Alcohol detoxification is a delicate and potentially dangerous process. However, it’s a necessary first step towards recovery and freedom from the compulsive need to drink.
Ensuring that an alcoholic undergoes a quality alcohol detox is vital as the likelihood of completing a detox and remaining sober afterwards is greater if they have the right kind of quality assistance.
What is an alcohol detox?
When an alcoholic has been drinking heavily for some time, their bodies go into a state of withdrawal if they stop consuming alcohol. As a substance, alcohol is physically seriously addictive.
This is one of the reasons alcoholics find stopping so difficult, it can be physical agony. Withdrawal symptoms may include trembling, seizures or fits, sweating, muscle pain, increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations and delirium tremens or “DTs.”
These symptoms can be taxing on an already fragile body and can actually be fatal.
An alcohol detoxification is the process of complete withdrawal from alcohol, using drugs like librium that mimic the effect of alcohol on the brain thereby easing the discomfort associated with withdrawal and making the detox that much easier to handle.
A little know fact is that alcohol detoxification without professional medical intervention can have cumulative effects making future detox’s more uncomfortable and more dangerous.
Using drugs to remove the painful symptoms of detox results in higher completion rates and better treatment outcomes. Please do not try to detoxify yourself from alcohol alone at home.
Why a quality alcohol detox is beneficial
The primary reason that a quality alcohol detox is beneficial is that it offers the alcoholic the best chance at a new way of life.
Alcoholics are able to emerge physically and mentally healthier, if they have been medically assisted through this process.
Due to the potential for medical complications during withdrawal, a quality alcohol detox will have medical professionals on hand to ensure that the initial assessment can be monitored and readjusted if necessary.
Being in a proper clinic which can offer professional care for withdrawal symptoms is crucial. Patients undergoing a detoxification need to be monitored continuously to ensure that their heart rate, blood pressure and temperature are not elevated, and that the alcoholic risk of seizure is minimised through the use of antiepileptic drugs, if need be.
Medication to ease withdrawal symptoms is often required and extremely helpful in lessening them. Ensuring that the alcoholic is not too uncomfortable during withdrawal will minimise the potential for the alcoholic to give up and go in search of alcohol to ease the pain of withdrawal.
In my mind any unassisted alcohol detox is a dangerous one!
Families can sometimes attempt to detoxify a loved one suffering from alcoholism, and the result is usually at best negative. Medical complications can arise – the alcoholic can have a Tonic–clonic seizure (formerly known as grand mal seizures or gran mal seizures) or even a heart attack.
Also, the pain of detox from alcohol without any medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms, coupled with the close emotional ties of family history increase the likelihood of failure. Surely doing everything we can to stack the odds in the favour of a successful detoxification must be done?
The desperation of knowing that drinking alcohol has wrought such destruction upon yourself and your loved ones, your finances, your mental and emotional health, and yet to still so absolutely need another drink is the peculiar twist of active alcoholism.
Having trained professionals on hand who have experience of many other alcoholic people in the same position is really the best way to ensure that the alcoholic has the best chance of entering recovery and staying sober.
The road ahead after detox
Once an alcoholic has withdrawn fully from alcohol, they have two choices: they can return to normal life, continue their regular routine and attempt to remain sober, or enter an alcoholism treatment centre and receive proper help and counselling for their problem.
Obviously the latter is more successful. Alcohol is but a symptom of alcoholism; the real problem lies within the alcoholic.
Stopping drinking and staying stopped are far more likely when a programme of recovery is followed, such as the 12 Step programme offered by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholism is widely believed to be a disease, not a moral failing. It is a disease that is incurable, progressive and sometimes fatal, yet can be arrested and managed if a recovery programme is followed daily.
Rehabilitation centres focus on therapy and introducing their clients to a means of ongoing recovery, such as the 12 Step programme. Many alcoholism treatment centres offer a quality alcohol detox and then immediate entry into their treatment programme for alcoholism.
A quality alcohol detox with a registered alcoholism treatment centre or clinic is truly the best approach for an alcoholic to withdraw from alcohol. Patients are more likely to complete the detox and to begin treatment for their problem at an alcoholism centre.
This leaves them in a far better position to begin a life of recovery and to achieve and maintain sobriety.
We Do Recover offer free expert advice on finding the most appropriate quality alcohol detox centres in South Africa, the UK and Thailand. They work with only the best clinics employing trained medical, counselling and other professionals, offering alcoholics the best chance possible for recovery.