What is alcohol detox?
The detox stage is the first step in treating alcoholism and is required prior to an alcoholic entering treatment. Typically, withdrawal symptoms subside after one to two weeks, but this is dependent on the severity of the addiction. Alcohol detox is about stabilization because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which creates dependency and tolerance, most alcoholics require medication during detox. The medication is meant to stabilize the patient and prevent severe withdrawal pain. Essentially there are two types of detox, a traditional standard detox, and a medically supervised detox. Severe alcoholism or even heavy drinking requires a medically supervised detox. This is an inpatient service where the client stays at the hospital, clinic, or facility while they go through detox. Medically supervised detox involves 24-hour medical attention.
The medical care is needed if detox symptoms become severe, such as delirium tremens. The average alcoholic is stable within one week, unless it is a severe case then the detox process does take longer. However, detox is always necessary and cannot be avoided, unless the alcoholic is sober before they go to treatment. Yet, this is rare that an alcoholic stop drinking on their own without any detox or intervention. Even when an alcoholic starts to go to 12-step meetings, they would have had to go through a detox of some kind. Not all alcoholism is severe and requires medical detox. There are millions of Americans who are binge drinkers, and weekend-warriors where their alcohol consumption is starting to affect their lives. If this is the situation a standard or traditional detox is still needed prior to treatment because it acts as an observation period.
If you are searching for detox or treatment, Newman Interventions can help your family locate suitable programs prior to any intervention. Professional intervention is the best way to help an alcoholic understand the importance of treatment, and become committed to going to alcohol rehab. Alcoholism will always become worse, and it is never too early to intervene and save an alcoholics life.
Work Cited – NIDA, Alcohol Facts and Stats – Sept 21/19