available? If so, contact us at 833-497-3812.