What Is The Alcohol Detox Process Used In Treatment?

alcohol detox treatment

If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you may have been considering seeking out treatment. Alcoholism is life threatening addiction that can take a toll on your health, financial stability and even lead to legal complications. Many people do not realize that addiction is considered a disease that impacts the mind and body. Like any other medical disease, it requires professional help to overcome.

Finding the right treatment option can be a challenge though. Rehabilitation is most commonly available in two formats: inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient rehabilitation is the most popular and intensive option available. It can lead to life long changes in behaviors that contribute to addiction and equip you with the tools you need to maintain life long sobriety. However, it is a residential form of treatment, which can be difficult for some people to cope with. In cases where a patient cannot commit to inpatient care, outpatient rehabilitation may be a good alternative.

During outpatient treatment, patients only need to attend briefly then are able to go home and practice what they have learned. It can be a good solution for individuals who cannot take time off from work or who have responsibilities at home that they cannot leave temporarily. Outpatient rehab may not be a good fit for anyone struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol or who lacks support at home. This is because it does not offer 24/7 supervision like inpatient treatment and cannot prevent relapse as effectively as it.

Regardless of which type of rehabilitation you choose, you will most likely begin your treatment plan with a brief period of detoxification. Also known as detox for short, this process is critical for your success.

What Is Detox?

Detox has one goal– eliminating harmful toxins from your body. Alcoholics often have excessive amounts of alcohol in their bodies which triggers uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings once they try to abstain from the substance. Even if you have immense willpower, you may not be able to cope without professional help.

During detox, a team of medical professionals is on site and ready to assist you. They can help you work through your cravings and triggers and may even prescribe medication to ease serious withdrawal symptoms. Choosing to eliminate toxins in a facility is critical for avoiding relapse which is most common during the beginning stage of recovery. It also breaks your body’s physical addiction to alcohol, allowing you to focus on the emotional and mental factors during treatment.

Detox is often required prior to rehabilitation. This is especially true for anyone that is currently under the influence of alcohol or another substance. It provides mental clarity and can reduce mood swings, aggression and other behaviors that may affect your treatment experience.

Is Detox Necessary?

Many people attempt to detox at home or with help from friends or family members, but there is no substitute for qualified medical care in a reputable facility. The benefits include the following:

  • 24/7 Access to professionals
  • Medication if needed
  • Safe and comfortable environment

Withdrawal symptoms are the most uncomfortable part of the detoxification process. They can range in severity, but may be painful enough to lead to relapse just for relief. Detox centers have on site doctors who are able to work with you to find the best way to cope with your symptoms so you can feel comfortable throughout the entire process. Detox typically lasts less than two weeks. Once you are finished, the next step is treatment.

Choosing a rehabilitation facility with on site medical detox is a great way to save time and avoid the hassle of transitioning from one facility to another. It also gives you the chance to get to know the staff better and make friends with other patients who are also in treatment.

What Happens After Treatment?

Once you complete treatment, you may feel nervous about returning to your normal routine. Fortunately, after care services are available to make the transition easier on you. Aftercare aims to help people maintain their sobriety and monitor their progress. It often integrates many of the same methods used in rehabilitation, such as counseling, group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. However, it occurs at a less frequent level which gives patients the chance to practice what they learn. Over time, the frequency of services will continue to decrease as patients maintain stable progress.

If you feel like you could benefit from additional support, a 12 step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery may be beneficial. These options are both community based, which means that anyone can come and go as they please. They are a valuable addition to any recovery plan because they offer support, the chance to socialize with like minded individuals and practical techniques that can be used to combat cravings and triggers. As an added benefit, community based programs often have meetings at odd hours, making them attainable for virtually anyone. Alcoholics Anonymous is especially popular and hosts meetings in most major cities, making it easy to locate as well.

You may choose to supplement your aftercare program with participation in a community based program if you feel that it could be beneficial to you. Many people continue to go to meetings for many years after completing treatment as a way of coping with the occasional urge to drink again, triggers in their daily life and to help others in their own recovery journey.

Living in the cycle of alcohol addiction is not a life sentence. You can take action and regain control. If you are ready to break free from addiction once and for all, do not hesitate to take action. Our addiction specialists are ready to assist you. For immediate help, call 866-802-6848 today!

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.