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About Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You have probably heard that detoxification from any kind of addictive substance is a very challenging and dangerous process. If you have a loved one who is considering going through alcohol detox to rid themselves of the addiction, continue reading for more information regarding the challenges of detoxifying, treatment options, and the process.

The Facts
Depending on the addict, withdrawal can start within hours of the last drink they had. It lasts for varying periods of time, up to several weeks. The symptoms are mild or severe, including shakiness or seizures. In severe situations, delirium tremens can occur, which cause death in one to five percent of people. The delirium is very uncomfortable and dangerous, characterized by an increased heart rate and fever. The severity of withdrawal depends on how long the alcohol was being consumed, and on the quantity. To be safe, it is best to get help with the detox process from medical professionals.

The Options
There are many different options for programs managed by professionals. There are hospital-based programs, which include rehabilitation and detoxification. Residential rehabilitation programs are more common. They last for different lengths of time, depending on the addict. Every facility is different in terms of how much the patients are allowed to do, and when they can do those things. Day treatment programs are an option for those with a stable home life. Outpatient programs are helpful for those who need work, and the attendance requirements can vary. Some of these are more intensive, requiring several hours per week for up to a year.

The Process
If you choose a medical environment for alcohol detox, professionals can help manage withdrawal symptoms. Some medications can be administered to taper the addict off of the substance. Medical and psychiatric disorders can also be addressed. Nutritional needs must be addressed professionally since most addicts have been nutritionally deficient for a long time. After being released from these programs, a residential treatment program is recommended for long-term support. This includes counseling individually and in groups. The type of program and the extent of the treatment depend entirely on the needs of the person being treated.

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