There are some detox programs that only focus on withdrawal from alcohol. Most often, however, detox programs supervise withdrawal from a variety of substances, including alcohol.
In 2015, more than 15 million people over the age of 18 in the United States were living with an alcohol use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). All who were included in that number were in need of alcohol detox and treatment, yet only a small percentage reached out for the help they needed. Many died as a result.
Alcoholism is a deadly disease, and undergoing alcohol detox with high-dose addiction and/or combo addictions in evidence can be dangerous without the right medical care and round-the-clock support.
For this reason, there are detox programs available that provided specialized care designed to meet the needs of people with high-dose alcohol addictions. These programs can provide the best possible start to a new life in recovery.
Though there are few programs that focus exclusively on the treatment of alcoholism, there are many broad detox programs that support all people in recovery from any substance use disorder. It is important to ensure that the program you choose offers everything you need to stay safe throughout the detox process if medical issues arise.
For those who have lived with alcoholism for years, the risk of delirium tremens or serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms is high. It is especially important to ensure that the chosen rehab program is equipped to manage any issue that might arise.
Specialized alcohol detox programs offer essential tools to help clients navigate the unexpected during the detox process. They offer:
Medical and therapeutic professionals who have been trained in the treatment of substance use disorders will see the signs of developing issues before they reach a critical point.
Substance abuse treatment professionals can ask the right questions to identify potential risks and concerns in advance, empowering them to prepare effectively and respond as needed should a crisis arise.
With support standing by, clients and their families can rest assured that someone will be there to respond in the event that there is a medical or psychiatric emergency.
Alcohol detox is not just a physical process, but a psychological process as well. Having therapeutic professionals on standby to offer encouragement and assistance to work through difficulties is essential.
Once detox is complete, and the person is stabilized, it is imperative to transition into an addiction treatment program. This is not always an easy process, even with family present, so it is fundamental to have the support of substance abuse treatment professionals.
No two days are alike in alcohol detox, and no two people will experience the same sequence of events. Just as alcohol use disorders occur along a spectrum and are impacted by different issues, there are also a number of factors that affect how substance abuse treatment is received and how an individual responds.
In general, there are certain stages of detox that are expected. The specific symptoms and the degree to which they are experienced will vary widely, depending on the amount of alcohol ingested daily at the time of detox. Also, if addiction or dependence on other substances is also an issue, and/or if there are underlying co-occurring mental health or medical issues either created or worsened by heavy alcohol use.
If seizures, intensely high internal body temperature, or other medical issues develop, ongoing medical monitoring is necessary.
At-home alcohol detox is not safe. A professional alcohol detox program, staffed by substance abuse treatment experts and equipped with all the resources necessary to handle any issue that arises, will provide a safe detox experience.
Though some will try to prepare by lowering their use of alcohol or trying to switch to other drugs, this can be very unsafe to do alone. If a person binges on alcohol or other substances before detox, this can trigger a medical emergency and/or make it that much more difficult to navigate the withdrawal process, especially in the earliest days.
The best way to prepare for the intense physical and mental process of alcohol detox is to do what you can in advance to ensure you are set up for success. They may seem like little things, but even the smallest choices can add up to significant value.
Alcohol addiction treatment is an essential follow-up step to detox. Without it, it is almost impossible to stay sober for any length of time.
Soon, all the stressors that caused you to pick up a drink in the first place and to continue to choose alcohol as a coping mechanism and a means of escape will continue to exist and become hazardous again. It is important to turn your attention toward learning how to manage these issues healthfully, limiting your exposure to stress as much as possible, managing co-occurring disorders, and increasing the number of healthy choices you make, so you begin to crave alcohol less and less.
This recovery process begins in addiction treatment after detox. The sooner you can begin treatment after you feel physically stable, the better.
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