A visit to an alcohol detox center is frequently required after a confirmation of an alcohol-related disorder. But what actually goes on during this procedure?
This guide takes readers through three stages of alcohol detox, including withdrawal signs and how long they last, medications to combat them, medications that can help avoid cravings, as well as resources to help self-care after the patient is at the detox center. You will also find information on what to do when you leave an alcohol detox center.
The ravages of alcoholism on mind & Body
Alcohol’s pleasure is a popular pastime in society across the globe throughout the ages. Many people indulge in it to ease stress and anxiety caused by daily life’s pressures.
Although there isn’t a “cure” for alcohol dependence however, a process of detoxing is a vital initial step towards sobriety. The goal of a patient who has completed their alcohol detox is not to just cleanse their body of alcohol, but also be able to learn the best ways for them to avoid alcohol in the future.
Alcohol Detoxification is difficult
Many people who are addicted to alcohol struggle to stop drinking even knowing of the negative consequences.
The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol can be quite severe. They can cause seizures or delirium tremens (DTs). This is a serious condition which often requires hospitalization. People may have hallucinations or psychosis as a result of withdrawal. It can be very dangerous should it not be treated by a trained professional.
Anyone at risk of DTs shouldn’t attempt to detox on their own. They should refrain from moving from one level of care until they are medically recommended to do so. The process of detoxing should only be conducted in a secure and controlled environment such as an alcohol detox center in which patients receive regular supervision and help.
Three phases of alcohol detox are typical: Withdrawal (PAWS) protracted withdrawal (PAWS), or withdrawal.
The first two phases run for about an entire week. The third phase is usually several months or even years following an alcoholic quits drinking. PAWS symptoms include fatigue and mood swings, insomnia, sleep problems, fatigue, concentration problems anger, mood shifts. Many former alcoholics must change their lifestyle to accommodate these symptoms as they seek assistance from support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or psychotherapy.
Understanding Alcohol Detox Phases: A Timeline
When you stop drinking, it’s not uncommon to suffer from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) within a matter of hours. The condition may last for a couple of weeks.
The initial stage of detoxification for alcohol can last between two to three days . It is characterized by severe psychological withdrawal symptoms such insomnia, anxiety, depression. These symptoms typically subside after 48 hours (in some cases they can last by up to 5 days). This is when the physical component of detox starts. Individuals in the process of detoxing from alcohol may be prone to nausea and tremors. These symptoms generally only last for several hours maximum.
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The objective of the alcohol detox patient is to rid their body of alcohol, but also to understand how they can continue to avoid drinking in the future. To ensure safety detox facilities provide 24 hour surveillance and monitoring for patients.
While withdrawal symptoms can be very serious for certain patients they aren’t usually harmful if they are treated properly.
Former heavy drinkers typically be in a “rehab” stage, or post-acute withdrawal following the alcohol detox. It can last for several weeks to a few months, depending upon how quickly they adapt to life without alcohol. There are times when they may experience signs of withdrawal from earlier ones, including insomnia and irritability. Furthermore, they’ll likely experience Alcohol cravings.
Treatment programs typically include group therapy with other recovering alcoholics in addition to individual sessions with a therapist specially trained in addiction medicine. These treatments have been proven to dramatically increase the rate of recovery over time.
When someone is addicted alcohol, they’ll be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It happens following the intoxication phase or taking prescribed medications. It is crucial for those who want to quit drinking understand the indicators, symptoms and consequences of withdrawal in order to minimize the dangers associated with stopping use abruptly. However, there may be those who require medical supervision in the course of detoxification, particularly those who have been addicted on for many years.