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Alcohol detox is defined as a medical intervention that helps a patient to navigate safely through the process of withdrawal after the cessation of drinking, according to a study published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement by The Washington Circle Group convened by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Office of Managed Care. Patients who are living with chronic alcohol abuse or alcoholism should begin their treatment with an alcohol detox as part of a comprehensive alcohol treatment program.
Alcohol detoxification can take place in one of two locations: on site at an alcohol rehab facility or off site at a stand-alone detox center (or hospital).
Most comprehensive alcohol treatment centers offer alcohol detox as part of their core program. In these cases, the individual begins detox as soon as he or she is done with the admissions process. However, some facilities are not equipped to handle alcohol detox on site.
In these cases, the alcohol rehab administrators will recommend a facility in the area that is equipped to provide medical services. Once the patient has completed the detox process, he or she will be free to begin addiction treatment and therapy to address the psychological aspect of alcohol dependence.
It is never recommended that patients who are living with an active addiction begin the withdrawal process without the supervision of medical professionals trained in the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. An inpatient alcohol detox facility is recommended for optimum safety and effectiveness.
Alcoholism is a deadly disease, taking the lives of more than 37,500 Americans due to alcoholic liver disease and other alcohol-related causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you would like to find an alcohol detox that can help you or someone you care about to break free from a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, contact us at Rehabs.com today. We can assist you in locating a top-notch alcohol rehab that will provide you with everything you need to begin a new life without alcohol.
During the first few days without alcohol, an alcoholic is likely to experience a number of different physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Because the brain and body adjusted to functioning with a large amount of alcohol present, when the individual stops drinking, these functions need to readjust without alcohol.
Unfortunately, this is not a simple process; throughout the course of alcohol abuse and addiction, significant and often permanent changes occurred in the brain, and the adjustment process can mean a slew of withdrawal symptoms.
These will vary in effect and intensity depending upon the person’s experience with alcohol, but according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common of them include:
Most Common Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Strong alcohol cravings
- Sweats and chills
- Hallucinations (known as the “DTs” and found in the most serious cases of alcoholism)
- Headaches, stomachaches and nausea
If you or someone you love suffers from alcoholism, you should know that the disease fosters a serious physical dependence in the body. Regular abuse of alcohol actually alters the way the body’s nervous system works, shifting how certain receptors function.
When an alcoholic stops drinking suddenly, it shocks the body, causing a variety of withdrawal symptoms that can be incredibly uncomfortable and even life threatening.
As a result, one should never attempt alcohol detox at home. It should always be done under the supervision of medical professionals who can intervene if necessary.
Can’t I Just Slowly Reduce My Drinking?
You may think that you can slowly reduce the amount that you drink over time, until you are eventually no longer drinking alcohol. While this sounds great in theory, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for most alcoholics to do.
An addiction to alcohol changes the way your brain and body function. Even though you may have the best intentions to reduce your drinking, it’s unlikely to happen without professional help.