Approximately 13.8 million Americans over 18 years old have problems with drinking alcohol. This includes 8.1 million who suffer from alcoholism. For those who are dependent on alcohol, one of the first steps to recovery is undergoing detoxing from the substance. Here’s what you need to know about undergoing detoxing processes either at home or at an alcohol detox center.
Detox Treatment Types
There are many ways for a person to begin the detoxing processes from addiction to alcohol. A person can choose to quit “cold turkey”, which means they immediately stop drinking alcohol completely and face any withdrawal symptoms on their own. However, this can be incredibly difficult for some, and they may be better suited to treatment from an inpatient or outpatient facility.
At an inpatient facility, a person will receive medical assistance from staff while undergoing alcoholism treatment. The side effects of withdrawal can be severe and can lead to a coma or death if not treated under proper medical supervision. To help the patient be more comfortable a doctor will prescribe medications to relieve pain, ease anxiety, and assist with sleep.
Depending on the severity of the addiction, detoxing can be risky. When a person who is addicted to alcohol stops drinking, withdrawal symptoms begin. These can be incredibly severe. Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, nausea, anxiety, vomiting, insomnia, and muscle pain. It can also cause confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. Because of these symptoms, it can be medically unsafe to undergo alcohol detoxification without medical supervision. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Once a person has eliminated alcohol from their system and withdrawal symptoms are under control, therapy can begin to help treat the addiction. During therapy, a person will receive tools and resources to learn how to cope with everyday problems without needing to resort to alcohol. Relapse can be a common experience as a person learns why they started drinking in the first place and learning how to live without it. It can take time for the brain to be rewired not to need the substance any longer. Many people spend the rest of their lives on the journey to recovery from alcohol addiction.
It may take several detoxing processes from alcohol addiction for a person to achieve and maintain sobriety. However, it can help a person achieve a longer and happier life. If you are suffering from alcohol addiction, seek help from a medical professional right away. They can help save and rebuild your life.