Why choose detox for alcohol addiction? Undergoing detox is a critical first step to getting the most out of your rehab program. Once you’ve been through detox, you have lowered the pressure caused by the physical cravings for alcohol. Because these cravings can have a huge impact on your brain, you have a better chance of letting your brain function more effectively. Of course, detox will not be an easy process. Your physical dependency on alcohol may have damaged family connections, cost you your job or gotten you into legal trouble. Breaking that physical dependency with a monitored, managed detox will not go a long way to correcting the troubles listed above. However, it will break the physical need for alcohol and give you back a sense of control over your life.
Never Detox Alone
Detoxing is the process of starving your body of alcohol. The symptoms of an alcohol detox can include
- nausea and dehydration
- insomnia and anxiety
- muscle cramps and physical pain
When you’re dehydrated, you need fluids. However, the nausea can put you out risk of vomiting and may lead to aspiration if you should lose consciousness. The only way to be safe during a detox is to be monitored by medical professionals who can help you to manage the symptoms for the 3 to 5 days it will take to get the alcohol completely out of your system. At this point, you should at least be able to take in food and water to support your physical systems. However, the mental and emotional need for alcohol will take longer to overcome. When your body, brain and spirit are all crying for alcohol, you will not be an easy person to be around. You may be verbally abusive, physically dangerous, and agitated. Having a family member or a beloved friend help you through detox is dangerous and may be destructive to both parties as well as the relationship. Get professional help for your detox. Getting through the discomfort and danger of detox will provide you with a remarkable lesson: You are tougher than you thought.
Moving into rehab after detox will be a step down in both labor and pain. Once you enter your rehab program and process, you can start to work on any undiagnosed mental illnesses that you may have been medicating away. You can get counseling and group therapies that will help you understand that you are not alone and are deserving of care. You can begin the healing process within your own life and reach out to loved ones who can offer you support in the next steps. For some addicts, leaving alcohol behind means losing their community of friends. They may be facing a future outside the rehab facility that looks quite lonely; friendship and support may be limited. Rehab can give you the tools to reach back into the community and seek out places where you can connect, both with other recovering addicts and with groups that don’t use alcohol as a reason to gather.
Detox is not easy. If you have entered detox and rehab as a legal requirement or to satisfy the demands of family, the discomfort may feel more like a punishment rather than a means to build a healthier, safer life. However, alcohol is not a drug that can be tapered off. There are few who have struggled with addiction who can go back to social drinking. The cravings for alcohol live deep within the brain. When the addicted brain is triggered with a substance, the desire for the drug moves up the ranks. While we humans have a shared universal need for food, water and shelter, the addicted brain adds the addictive substance to the list. Addicts may end up behaving in ways they never considered, such as neglecting their families or stealing from friends in an effort to gain the resources necessary to get their hands on alcohol. Detox and rehab can help you remove the cravings that are eating away at your life.
Detox can be dangerous if not properly monitored. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Contact us for a conversation about your next steps. Call 833-497-3812.