Alcohol detox is the immediate discontinuation of alcohol consumption. For alcoholics, it is necessary to stop drinking for treatment to be effective. Alcoholics must be aware that there are side effects related to detox. These side effects are most commonly referred to as withdrawal. For some, this is the most difficult part of the entire process of detoxification. Alcohol must be completely removed from the body because even the smallest amount of alcohol left will cause the body to crave more. The process of detoxing the body can be hard without a support system in place, such as friends, family or, in many cases, medical staff in a certified treatment center. There are various types of centers available for those who wish to stop drinking, yet they all have the same goal in mind, the cessation of alcohol consumption.
Treatment centers are available throughout the country to help alcoholics recover and manage the withdrawal symptoms related to detox. Treatment centers have medical staff available that can manage the side effects of withdrawal. The most common side effects caused by withdrawal and detox are restlessness, nausea/vomiting and irritability. These problems can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. And while they are certainly uncomfortable, they are ultimately better than the toll that prolonged alcohol abuse can take on the mind and body, not to mention the effect it can have on personal and work relationships. Some alcoholics can suffer from more serious detox symptoms if they have been drinking heavily for a long time. They may experience delirium tremors, hallucinations or seizures.
Treatment centers have the ability to control withdrawal symptoms using various medications during the detox process. Medications to control the symptoms will be given to the addict. These medications are designed to decrease side effects and make the recovering alcoholic more comfortable during the detox process. Medical detox requires the supervision of medical staff that will closely monitor and supervise symptoms and treatments, and sometimes make sure that the addiction to alcohol does not become an addiction to these medications. Medical care can help control severe side effects such as delirium and hallucinations. Medical detox usually takes anywhere from 4 to 7 days.
As mentioned before, friends and family can also play a large part in the detox process as a support system, giving the victim someone to talk to if professionals aren’t available.
While it is not always comfortable, alcohol detox is something that can be managed and dealt with by professionals. When drug addiction treatment is available, there is no reason to continue a life of alcohol addiction.