Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Detox

If you are alcohol-dependent your body becomes used to lots of alcohol; therefore, you may start to develop withdrawal symptoms 3-8 hours after your last drink as the effect wears off. So, even if you want to stop drinking, it is often difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms.

When addressing addiction to alcohol, first one must deal with the withdraw. During detoxification, an individual must deal with emotional and physical changes the body will endure in the process. There are also neurochemical and bodily dysfunctions that play an important part of the detoxification process. Alcohol used along with drugs such as opioids has a high risk of health withdraw problems; therefore, it is important to be under the case of licensed medical personnel to ensure a successful transition into the recovery program. At Addition Detox Centers, clients are placed in a comfortable environment with a team of physicians, nurses, and other staff to assist in breaking the alcohol dependency.

Detoxification or ‘detox’, is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances. It also refers to the period of withdrawal during which the body returns to homeostasis after long-term us of an addictive substance. In most cases for alcohol detox, a medication commonly used is chlordiazepoxide. This is a benzodiazepine medicine. Other possible medication that can be considered includes lorazepam and the antipsychotic medicines olanzapine and haloperidol, although antipsychotics should only be used in addition with benzodiazepines and not by themselves alone in the treatment of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol dependence and withdrawal symptoms

If you are alcohol-dependent your body becomes used to lots of alcohol; therefore, you may start to develop withdrawal symptoms 3-8 hours after your last drink as the effect wears off. So, even if you want to stop drinking, it is often difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms include: feeling sick (nausea), the ‘shakes’ (trembling), sweating, craving for alcohol and just feeling awful. Convulsions occur in a small number of cases. As a result, you drink alcohol regularly and depend on it to prevent these symptoms. If you do not have any more alcohol the withdrawal symptoms usually last 5-7 days but a craving for alcohol may continue for longer.

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a more severe reaction after stopping alcohol. It occurs in about 1 in 20 people who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms about 2-3 days after their last drink. Symptoms include: marked trembling and agitation, confusion and seeing and hearing things that are not there (delirium). Some people have convulsions. Complications can develop, such as lack of fluid in the body (dehydration) and other serious physical problems. It is fatal in some cases.

Detoxification with the help of Addiction Detox Centers

A common plan for our clients is as follows:

  • Prescription for a high dose of medication for the first day that you stop drinking alcohol.
  • You gradually reduce the dose over the next 5-7 days. This usually prevents or greatly reduces the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
  • No alcohol is consumed during and through the detox stag. A breathalyser may be used to confirm that you are not drinking.
  • Medical staff will see you quite often during this time period.
  • Also during this period, support from family or friends can be of great help. Often the responsibility for getting the prescription and giving the ‘detox’ medicine is shared with a family member or friend. For example, a partner or parent of the person going through ‘detox’.

How will I feel going through ‘detox’?

Some people manage quite easily, while others find it more difficult. You can expect to:

  • Feel quite nervous or anxious for a few days.
  • Have some difficulty with getting off to sleep for a few nights.
  • Have some mild withdrawal symptoms but they should not be too bad and a lot less than if you were not taking the ‘detox’ medicine.

Detoxification with the help of other healthcare professionals

Some people are referred to a specialist drug and alcohol unit for ‘detox’. This is usually better for people who have other physical or mental health problems and for those who have the following:

  • Little home or social support.
  • A history of severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • A physical illness caused by alcohol.
  • Previous attempts to stop alcohol which have failed.

At Addiction Detox Centers, our healthcare team will guide you to the support and counseling services needed to maintain a healthy drug and alcohol-free life. Call today to speak to a counselor and take back control of your life.

 

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