The diagnosis of alcoholism is usually followed by visit to an alcohol detox centre. What happens during this procedure?
This guide takes readers through the three phases of detox, including withdrawal signs and the length of time they last, the drugs used to combat them, medications that can help avoid cravings, as well as resources for self-care following the time the patient arrives at the detox center. There is also some information about what to expect when leaving the alcohol detox facility.
Alcoholism’s Toll on Mind & Body
The pleasure of drinking has been enjoyed by people across the globe for centuries. Many people indulge in it to ease anxiety and stress caused from the stresses of everyday life.
There is no cure for alcoholism. But, it is vital to eliminate it so that you can move toward sobriety. The aim of an individual who is undergoing alcohol detox isn’t just to clear his or her body of any trace of alcohol but also to learn how to maintain abstinence in the future.
Difficulty in Alcohol Detox
A lot of people who are addicted to alcohol have a difficult time trying to stop drinking even if they are aware of the consequences.
The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can be severe. These can include seizures or delirium tremens (DTs). It can be a life-threatening problem which often requires hospitalization. A few people experience hallucinations, or psychosis during withdrawal, which can be life-threatening if not handled by a doctor.
Anyone at risk of DTs should not attempt to detox on their own–and should avoid shifting from one level care until they are medically directed to move. The process of detoxing should only be conducted in a safe and controlled environment , such as an alcohol detox center where patients are able to receive constant supervision and support.
Alcohol detox typically occurs with three distinct phases: withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and protracted withdrawal.
The first two phases can last for around a week. The third phase is usually months or even years after an alcoholic quits drinking. PAWS symptoms include mood swings and fatigue insomnia, sleep disorders, fatigue, concentration problems, irritation, and mood changes. Former drinkers will have to alter their lifestyle to manage these symptoms. They can seek support from organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), psychotherapy, and/or therapy.
Understanding Alcohol Detox Phases: A Timeline
After a few hours of quitting drinking, they may experience post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) an illness that lasts for months or weeks after having quit drinking.
The initial stage of alcohol detox can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks. It’s characterized by intense psychological withdrawal symptoms such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms typically subside after 48 hours (in some cases it can take up to five days). This is when the physical aspect of detox starts. Individuals in the process of detoxing from alcohol may be prone to nausea and tremors. These symptoms generally last for few hours.
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The main goal for a patient during detoxification from alcohol is not just to rid his or her body of any trace of alcohol, but also to discover how to remain abstinence for the next time. To ensure safety detox centers offer 24 hours supervision and monitoring for patients.
Although withdrawal symptoms can be intense but they’re not necessarily dangerous (unless not treated).
The majority of heavy drinkers go through the “rehab” stage, or post-acute withdrawal following the alcohol detox. This can last from weeks to months, contingent on the speed at which they adjust to living without alcohol. At this point it is possible that they will experience some physical effects of withdrawal, such as insomnia, insomnia and concentration problems. Additionally, they may experience alcohol cravings.
Treatment programs typically consist of groups of therapy with fellow recovering alcoholics in addition to individual counseling sessions with a therapist certified in addiction medicine. The treatment methods have been proven to dramatically increase the rate of recovery over time.
When someone is addicted to alcohol, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. This happens after an intoxication period or a prescription medication. To avoid the dangers associated when abruptly stopping drinking, it is crucial that those who are trying to stop drinking know the warning signs and effects of withdrawal. Certain people might require medical assistance for detoxing from alcohol, particularly if they have been addicted for a lengthy time.