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How Alcohol Detox Helps with Withdrawal

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If you are dependent upon or addicted to alcohol, you know that it is having a negative impact on your life. You know that you need to quit drinking. But, what you may not know is that you will undergo some severe, risky side effects when you finally stop drinking and these will make you want to relapse. To succeed in the first stages of recovery, you need to get outside help. You need professional, structured treatment.

Obviously, withdrawal sets in when you stop drinking, this occurs during a period called detoxification, or the process by which you transition from acutely intoxicated to an alcohol-free state of being. In this post, the symptoms of withdrawal will be detailed and the benefits of structured detox will follow.

It’s important to recognize both the severity of alcohol withdrawal—it is literally the most dangerous drug to stop using—and the ways that your discomfort can be managed by clinical professionals. This will help you to make plans for your detox period.

But, knowing you should get detox help and actually getting it are two different things. How can you find a treatment facility? How will you know it is the one for you? The best thing you can do is contact experts. Withdrawal.org is prepared to answer all of your questions, discuss funding, and direct you to appropriate detox treatment. Give us a call at 800-662-8079.

Detox

Alcohol Detox

Attending a clinical inpatient program is usually necessary for alcohol detox.

What is detox, exactly? Well, as mentioned above, it is the transition between being drunk and being free of alcohol. But, structured detox is the program that helps you through that transition. It can be either inpatient or outpatient.

However, as alcohol withdrawal is particularly risky, most experts will urge you to seek help from a clinical inpatient program. In such a program, you will remain in a hospital environment while doctors, nurses, and staff use medications and medical techniques to relieve and eliminate the pain and danger of withdrawal.

There are, of course, other models of professional detox and they will help to manage your symptoms, but because alcohol withdrawal can trigger life threatening conditions, continuous medical oversight is safest.

Education and Withdrawal

So, you know what detox for alcohol looks like, but what is it supposed to be managing? Withdrawal.

The first way that professional detox can help you through withdrawal symptoms is by providing information. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, detox facilities are able to increase your changes of engaging and remaining in a detox program by educating you about your withdrawal and its symptoms. Their detox guide states: “Providing information concerning withdrawal symptoms may reduce discomfort and the likelihood the individual will leave detoxification prematurely.”

Let’s get to the symptoms. The following are common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal according to the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations, especially auditory and visual ones
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Severe confusion
  • Seizures
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Headache
  • Tremors (shaking) of the hands or other body parts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping: insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams
  • Sweating
  • Clouded thinking
  • Damp skin
  • Increased heart rate

The most dangerous symptom is delirium tremens, or DTs. This symptom affects a relatively small portion of detoxing alcoholics—five to twenty percent—but it kills 5 percent of them.

Immediate Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal

Dual Diagnosis to Prevent Complications

In addition to educating patients to relieve withdrawal, detox facilities will also institute a thorough assessment at the start of the process and this will enable them to make a treatment plan. During this evaluation, you will be examined for secondary medical conditions you face in addition to addiction; this is known as a dual diagnosis.

Secondary conditions can impact the symptoms of withdrawal and increase their severity. By managing both conditions, the detox facility ensures you will not have to deal with more painful symptoms than you need to.

Medication to Ease Symptoms

Detox facilities will likely offer you medication to ease or eliminate your symptoms. The most commonly used drugs are benzodiazepines, like:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)

These drugs should:

  • Ease shakiness
  • Calm anxiety
  • Reduce confusion
  • lessen the risk of withdrawal seizures and DTs

To find a detox program that can help you through withdrawal and ease its symptoms, call 800-662-8079. Speak to an expert today and get started with your recovery.

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