Detoxification, often shortened to detox, is the first step of alcohol addiction treatment. During the detox process, the body and mind adjust to not having any alcohol in the system, and patients can experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that fall under a condition called withdrawal. Because detox is the first major hurdle for recovering alcoholics, many programs offer detox services to help people manage their symptoms and start recovery off on the right note.
Alcohol Detox Centers
An alcohol detox center or specific program are designed to give clients the ability to safely work through alcohol withdrawal. In many centers, detox is done inpatient and under medical supervision. Although detox is not treatment itself, it’s a vital part of the pre-treatment process that will make future recovery possible. If you need alcohol to feel calm or “normal,” then you should check into a rehab or detox center rather than trying to quit on your own. In a detox program, you will be walked through the different stages of alcohol withdrawal and given resources to help cope. Doctors may prescribe some medication to help reduce the intensity of some symptoms.
What Are the Risks of Alcohol Withdrawal?
Detox centers provide a safe, medically supervised environment to treat and manage the various symptoms you might experience as alcohol leaves your bloodstream. When you have an addiction, your body becomes so used to a particular substance that it needs it to feel okay. This is called a dependence. The trained medical staff at a treatment center will be able to come up with a detox plan based on the severity of your addiction and alcohol’s effect on your body. Some of the symptoms common during withdrawal include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Rapid, unstable changes in blood pressure and heart rate
- Delirium Tremens (DT), an alcohol withdrawal disorder that includes confusion, restlessness, fever, hallucinations and, in extreme cases, seizures
The Importance of Medical Alcohol Detox
Alcohol contains a chemical compound called ethanol, which can cause cancer and induces the start of DT during withdrawal. While not every patient experiences DT, it can be life-threatening. Medical detox ensures that your health is being monitored by people specifically trained in the biological nature of alcohol addiction. They know the effects alcohol has on the body and how these effects can manifest during withdrawal.
What Comes Next?
The best rehab for you will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of your addiction, your financial resources and availability. Flexibility is feasible, but you should absolutely enter a rehab program immediately following detox. Without entering treatment right away, the risk of relapse is high. Contact us today at 833-610-1174 to learn more about the detox process, treating alcohol use disorder and get connected with alcohol detox centers near you.