When someone drinks heavily for a long timeframe, be it weeks or years, that could result in mental and physical challenges when attempting to stop. Those challenges are what happens during alcohol detox when withdrawal happens. That often leads many to wonder what alcohol detox is. This question is a common one among those who have concerns about a loved one being dependent on or addicted to alcohol.
What Is Alcohol Detox?
When someone consumes excessive amounts of alcohol for a lengthy timeframe, and they want to stop, they need to go through alcohol detox. The process of detox occurs when someone’s body naturally attempts to eliminate a substance, including alcohol. When someone goes through alcohol detox in a treatment setting, it typically occurs with counseling, medical observation, and medication.
It is not uncommon for individuals that have a history of heavy drinking to experience uncomfortable side effects when detoxing. Some of these negative side effects could be dangerous. Because users drink alcohol for a long time, that could lead to biological changes and the build-up of tolerance. Alcohol detox disrupts this balance when restoring an alcohol abuser to a healthy state. Therefore, alcohol detox is a delicate process that requires supervision.
The Detoxification Process
Reviewing the detox process can help us understand more about what alcohol detox is. Those going through detox are preparing themselves for lengthier addiction treatment programs. It is possible to safely detox from substances, including alcohol, in inpatient, and outpatient treatment facilities. For heavy users, the recommendation is that they receive around the clock care. Typically, the detoxification process involves the following steps:
- Intake process: All incoming patients undergo a thorough evaluation from medical professionals, and, during that process, they review medical and psychiatric histories.
- Medication assistance: To help mitigate withdrawal symptoms, many treatment facilities use medication that mimics the effects of alcohol.
- Stabilization process: Patients must undergo therapies, including medical and psychological, to help them strike a mind and body balance.
- Treatment planning: Those participating in alcohol detox must also work with professionals regarding continued care after the withdrawal symptoms fade.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Depending on how heavy or for how long someone drank, their withdrawal symptoms could range from mild to severe. Some users find that they are experiencing withdrawals as quickly as six hours after taking their last drink. Examples of these withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Shaky hands
Those who are withdrawing could also experience severe symptoms that include hallucinations starting between 12 and 24 hours after their last drink. Others might find that, within the first days of detoxing, they could experience seizures. Some also might feel, hear, or see things that are not there.
Between 48 and 72 hours after taking their last drink, users might also experience delirium tremens or DTs. These symptoms are severe and include delusions and hallucinations. However, only five percent of those going through alcohol detox experience them when withdrawing.
What Happens After Alcohol Detox
Once the alcohol detox process is complete, those in recovery have gone through their first step. That means, users still must undergo treatment for battling their alcohol addiction. Keep in mind that, even though alcohol detox rids the body of toxins, it is not a cure for alcoholism. Alcohol detox helps heal their body and clear their mind before pursuing substance abuse treatment.
It is not uncommon to experience stress or feel overwhelmed when learning more about alcohol detox. However, with the right support and resources, a lot of the stress and worry is alleviated. Now is the time to get support. Contact Renaissance Recovery by calling [Direct] to receive the answers and treatment you need.