An alcohol detox centre is often necessary following the confirmation of an alcohol-related disorder. But what happens during this procedure?
This guide walks you through the three phases involved with the process of detoxification. It covers withdrawal symptoms, how long they last, the drugs that are used for treating them, medications that can be used to prevent cravings, as well as self-care options once you’ve arrived at the detox center. There is also some information about what to expect when leaving the alcohol detox facility.
The physical and mental effects of Alcoholism on the mind and body
Alcohol is a popular drink in societies all over the world for centuries and is consumed by many people hoping it can relieve anxiety or stress caused by the stress of modern life.
Although there isn’t a “cure” for alcoholism however, a process of detoxing is an important first step toward sobriety. The objective of a patient who has completed their alcohol detox is to not only rid their system of any alcohol, but also learn how they can continue to stay abstinence in the future.
It can be difficult to detoxify from alcohol.
A lot of people who are addicted to alcohol find it difficult to stop drinking even if they are aware of the consequences.
The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol could be serious and include seizures or delirium tremens (DTs) that is a potentially life-threatening illness that is usually treated in a hospital. Some people may have hallucinations or psychosis as a result of withdrawal. This is a risk if it is not treated by a professional.
Persons at high risk of developing DTs are advised not to detox by themselves. They should avoid switching between levels of care unless they are advised by a medical professional. Only detoxification should be done in a controlled and safe location such as an alcohol detox center. Patients will receive constant guidance and support.
Alcohol detox usually occurs with three distinct phases: withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and protracted withdrawal.
The first two phases normally last about a week, but the third can sometimes extend for weeks or even years following the time an drinker stops drinking. Signs of PAWS include cravings, mood swings, sleep issues, fatigue concentration difficulties and irritation. Former alcohol users will have to change their habits to cope with the symptoms. They may seek help through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), psychotherapy, and/or therapy.
Understanding Alcohol Detox Phases: A Timeline
After quitting drinking, it’s possible to suffer from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) within a few hours. This could last as long as a few weeks.
The initial phase of detoxification from alcohol can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks. It is marked with severe psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms usually disappear within 48 hours, but in some cases they can last up to five days. This is when the physical part of detoxification begins. Individuals undergoing a detox from alcohol might have nausea or tremors. But, these symptoms usually last for about an hour maximum.
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The goal of a patient undergoing detox isn’t only to clear his or her system of all traces of alcohol, but also to discover how to remain abstinence for the next time. A detox center offers patients with 24 hour monitoring and supervision while they detox to ensure their safety.
While the patient’s withdrawal symptoms may be severe but they’re not necessarily dangerous (unless they are not treated).
Former heavy drinkers usually go through the “rehab” phase, also known as post-acute withdrawal, following the completion of their alcohol detox. This can last from several weeks to a few months, depending upon how quickly they adapt to living without alcohol. At this point they may experience some physical effects of withdrawal, such as insomnia, insomnia, and concentration difficulties. Additionally, they’ll likely experience Alcohol cravings.
Most treatment programs include individual sessions of counseling with an addiction medicine therapist and groups therapy with recovering alcoholics. As time passes, these therapies have been proven to enhance the rate of recovery.
People who are addicted to alcohol will often experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly quit drinking following a period of intense intoxication, prescription medications or other substances. It is vital for those trying to stop drinking to recognize the indicators, symptoms and consequences of withdrawal in order to reduce the risks associated with stopping use abruptly. But, there are those who require medical supervision during alcohol detox, especially when their addiction has been going for years.