What Is the Withdrawal Process Like in Alcohol Treatment Centers?

It’s not uncommon for people who are addicted to alcohol to try detoxing on their own. Until the nature of addiction is fully understood, quitting alcohol outright often seems like a matter of willpower. Unfortunately, self-managed alcohol detox is always uncomfortable and dangerous. Once the body has become physically dependent, it sends out intense distress signals after even relatively short periods of abstinence.

If you’ve tried going “cold turkey” before, you likely dealt with shaking, sweating, nausea, and many other unpleasant alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that detoxing is an alcohol treatment center is infinitely easier. In an alcohol treatment center, you’ll be given targeted support throughout all phases of this process. You’ll have access to medications that help stabilize your vital signs and alleviate and prevent physical distress.

Alcohol treatment centers additionally offer sleep support, mental health support, and nutritional support. Medical professionals are always on hand to ensure that you’re both comfortable and safe. Given that withdrawal is easily one of the most challenging phases of addiction recovery, this support will help you stay the course. It will also prevent the initial symptoms of alcohol withdrawal from spiraling out of control, and it may stave off more severe symptoms entirely. Early detox support greatly limits the likelihood of recovering alcoholics developing the most advanced symptoms of withdrawal known as delirium tremens.

Why Detoxing in an Alcohol Treatment Center Is the Best Choice

People who’ve abused alcohol heavily for any extended period of time are always advised to seek professional detox support. Alcohol abuse changes the way in which the brain and body function. It affects the brain at a chemical level by over-stimulating and ultimately wearing out important neurotransmitters like dopamine and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These are the same chemicals that create the feelings of euphoria,

heightened confidence, and relaxation that people feel when drinking, but they also control basic functions like temperature regulation, balance, coordination, and more. Taking alcohol away suddenly leaves the body scrambling to relearn how to function without it. When the relatively mild, initial symptoms of alcohol detox aren’t mitigated early on, they intensify. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and dangerous conditions like hypernatremia where people have excess sodium in their blood and an increased risk of heart failure.

People who detox alone can experience auditory and visual hallucinations, seizures, multi-organ failure, and death. Alcohol treatment centers structure their support services to greatly reduce risks like these. From the moment you arrive, you’ll start receiving a needs-specific intervention to balance and support both your physical and mental health. During your check-in, you’ll undergo a comprehensive medical examination.

This way, team members can devise a detox plan that addresses your full range of needs. These early interviews additionally include a full psychological evaluation. With the details collected in this assessment, onsite staff can help mitigate mental health challenges such as:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Severe depression
  • Sleep troubles

They’ll also learn whether or not you’re dealing with co-occurring disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or others. When co-occurring disorders are known, treatment for these issues can be started right away so that mental and emotional angst don’t complicate withdrawal or impede recovery. Once you get checked into a facility, you’ll be shown to your room.

You’ll also have the chance to meet team members and other patients, and take a quick tour of all the resources at your disposal. Many treatment centers have workout rooms, options in onsite recreation, spaces for both group and private therapy sessions, and more. Patients are encouraged to eat well, stay hydrated, and participate in stress management workshops and other on-campus activities as they’re able.

Detoxing in an alcohol treatment center is merely the first step in the recovery process. As your physical symptoms abate, you’ll take a more active role in fostering your return to good health. You’ll work with counselors on a one-on-one basis to gain a better understanding of alcohol addiction and to develop a needs-specific relapse prevention plan. You’ll spend time sharing your experiences with others in a group setting, and you’ll engage in life-planning, goal-setting, and skill-building activities. Alcohol treatment centers provide the skills and tools that patients need for safely withdrawing from alcohol.

They also prepare patients for long-term success in recovery by readying them for the stressors, triggers, temptations, and other challenges of the outside world. If you’re ready to start the recovery process and want the benefit of targeted support during your alcohol detox, we can help. Call us at 833-497-3812 today to get started.