Alcohol detox programs are available for individuals who have alcohol use disorder or AUD. It is a condition where the alcohol use pattern of a person has become too problematic and has been causing significant issues and stress. AUD may mild or it may become severe without treatments like alcohol detox programs.
If you have an alcohol use disorder, then it’s best to seek help now. You may already be suffering from plenty of symptoms, and for this, you need treatment. The care you’re going to need will rely on your condition, whether it is still mild or it has become severe.
There are individuals with AUD who have become dependent on the substance, in this case, alcohol. When they stop drinking all of a sudden, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. That is why it’s best to go into alcohol detox programs because the symptoms of withdrawal can get uncomfortable. There are even cases where it is dangerous if the detox is not supervised.
The detox itself is not the treatment although it is the first part of a series of treatments in a rehabilitation program. Detox is an important part of the process for people who have become dependent on alcohol.
If you have AUD and you suddenly stop drinking, within six to twenty-four hours, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can manifest even when you still have alcohol in your system. The withdrawal symptoms may be mild but it can get quite serious and frightening for others. Here are some of the symptoms that you may experience:
- Problems with sleep
- Unstable heart rate and blood pressure
- And Delirium tremens which can be life-threatening.
How to Know if You Need an Alcohol Detox Program
If you are having problems with your drinking habits, then it’s time to make an honest assessment of yourself. For example, do you need alcohol just so you can feel normal? If so, then the best step is for you to seek professional help.
What you need to understand about quitting alcohol is that it’s not about your willpower. You cannot simply stop cold turkey and tell yourself that you’re never going to drink again. Your condition is more complex than that.
At this point, your body has become dependent on alcohol. If you immediately stop drinking without medical supervision, it can get quite dangerous for you. So, to avoid any problems with quitting alcohol, getting into an alcohol detox program will be the best way to go about it.
Remember that some withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that it can be risky and fatal. And even if you only have a mild AUD, the withdrawal symptoms can still be uncomfortable. If you’re in an alcohol detox program, the healthcare provider can give you medications to ease your discomfort.
By being in a detox program, you can also be given the support and guidance that you need so that you can go through the withdrawal process successfully. Healthcare providers will check on you to see that you’re getting the best care while going through such a difficult time. You will also get the opportunity to talk to a therapist and join group therapy sessions so that your mental health will also be taken care of.
The withdrawal symptoms could last for at least a week. You need to prepare yourself for the first 24 hours to 3 days because that’s the worst time during withdrawal. Nevertheless, when you overcome the first few days of detox, things will get much easier. And when you’re in a detox program, you can rely on your healthcare providers to give you the best care.
Related article: How to Help Your Loved One with Alcohol Addiction
What You Can Expect During Detox
Before getting into alcohol detox programs, there’s going to be an assessment so that the healthcare providers can determine what you’re going to need for your alcohol use disorder treatment. It may include blood work, drinking history, medical history, and assessments of your mental and physical health.
During the detox program, you will be given all the support that you need to successfully break away from your addiction. So, you may be given medications to make the detox process a lot less uncomfortable. You will be monitored throughout the process so that you will be physically and mentally stable, especially in the first few days of detox.
You can expect regular physical check-ups like taking your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, as well as breathing. Your healthcare providers will also help you with your options after detox so that you can break the addiction to alcohol for good. It may include inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs.
Different Kinds of Rehabilitation Programs
Once you’ve successfully gone through alcohol detox, then you may begin your addiction recovery journey. Through rehabilitation programs, you can learn many things about why addiction happens and how you can overcome your addictions. Here are your options:
- Inpatient – this kind of rehab program requires you to live temporarily in a rehab centre, detox clinic, or hospital. During this time, you will be provided with care and supervision 24/7 so that you can get through the most difficult times of the process.
- Outpatient – with this rehab program, you won’t be living in the rehab centre. During the day, you will get the treatment that you need for your alcohol addiction recovery. And when you’re done for the day, you may return to your home.
Many healthcare providers would recommend inpatient rehab programs so that your health can be monitored closely. However, it is more expensive than outpatient rehab care. To know which kind of rehab program is going to be best for your condition, talk to your doctor so that a proper assessment can be made.
What you have to keep in mind about alcohol detox programs and rehabilitation for alcohol use disorder is that it’s only the start of your recovery journey. There are going to be a lot of changes that you need to make in your lifestyle and behaviour so that you can successfully get rid of the bad habit and addiction. It’s not going to be an easy ride but at the end of the process, you’re going to have your life back and you can start anew.
Related article: How to Overcome Alcohol Addiction?