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Alcohol Detoxification: How It Can Help


If you are dependent on alcohol, drinking becomes hard to control. What’s more, a severe dependence is associated with physical withdrawal upon cessation from drinking. If detox is required, then you need to consider what facility will help you realise your goals toward recovery. Alcohol detox itself is a medically supervised type process that assists an addicted person in safely withdrawing from alcohol use. Detoxification helps a person become sober so they can prepare for alcohol addiction therapy.

Assessing an Individual for Detox

Detoxification is an individualised process, and therefore is based on certain factors, including:

  • The frequency of alcohol intake
  • Any co-existing addictions
  • The type of support you are receiving
  • Previous detox attempts that resulted in medical complications
  • Your ability to follow specific regimes for taking prescribed medicines

Starting a Detox Programme

The course of an outpatient detox from alcohol begins by placing the patient on a medication regime that is designed to minimise the symptoms of withdrawal. By beginning the process with this approach, you will feel less anxious or stressed.

How Long Does Detoxification Last?

Ultimately, the medication that is used for detoxification is reduced over time based on a daily progress assessment. A detox programme is complete when a patient no longer experiences significant symptoms after the medications have been discontinued. The entire process takes about 10 days to complete.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When medications are administered during withdrawal, they are done so with the goal of keeping your symptoms from worsening. Symptoms can be mild to severe, and may include irritability, depression, sweats, shakiness, insomnia, nightmares, tiredness, or a loss of appetite.

The Delirium Tremens

If the symptoms are more severe, they make take the form of a fever, convulsions, or the delirium tremens (DTs). Patients who go through the DTs may experience such side effects as anxiety, confusion, and even hallucinations. The hallucinations might include hearing, feeling, or seeing things that are not there. The symptomatology can be extremely serious if it is left untreated, or is not addressed by a doctor.

Asking for Support

When going through a withdrawal, the urge to drink can be very strong. Therefore, it helps to have the support of family and friends in order to resist the urge. So, if you are going through a planned medical withdrawal, you should ask for this kind of support. An understanding and cooperative home environment can make a detox an easier experience.

Qualifying a Patient

Each person’s suitability for a medically-supervised outpatient detox is individually assessed. An evaluation is made, based on a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Certain diagnostic procedures that may be necessary also help medical professionals decide on a patient’s eligibility.

A Safe and Effective Approach

When compared to an in-patient treatment, an out-patient detox offers more privacy and freedom. It is also less costly, more convenient, and much less disruptive to daily activities. Patients are not cut off from the outside world, and can maintain their contacts with family and friends while undergoing a detox therapy that is safe and effective.

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