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An overview of what is detox

An alcohol-related diagnosis is typically followed by a visit to an alcohol detox centre. But what actually goes on in this process?

This guide will walk you through three stages of alcohol detoxification, including withdrawal symptoms and the length of time they last, the medications used to combat them, medications which can reduce cravings, and resources for self-care when the patient has arrived at the center. It also includes some information about what to expect when leaving an alcohol detox center.

Alcoholism’s Effects on Mind & Body

Alcohol’s pleasure is a popular pastime in society across the globe over the centuries. Many people indulge in it to alleviate anxiety and stress brought on by the pressures of daily life.

While there is no “cure” for alcoholism but removing yourself from it is a vital first step toward sobriety. The aim of a patient who has completed their alcohol detox is to not only cleanse their body of alcohol, but also learn how they can continue to abstain in the future.

Problems with Alcohol Detox

A lot of people who are addicted to alcohol have a difficult time trying to stop drinking being fully aware of the consequences.

The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol could be serious and result in seizures or delirium (DTs) which is a life-threatening condition that usually requires hospitalization. A few people experience hallucinations, or psychosis when they are withdrawing, which could be life-threatening if they are not taken care of by a medical professional.

Someone at risk of DTs should never attempt to detox on their own. They should also avoid moving from one level of care until they are medically required to do so. The process of detoxing should only be conducted in a secure and controlled environment such as an alcohol detox facility where patients are able to receive ongoing supervision and care.

Alcohol detox typically happens in three distinct phases: withdrawal of alcohol, post-acute withdrawal (PAWS) and prolonged withdrawal.

The first two phases typically last around a week, and the third one can sometimes extend for some time after the alcohol user stops drinking. PAWS symptoms include fatigue and mood swings sleep issues, insomnia, fatigue, problems with concentration anger, mood fluctuations. Former drinkers must modify their lifestyle to deal with these symptoms. They can seek out help through organizations 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 matter of hours. This condition can last for as long as couple of weeks.

The first phase of detoxification can be between two and three weeks, and is characterized by severe withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms usually disappear within 48 hours, but in some instances they could be present for as long as five days. This is the time when the physical side of detox starts. The people undergoing alcohol detox may experience tremors and nausea. However, these signs typically will last only a few hours maximum.

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The aim of patients who undergo an alcohol detox is to detox their body of alcohol, but also to discover how to continue to refrain from drinking in the near future. To ensure safety detox centers offer 24 hours supervision and monitoring for the patients.

Although withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe for some patients, they are not usually dangerous when they are properly treated.

After finishing the detox phase heavy drinkers generally go through the “rehab” or post acute withdrawal stage that can last from weeks to months following the cessation of drinking, depending on how quickly an individual is able to adjust to life without alcohol. There are times when they may experience signs of withdrawal from earlier ones, including insomnia and irritability. They may also experience alcohol cravings.

Treatment programs typically consist of group therapy with other recovering addicts, as well as individual sessions of counseling with a therapist trained in addiction medicine. These programs have been found to greatly increase recovery rates over time.

Addicts to alcohol may experience withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly cease drinking following a time of excessive intoxication or prescription medications or other substances. To avoid the dangers associated with abruptly stopping drinking, it is important that people who are trying to quit drinking know the warning indications and effects of withdrawal. There are some who require medical assistance for detoxing from alcohol, particularly if they have been addicted for an extended period of time.