What Is Alcohol Detox?
Alcoholics become addicted to alcohol when they mentally obsess and physically cannot abstain from drinking due to the pains of withdrawal. This is when detox is needed. Detox or detoxification is the process of the body’s removal of drugs or alcohol. When this occurs there can be withdrawal symptoms that may be uncomfortable for the user or, depending on the severity of the addiction, turn deadly. Withdrawal symptoms can start from 6 hours from the last drink and last up to weeks and months. The withdrawal symptom experience can differ for each individual depending on many factors such as:
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What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox (or detoxification) is the natural process that occurs in the body as it attempts to rid the system of waste products and toxins from excessive, long-term alcohol consumption. In a treatment setting, alcohol detox is usually accompanied by medication, medical observation, and counseling. Some people are apprehensive to quit drinking due to withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detox is the first step in treating alcoholism.
When Does Alcohol Withdrawal Start?
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 6 – 8 hours after the last drink, but can occur days later. Symptoms usually peak by 24 to 72 hours, but may go on for weeks. We’ve listed the most common and uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms below. Keep in mind that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms during their alcoholism detox.
Our team of experienced professionals, in conjunction with our highly personalized detox treatment plan, will help you get through this phase with a high-level of comfort. We want to make this process as comfortable as possible, while also ensure a smooth transition to your next step in sobriety.
What Treatment is used in Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is the preparatory step before a longer treatment program. Alcohol Detox can be safely performed at both inpatient and outpatient facilities, but round-the-clock medical monitoring is recommended for heavy users. Part of the detox process includes keeping the patient’s system right and avoiding major physiological upsets. Sometimes medications are necessary to do this. Benzodiazepines (benzos), including Librium, Valium, and Ativan, are commonly used for alcohol treatment because they reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms and also prevent alcohol withdrawal seizures. Seizures are one of the most common causes of fatality in alcohol withdrawal; so additional anti-convulsion drugs are often used as well.
While benzos have been proven effective in treating or preventing certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it is imperative that a recovering alcoholic only use medically recommended amounts of the drugs. Benzos are addictive substances all on their own, and use should be closely monitored. It can be dangerous detoxing alone the same with any other substance. Especially in the cases of long-term alcohol abusers, detoxing cold turkey can be dangerous and even fatal. It is always recommended to seek medical attention for an alcohol detox to avoid life threatening side effects.