Alcohol Detoxification Programs
Although alcohol is a commonly consumed substance, many people are susceptible to addiction. When a person's drinking habits become a compulsion that begins to affect his or her social life and relationships with loved ones, this signifies an addiction. Nearly 18 million US citizens abuse alcohol1 to some degree, so you are not alone if you or a family member needs help breaking a dependence on alcohol.
Drinking alcohol affects the chemicals of the brain, specifically dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid.2 These two chemicals control the impulsiveness and euphoria levels of a person. As time goes on, the brain becomes dependent on alcohol to maintain the same level of happiness obtained through drinking. The adverse effects of alcoholism on the body are often devastating. Along with wreaking havoc on a person's digestive system—most commonly the liver, stomach and pancreas—it can damage the brain and nervous system.3
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification
Although most people with an alcohol dependency experience withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis, these symptoms can be intensified during the detox process. Detoxification can be an inpatient or outpatient procedure, depending on the individual's level of dependency. To counteract the symptoms of withdrawal—including general agitation and mood swings4 —detox patients commonly receive drugs to help ease the patient into sobriety. Medicines like disulfiram, naltrexone, acamprosate and benzodiazepines are used to help the detox process. Each drug has its pros and cons that should be discussed with a doctor.
Withdrawing from Alcohol: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
The right treatment option can increase a person's chances for success. If you feel you need extra help breaking your addiction, an inpatient program may be the best option for you. These programs can last anywhere from a weekend to two weeks, depending on your doctor's recommendations and your own comfort level. To find out more about the options that are available to you, call 1-888-509-8965 or fill out our simple contact form to request assistance. Depending on the level of addiction, patients may be able to take the first step at a treatment center and continue the process at home.
Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery
Since the choice of detox treatment depends on many variables, many hospitals and rehab facilities offer several options for patients seeking detoxification.
- Inpatient detoxification provides distinct advantages for individuals with a strong dependence on alcohol. In cases of severe alcoholism, a patient may be at risk for seizures5 if he or she isn't carefully monitored, so inpatient programs can help avoid any serious situations.
- Outpatient programs are ideal for many people who are not at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms. Detoxifying as an outpatient costs less than inpatient programs, and it allows you to stay in your own comfort zone during the process.
Continued support and therapy after the detoxification process plays an equally important role in the process of breaking an alcohol addiction. An individual can choose from many private- or government-sponsored support programs.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provides a 12-step program to recovering alcoholics. In addition to helping people resist the urge to drink, AA meetings are intended to address the many underlying issues of addiction.6
- Cognitive behavioral therapy can address underlying psychological problems that lead to addictive choices. Since behavioral therapy can be less effective than a 12-step program7 , you may wish to use this form of treatment in conjunction with other support options.
Since the issue of alcoholism is common, there are many options available to patients seeking help. For assistance in finding or choosing the right treatment for you or for a loved one, call 1-888-509-8965 or fill out our contact form to receive guidance.