Alcohol Detox Treatment

Alcohol Detox TreatmentBefore a person can begin to treat the psychological aspect of their addiction, they must undergo the detoxification process. Detox is the physical removal of alcohol (or any addictive substance) from the body. The purpose of detox is to eliminate the body’s physical dependency before the patient proceeds on to the counseling portion of alcohol treatment. Without treating the physical dependency, the body continues to crave alcohol, making the remaining stages of treatment extremely difficult if not impossible.  Detox centers provide patients with medical and therapeutic support while they go through detox and experience withdrawal.

What Happens During Alcohol Detox Treatment?

When a person consumes a significant amount of alcohol day after day for weeks, months or even years at a time, the body develops a biochemical dependency on the alcohol. That is to say, the body learns to function metabolically in the presence of excessive amounts of alcohol. The longer a person has been addicted, the stronger the biochemical dependency.  Once the patients stop consuming alcohol, they are likely to experience some or all of the following withdrawal symptoms.

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Intense alcohol cravings
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shaking

Withdrawal is a physically demanding process and addicts who try and stop using on their own often find they are tempted to drink when they experience these symptoms. More severe withdrawal symptoms include delirium, convulsions and blackouts.

Some detox programs offer a medical detox option, whereby patients take medications to supplement the presence of alcohol in their system. They are gradually weaned off the medication as detox goes on. The purpose of a medical detox is to minimize or even eliminate withdrawal symptoms. All patients who undergo detox, no matter what type of alcohol program, should receive constant medical support and full access to counselors throughout the process to help make their treatment a success.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Treatment Take to Complete?

Detox treatment can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to over a month to complete. In some patients with multiple addictions, it can last even longer than that. After patients are evaluated by the rehab facility’s staff and determined to have successfully completed detox, they can move on to the counseling and rehabilitation phase of treatment. Addicts who move on to counseling before their physical addiction is treated are more likely to relapse at some point during treatment.

Are you looking for a detox program for you or your loved one?  Please call our toll-free number and discuss your options with one of our trained counselors.

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