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Medically-supervised Alcohol Detox

When you're breaking free from addiction to alcohol, detox is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. While alcohol withdrawal can be frightening, and the symptoms can feel overwhelming, having professional help while you go through the process makes detoxing from alcohol manageable.

Contact The Treatment Center today at (877) 392-3342 for an immediate assessment and find out how to start your path to a sober life. We're open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you can get help whenever you need it. Learn more about our admission process.

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Alcohol Short Term Abuse SymptomsAlcohol abuse and addiction are fairly prevalent in the United States, and easy access to alcohol makes it difficult to stop drinking and stay sober. In 2012, about 17 million Americans had a drinking problem.

Overcoming addiction isn't just a matter of willpower, either. Alcohol alters your brain, making it difficult to go back to an alcohol-free lifestyle. The brain changes caused by alcohol can also lead to cravings that can sabotage your attempts to quit. Different individuals react differently to alcohol, too. So one person might drink to feel pleasure, while another drinks to reduce bad feelings or dampen emotional pain, making a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment unworkable.

Alcoholism and problem drinking can affect your career, your family life and your day to day activities. It can lead to situations where you want to cut back but can't, and alcoholism can leave you drinking far more alcohol than you intended in one sitting. If you've tried quitting on your own and failed, depression and anxiety about your alcohol use can settle in, making it even harder to maintain your regular routines.

Feeling out of control can be scary, but it can be a reason for an alcoholic to seek out help, too. Excessive alcohol use for a long period of time can also cause permanent irreversible health damage, so safeguarding your health can be another good reason to quit.

Alcohol's Long-term Symptoms of abuse

Some potential health complications from alcohol use include:

  • Heart damage
  • Liver damage
  • Nerve damage
  • The brain disorder Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Another potential problem for alcoholics and alcohol abusers is the higher likelihood of accidents. Alcohol slows your reactions, reduces coordination and enhances confusion, so you're more at risk for falls, burns and other injuries while alcohol is in your system. These brain effects also make it dangerous to drive or operate machinery when drinking. People who drink are also more likely to engage in violence and to put themselves in higher risk sexual situations.

Getting treatment for alcohol addiction can greatly increase your chances of avoiding these health problems. The Treatment Center offers comprehensive treatment plans from assessment and detoxification to long-term techniques that keep you off alcohol and drugs for good. Call us at (877) 392-3342 for a free confidential assessment of your drinking habits and learn more about the treatment programs we offer.

Why Alcohol Detox is Necessary

Before you can attain a sober lifestyle, you need to get all of the alcohol out of your system and let your brain and body adjust to that alcohol-free state. Alcohol actually changes the brain, so it cannot go back to normal functioning as long as alcohol is still present. In particular, the pleasure and reward circuits in your brain are affected by alcohol.

Alcohol use can also make changes in the brain that lead to tolerance. Tolerance develops when the brain stops responding as strongly to alcohol, so you need to consume more and more to get the same reaction you used to get from just a single drink. Tolerance can develop quickly or over a long time period, and how tolerant you become depends on both your drinking habits and your own individual physiology. Increasing the amount of alcohol you consume over time makes addiction more likely and recovery more complicated. However, even people with severe addictions can get sober with the proper treatment.

Detoxing from alcohol involves totally removing alcohol from your body, so the first step is to stop drinking. Once the actual alcohol is gone or start to decrease significantly in the brain, withdrawal symptoms start.

Learn more about our Alcohol Treatment Program.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Some symptoms you might experience during alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Clammy skin
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jumpiness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Increased heart rate
  • Foggy thinking
  • Pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Pain in the chest or stomach

Some people develop a severe form of withdrawal called delirium tremens, which can be deadly. This is mostly seen in people who have been abusing alcohol for over 10 years or in people binge drink regularly. People who have a habit of consuming more than 4 pints of wine, 1 pint of hard liquor or 7 pints of beer daily are at high risk for delirium tremens.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Fever
  • Severe agitation
  • Body tremors
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Feeling bugs or tingles on your skin
  • Severe confusion and disorientation
  • Reduced attention span
  • Extremely deep sleep
  • Delirium
  • Feelings of intense fear or excitement
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Sensitivity to touch, sound and light
  • Seizures
  • Death

The signs of alcohol withdrawal can start hours to days after you stop drinking. In most people who are addicted to alcohol, these symptoms begin within eight hours of their last drink. How long you've been using alcohol and your consumption habits can affect how long it takes before withdrawal symptoms appear.

Delirium tremens starts after the regular symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have been going on for a while. These severe symptoms typically start around 48 to 96 hours after the last drink, but they can sometimes not show up until 10 days into the detoxification and withdrawal process. In some people with delirium tremens, seizures are the first major symptom. If seizures occur, they usually begin within 12 to 48 hours after you stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last long after the alcohol is gone from your system, which is why it is imperative to seek professional help to avoid complications.

Medically Monitored Detox from Alcohol

Because alcohol detox can lead to potentially dangerous symptoms, it's not advisable to try getting sober on your own. Medical monitoring involves having doctors and nurses around to watch you as you withdrawal from alcohol. Our board-certified professionals here at The Treatment Center can recognize the signs of delirium tremens and can help you right away if you start to display dangerous symptoms.

If your addiction is severe and you are at high risk of delirium tremens, staff doctors might need to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and temperature throughout the withdrawal process. 

Learn more about our alcohol treatment. 

What Happens After Detox and Withdrawal?

Detox and withdrawal from alcohol is merely the first step on a life-long quest for sobriety. After getting alcohol completely out of your system and working through the withdrawal symptoms, you'll start working on techniques and skills to deal with life without alcohol. Without this kind of long-term follow up plan, your recovery isn't likely to succeed.

The Treatment Center offers a wide range of services to help you get and stay sober. Because you start your treatment with an individual assessment, your individualized treatment plan is catered to your specific needs. If you usually combine alcohol use with other drug use, you can get treatment for all of your addictions at once. Patients with mental health issues that complicate their alcohol use can get treatment for those problems as well. Dealing with anxiety, depression or other mental disorders doesn't have to be a barrier to treatment, and our tailored treatment programs ensure that you're getting help in a way that will work for you.

Some things that may be included in your treatment are:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Faith-based treatment programs
  • Legal liaison services
  • 12-step programs

Using a personalized set of therapies and techniques, you'll learn how to avoid getting tempted by alcohol, ways to cope with life stresses that used to lead to drinking binges and alternatives to drinking when you're confronted with alcohol in social settings.

During your stay at The Treatment Center, you don't have to worry about anything except getting sober. Our comfortable rooms, tasty meals and serene setting help you keep your focus so you can recover without any unwanted distractions. Relapse prevention and long-term follow-up are essential for success once you're back to your normal life. Our extensive alumni support system can help you stay on track once you've left The Treatment Center, and the relapse-prevention techniques you learn as a patient can serve you for the rest of your life.

Investigate your treatment options for alcohol addiction by calling us at (877) 392-3342 today. Our admissions counselors can answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can get started on the road to recovery right away. Learn more about our admissions process. 

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.