Alcohol Detox

What Is Alcoholic Detox?

Alcoholic detox is the procedure by which alcohol is removed from the body through a forced period of withdrawal. A licensed medical practitioner may administer other drugs designed to help limit the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome during the detoxification process, and the sufferer may also begin the rehabilitation program at this time. The focus during this time is typically detoxing from alcoholism for good and avoiding the likelihood of relapse. Friends or family may be allowed to visit the patient during this period if the medical professional determines that it would be beneficial for the health of the patient. Some doctors may limit visits due to the extreme agitation, emotional withdrawal and other effects commonly experienced by sufferers during the detoxification period.

This process can be a very taxing and personal event, but assistance is available through our 24 hour help line 800-861-9454 or you can fill out our secure and confidential contact form for more information on alcohol detox.

Concept

"Alcoholic detox is the procedure by which alcohol is removed from the body through a forced period of withdrawal."The concept of alcohol detoxification revolves around the removal of the toxic substances from the body. Due to the high likelihood of alcohol withdrawal syndrome development, each stage must be monitored by a health care professional possessing sound knowledge of addiction and abuse treatment. During the process, a licensed therapist or leader of a local support group may visit the patient regularly to evaluate progress and provide support. Alcoholism detox does not guarantee freedom from the condition indefinitely, and rehabilitation groups or therapists can provide additional assurances to the sufferer. Relapse after detoxification typically requires another intense detox stage, and few sufferers desire to have to go through the process and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome more than once.

Process

The process begins with the patient being placed under observation by a licensed care provider. The medical team ensures that the sufferer does not have access to alcohol or other substances to which they may be addicted, and begins to administer replacement drugs designed to lessen the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The effects of withdrawal are most pronounced during the detoxification process as the body's physical and mind's psychological dependencies make themselves clearly known in the absence of alcohol. Access to outside stimuli, including visits outside of the observation area or television viewing, may be limited or allowed based on the determination of the medical professionals involved. If the patient appears to be making progress, visitors may be allowed in the room and the rehabilitation process may begin towards the end of the detoxification period. Sufferers are typically discharged once it is clear that all alcohol has been purged from their systems and little to no medical support is required. It is at this time that support groups may be engaged fully to prevent relapse.

Call our support line anytime at 800-861-9454 for additional help or resources on the processes used during detoxification.

Challenges

"The concept of alcohol detoxification revolves around the removal of the toxic substances from the body."The effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and the patient's own physical and psychological dependencies on alcohol pose the two most significant challenges during alcohol detox. The physical effects encountered may include diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, headache, insomnia, migraines, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, restlessness, seizures, sweating, tremors and localized weakness. Psychological effects likely to occur during this period include agitation, anxiety, catatonia, confusion, depression, euphoria, fear, hallucinations, irritability and even the development of psychoses. A licensed health care practitioner can help alleviate these adverse effects through carefully applied medications, though the doctor or other provider must take precautions to ensure the addiction does not transfer to any medications used during the detoxification process.

Physical and psychological dependencies often mirror the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, but these may also be limited to a specific individual and not easily classified. For this reason, it is advisable to employ a doctor familiar with the full physical and mental health history of the patient so that personal conditions are not confused for more generic withdrawal syndrome effects.

Rehabilitation After Detox

The final stage of most detoxification programs involves support and rehabilitation. These programs are designed to help avoid relapse and a repeat of the detox process in the future. National organizations may offer assistance to sufferers, and some patients may prefer one-on-one counseling or family therapy to larger groups. Each rehabilitation process should be tailored to the individual's needs and address the underlying concerns that may have lead to alcohol abuse and addiction. The methods employed by each process may be unique to the organization or use popular faith-based or 12-step methods. Many groups combine these processes into a method that has proven successful with previous participants. Relapse into alcohol abuse at this point is likely to require the sufferer to repeat the entire process, and most organizations seek to avoid that result as a primary goal.

For more information on alcoholic detox, rehabilitation, the processes involved or finding a medical practitioner in your area call 800-861-9454.

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