Alcohol Detox

Without treatment, 90% of people with addiction relapse. Treatment reduces that statistic by up to 50%.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Is an alcohol detox program in your near future? Anyone who wants to quit drinking alcohol can benefit from detoxing under medical care.

Withdrawing from alcohol alone is hard… and much of the time, it doesn’t work.

Trends like alcohol cleanses don’t have medical support behind them. Neither do home remedies for alcohol detox. The safest way to stop using alcohol is by attending a detox treatment program.

Alcohol detox programs work when you combine them with a full time alcohol addiction treatment programalcohol withdrawal process. You can take recovery into your own hands by choosing an alcohol detox program. Detox helps you start recovery on the right foot.

What is Alcohol Detox Treatment?

An alcohol detox program provides supportive care through the withdrawal process.

Detoxing from alcohol comes with side effects that can be hard to manage alone. You may feel dehydrated and malnourished from the time you spent abusing alcohol.

When you stop using alcohol after long-term or heavy use, you’ll experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS)As your body detoxes from alcohol, you’ll feel sick, shaky, and moody for 5 to 7 days or longer.

Detoxing from alcohol alone is dangerous. It increases your risk of relapsing and ensures that you’ll be uncomfortable. That isn’t the right note on which to start your recovery.

An alcohol detox center can manage the way you feel during detox, keeping you safe and comfortable until it’s time to move to alcohol inpatient treatment rehab.

Who Needs Alcohol Detox?

Anyone who wants to stop drinking alcohol should go to detox. You’re more likely to relapse if you try to stop drinking alone.

It’s true that relapse is a common part of recovery. But you do have some control over your risk. Most people can reduce their risk of relapse by going to detox.

You may need detox if you:

  • Drink alcohol to start your day
  • Drink during the day or during inappropriate times and places
  • Have social, financial, or legal problems due to your drinking
  • Find yourself lying about your drinking or hiding it
  • Can’t stop drinking alcohol even if you want to
  • Have withdrawal and cravings when you stop drinking alcohol

You also need detox if you have any of the signs of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS).

AWS can be mild, moderate, or severe. The symptoms vary depending on the severity. If you have a history of heavy drinking, you’re more likely to experience severe symptoms.

Mild to moderate AWS feels like:

  • Appetite loss
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes, including anxiety, irritability or depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Night terrors
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Trouble thinking

If you develop severe withdrawal, you could experience delirium tremens, or DTs. This detox complication can feel very frightening. The symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Extreme agitation
  • Fever
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Call 911 immediately if you suspect delirium tremens. This complication can be life-threatening.

What to Expect From Alcohol Detox Treatment

A detox program helps you manage the side effects of withdrawal and alcohol abuse. You’ll receive 24/7 monitoring and care until the worst is over.
Depending on the program and your needs, you should expect:

  • Constant care and monitoring from addiction specialists
  • Access to amenities to keep you comfortable
  • Symptom management for AWS-related problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, or insomnia
  • Anti-seizure medication to control convulsions
  • Antipsychotic medication to control hallucinations, delusions, and other serious psychotic side effects
  • Beta-blockers to control high blood pressure
  • Sedative medications to control mood changes, anxiety, and agitation

Muscle relaxers to control pain and spasms Nutritional support to reverse malnutrition from long-term alcohol addiction, which can cause B-complex deficiencies and other issues

Many alcohol abuse treatment centers require that you attend detox before treatment. You need to get through the uncomfortable effects of withdrawal before you can focus on recovery.

How Long Alcohol Detox Lasts

The length of your alcohol detox is individual and depends on your history.

This includes factors such as:

  • Your age
  • Your physical and mental health
  • Your alcohol use history, including any heavy drinking, poly-drug use or long-term drinking

If you’re older or have health problems, your detox may be longer than usual. The same is true if you have a complicated alcohol use history.

For most people, 5 to 7 days is enough time to detox from alcohol. Some people may detox faster. Your care team will help you choose the right detox length for you.

How Long Alcohol Detox Lasts if You Develop PAWS

Some people develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. You’re more likely to develop PAWS if you have a history of heavy alcohol use for a long time.

With PAWS, detox symptoms follow you months after you stop using alcohol.

If you develop PAWS, your detox stay might be extended. Or you might learn strategies to control PAWS in treatment after detox. Many people with PAWS are candidates for MAT, which can control the syndrome.

Alcohol Detox Treatment Process

It’s normal to be curious about what happens in alcohol detox. At Bedrock Recovery Center in Massachusetts, our alcohol detox protocol includes:

Supportive Care for Alcohol Detox

No two patients have the exact same withdrawal process, so we tailor our care to your needs.

This might include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and access to care via board-certified physicians who specialize in addiction care
  • Nutritional support to address the long-term nutritional deficiencies that are common with alcohol addiction
  • Symptom management to keep you comfortable as needed

Alcohol Detox Medications

Your care team may use medications to control your symptoms during alcohol withdrawal.

Some examples of alcohol detox drugs include:

  • Antiseizure medication to control convulsions
  • Antipsychotic medication to control hallucinations, delusions, and other serious psychotic side effects
  • Beta-blockers to control high blood pressure
  • Sedative medications to control mood changes, anxiety, and agitation
  • Muscle relaxers to control pain and spasms

Your care team may talk to you about alcohol medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of medications to manage long-term withdrawal and cravings.

Most MAT drugs work best when you have completed detox. Still, your care team will help you decide if you’re a candidate for MAT after detox ends.

After alcohol detox, you’ll transition into an inpatient alcohol addiction treatment program.

Why Choose Bedrock Recovery Center?

Bedrock Recovery Center can help you stop drinking alcohol today. We’ll give you the support and tools you need in a recovery-focused environment. And we’ll prepare you with the skills you need for aftercare.

Our facility in Canton, MA gives you a homelike place to recover in comfort.

Our residential inpatient program for alcohol detox includes:

  • Inclusive programming: Addiction has a strong relationship with trauma, gender-based violence, and family conflict. We offer culturally humble solutions, including family-centric and trauma-informed programming.
  • Medication-assisted treatment: If you’re a candidate for MAT, you may receive medications to control withdrawal and cravings. For alcohol, those includes acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram.
  • Recovery-focused recreation: Between treatment sessions, patients can enjoy our state-of-the-art movie theater, fitness center, yoga studio, and outdoor recreation areas.
  • Therapy: Behavioral health is an important aspect of recovery. We’ll help you choose the right therapy type for your treatment plan. Many patients use a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and counseling.

Call us today to start your recovery journey. Our beautiful Canton, MA treatment center is waiting for you!

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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