Alcohol Detox

Alcoholism is one of the more common medical conditions facing people around the world, but the figures found for America are especially staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 50 percent of people over the age of 18 admitted that they drank at least one drink every month in the last year, and the CDC also found that nearly 16,000 people died of alcohol related liver conditions. Those looking for relief from their alcohol related conditions often use detox methods when they first stop drinking.

What is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol DetoxAlcohol detoxification is a process that occurs when a person stops using alcohol. Alcohol, like any type of depressant, slows down the body’s response time. Those who use alcohol often have trouble concentrating and focusing, and others find that they move a little slower than they did before using alcohol. The longer a person uses alcohol, the more the substance has an effect on his or her body.

The body begins absorbing and processing the alcohol, and after a short period of time, the body eventually feels as if it needs that substance for survival. Experts typically refer to this process as an increased tolerance. While some people can feel the effects of alcohol after a single drink, alcoholics often need multiple drinks to feel the same way. The body eventually requires larger and larger amounts to feel the same effects.

Alcohol detox occurs from the moment the person stops drinking. Also known as withdrawal, this period can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. When the alcoholic takes another drink, the body slows down the withdrawal process. Those who remain off alcohol for an extended period of time can experience some specific withdrawal symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Going through the withdrawal process is one of the scariest moments in an alcoholic’s life. Many people suffer from racing thoughts and racing heartbeats, which can make them feel uncomfortable and even frightened. According to WebMD, other symptoms include:

  • profuse sweating
  • vomiting
  • visual hallucinations
  • auditory hallucinations
  • paranoid thoughts
  • convulsions
  • seizures
  • anxious thoughts

Why Seek Outside Help

Many people assume that they don’t need help when withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. Safely withdrawing from any substance can help an addict recover in a comfortable environment and increase the person’s chances of avoiding alcohol in the future. During the withdrawal phase, the alcoholic might have problems focusing on the people in the room and act out in violent ways. Getting professional help ensures that everyone feels safe. Seeking help is equally important because the risk of death is possible during withdrawal. Doctors, counselors, and nurses can monitor the alcoholic for any potentially fatal problems.

Clinical Detoxification

Clinical detoxification is a viable option for those with good health insurance. Most insurers will cover one to three stays in a clinical setting which gives an alcoholic ample chances to abstain from the substance. These programs are available in hospitals and clinics across the country, but users must ensure that their insurer will cover a stay in that location and that the facility has an available bed. Most of these programs take place over several days, and users can then go home or go to a treatment facility.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is one of the more popular options for those who need help with alcohol treatment. These programs typically work on a part-time basis, with users spending part of the day in the facility and part of the day out in the real world. There are a number of problems associated with outpatient rehab programs, and many people find that they lack the commitment to such a program. A large number of users also have problems fitting in the rehab program with their daily lives, citing work and personal obligations that prevent them from attending meetings. Some users also find that these programs focus more on long-term care than detox.

Partial Treatment

Partial treatment is similar to outpatient treatment because patients only spend a small amount of time at the facility. Doctors and nurses on staff let patients work, spend time at home, take day trips with their families, and do other tasks every day, but they also require that patients spend a few hours in the facility. This can lead some patients to experiment with drugs and alcohol while at home, and it can impede their recovery process. Seeking help from a partial treatment facility typically begins with the detox process. After spending a weekend at the facility, patients go off into the real world.

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient programs are generally the best choice for those struggling with alcohol use. Unlike other facilities which give patients a high level of freedom, these treatment centers ask that patients live on-site throughout the detox and treatment process. Also known as residential treatment programs, patients have limited contact with the outside world, which lets them focus on their needs and goals. Doctors often find that outpatient programs provide too much freedom for patients. These patients struggle with maintaining balance between their needs and the needs of those in their lives. Residential facilities keep patients on track throughout the process.

After Check-In

After entering the treatment facility, the alcoholic will go through an inventory process. This involves talking to the doctor about any medications the person takes for health conditions or diseases, discussing the severity of the alcohol problem, and learning when the person took his or her last drink. The doctor will also need information about the patient’s medical history, family history, job, legal problems, and family. This helps the doctor identify any potential problems or issues that might arise. After being shown to a room, the doctor will work with the patient during the detoxification process.

Why Inpatient Treatment is Best

Inpatient treatment is often the best option because it helps the patient put their own needs first. Many people find that going through detox alone isn’t enough to keep them away from alcohol. As soon as they return home, they start drinking again and they look for their friends and others they drank with before going to rehab. Inpatient programs teach alcohol users how to avoid the temptations they face at home and how to control their urges. Some programs even mock settings that mimic the situations patients might face at home.

Taking The Next Step

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 23 percent of those who checked into publicly funded treatment programs suffered from alcoholism and more than 18 percent sought treatment for a drug and alcohol problem. Those simple figures show that alcoholism is a serious disease, and those seeking detox help should know that others feel the same way. Taking the next step is easy. Alcohol users can seek recommendations from their insurance providers or the human resources department at work, or they can look for programs in their cities. These programs will help those struggling with alcoholism detox and wean themselves off the substance, and the programs will save loved ones from watching the person go through this debilitating disease.

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