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A diagnosis of alcoholism is usually followed by trip to an alcohol detox facility. What is the process like?

This guide guides readers through the three phases of alcohol detoxification, which includes withdrawal symptoms and the length of time they last, the drugs used to combat them, medications to help curb cravings, as well as resources for self-care when the patient is at the facility. The guide also provides some details regarding what happens following the departure of an alcohol detox center.

Alcoholism’s Effects on Mind & Body

Alcohol has been enjoyed by societies all over the world for centuries and overindulged in by many who believe it can ease anxiety or stress brought on by the pressures of life.

There’s no treatment for alcoholism. However, it’s crucial to get rid of alcohol in order to move towards sobriety. A patient’s goal while undergoing alcohol detox is not only to clear his or her system of all traces of alcohol but also to learn how to maintain abstinence for the foreseeable future.

Alcohol Detoxification is difficult

Many people addicted to alcohol struggle to quit drinking even though they are aware of the negative effects.

The withdrawal symptoms of alcohol could be serious and include seizures or delirium (DTs), a life-threatening condition that usually requires hospitalization. There are those who experience hallucinations and psychosis when they are withdrawing, which can be life-threatening when not treated by a medical professional.

A person at risk for DTs shouldn’t attempt to detox on their own. They should also avoid moving from one level of care to another unless medically directed to move. The detox process should only be conducted in a controlled , safe location such as an alcohol detox center. Patients receive continuous assistance and supervision.

Alcohol detox usually occurs in three distinct phases: Withdrawal, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and protracted withdrawal.

The first two phases typically last around a week, and the third one can be prolonged for some time after the drinker stops drinking. PAWS symptoms include fatigue and mood swings, insomnia, sleep problems, fatigue, concentration problems anger, mood swings. Many former alcoholics must change their lifestyles to deal with these signs and symptoms. They seek assistance from support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or psychotherapy.

Understanding Alcohol Detox Phases: A Timeline

When you stop drinking, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms of post-acute withdrawal (PAWS) within a matter of hours. This condition can last up to a couple of weeks.

The first phase of detoxification for alcohol can last between 2 to 3 days and is characterized by severe physical withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression. The withdrawal symptoms generally subside within 48 hours (in certain instances, they extend by up to 5 days). This is the time when the physical side of detoxification begins. Patients going through alcohol detox might experience tremors and nausea. The symptoms typically last for few hours.

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The objective of the patient who is in a detox program is not just to eliminate their body of alcohol, but also to discover ways to avoid drinking in the future. A detox center will provide patients with 24-hour monitoring and supervision while detoxing to ensure their safety.

While withdrawal symptoms can be extremely serious for certain patients they aren’t usually harmful provided they are treated properly.

After completing alcohol detox the majority of heavy drinkers go through an “rehab” or post acute withdrawal phase. This may last for weeks or months following the cessation of drinking, depending on how quickly the individual adapts to life without alcohol. During this time it is possible that they will experience some of the physical effects of withdrawal, such as irritability, insomnia and concentration difficulties. In addition, they will likely feel Alcohol cravings.

Most treatment programs provide individual counseling sessions in conjunction with an addiction medicine specialist and groups therapy with recovering alcoholics. These treatments have been proven to increase the recovery rate over time.

If someone is dependent on alcohol, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. This occurs after a period of intoxication or a prescription medication. It is important for people trying to stop drinking to understand the indicators, symptoms and consequences of withdrawal in order to minimize the dangers associated with stopping use abruptly. There are some who require medical supervision for alcohol detox, particularly if they have been addicted for an extended period of time.