What to Expect in Detox
Medical detox is the planned discontinuation of drinking in a controlled environment to help alleviate symptoms associated with withdrawal. Licensed clinicians will monitor you and can administer medications to make the experience more comfortable. Potential medications include Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium. Vitamin supplements may also be given in detox programs to replace depleted levels caused by consuming alcohol in excess.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Consuming alcohol daily for extended periods of time can cause your body to develop a tolerance to it. If drinking is abruptly discontinued or decreased, withdrawal can occur. Alcohol withdrawal refers to the physical and emotional symptoms you may experience when you quit drinking. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary in terms of length of time you experience them.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can occur within hours or days of the last drink and typically include at least two of the following:
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Elevated heart rate
- Loss of appetite
The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is referred to as delirium tremens and may include these symptoms:
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Tactile hallucinations which could be the sensation of itching or burning that isn’t actually happening
- Extreme agitation or confusion
If you experience hallucinations, racing heart, or a very high fever you should call your doctor or go to the hospital as you may need elevated care.
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
Typically withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Duration of withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how much alcohol was consumed, how long it was consumed, and body composition. Within the first 48 hours, you may experience hallucinations, seizures, or sensations of itching or burning that are not really happening. Delirium tremens can begin within 72 hours and should be reported to your doctor immediately.
What Happens in Medical Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal?
To avoid potentially dangerous complications, detox from alcohol should be monitored by trained medical professionals. They will develop an individualized treatment plan and will administer medications needed to ensure the process is as comfortable as possible. Part of the medical detox will include connecting you with an alcohol addiction treatment facility so you can continue right into treatment after detox is complete.
What Happens After Detox?
Once alcohol has been successfully detoxed out of your system, you’re ready to begin addiction treatment. The facility where you detox should provide you with a wealth of resources for continuing treatment, or they may work with other facilities where you can go directly once detox is completed. Addiction treatment will consist of a variety of different therapies modalities to equip you with the tools you will need to be successful in recovery. Addiction is often a result of traumatic events, genetics, or mental health conditions; so therapy will aim to address these so healing can begin. Individuals may use alcohol as a way to self-medicate from painful emotions they may experience on a Specific trauma therapies have been shown to quickly and effectively relieve symptoms associated with trauma, which can greatly improve success in recovery. The Source Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL provides expert addiction care in their luxurious facility. The Source has been certified by The Joint Commission and The Florida Association of Recovery Residences for adhering to a strict code of ethics in regards to addiction treatment. If you or a loved one would like more information on alcohol detox or to learn how The Source can help you on your journey to recovery, please call (800) 204-0418 or visit them online at www.thesourcetreatmentcenter.com.