If you have a dependency on alcohol, you’ll want to start the process of recovery by entering detox or detoxification. This is because you’ll need to stop drinking alcoholic beverages and let your body rid itself of the substance. Since this can cause withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to have your detox monitored by medical professionals. Let’s take a look at what you can expect during alcohol detox.
Table of Contents
- What is Alcohol Detox?
- Benefits of Alcohol Detox
- What to Expect in Alcohol Detox
- Choosing the Right Alcohol Detox Program
- Overcoming Common Challenges in Alcohol Detox
- What to Do After Alcohol Detox
What is Alcohol Detox?
If you have an alcohol dependency, it means that your body has developed a reliance on the substance, and you could experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms as you go through detox. This means you’re no longer consuming your adult beverages. Detox symptoms can include sweating, anxiety, depression, insomnia and even seizures. Due to the potential risks involved, it’s best to enter a dedicated substance abuse treatment facility that offers various detox programs. This helps reduce your chances of experiencing a life-threatening emergency and gives you a better chance of achieving long-term sobriety.
- Medical Detox – Medical detox refers to a type of treatment where you forego drinking alcohol, and instead, take a medication. This type of detox is generally recommended for individuals who have been heavily consuming alcohol for a prolonged period of time and are likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Inpatient Detox – During inpatient detox, you must stay in the center or hospital until the process is finished. This is to make sure that you are watched closely for any adverse health reactions.
- Outpatient Detox – Individuals undergoing outpatient detox have the flexibility to receive treatment either in the morning or evening. Since the individual doesn’t live at the center, they’ll eat dinner and sleep at home. This type of treatment is typically recommended for individuals who have not been through a recovery program before and are not excessively addicted either by the amount they consume or by the length of time they’ve been dependent.
- Holistic Detox – Holistic detox is a type of detox that considers the overall well-being of an individual, addressing their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and yoga are commonly included. Additionally, some holistic treatment programs may offer nature or animal therapy as part of the recovery process.
Benefits of Alcohol Detox
There are many benefits to going through detoxification in a dedicated treatment facility, like the one at Live Free Recovery Services in New Hampshire.
- Fewer Triggers and Distractions – Alcohol detox enables individuals to fully remove themselves from tempting or stressful situations, such as social events, excessive stress and family conflicts as well as the negative emotions that might have contributed to their alcohol addiction. The removal of these triggers and distractions allows individuals to concentrate on their recovery, work towards long-term sobriety and prevent relapsing.
- Immersion in a Supportive and Therapeutic Environment – Alcohol detox often takes place in a treatment center or hospital. This environment provides individuals with access to medical professionals, therapists and support groups. This can help individuals feel less alone in their recovery journey and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to overcome their addiction.
- Opportunity to Address Underlying Mental Health Conditions – Alcohol dependence frequently co-occurs with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and trauma. These issues must be addressed and treated in order to improve your long-term outcome.
- Improved Physical and Mental Health – Through the elimination of toxins from the body and the reduction in risk of long-term health complications that are associated with alcohol abuse, alcohol detox can improve an individual’s physical and mental health.
- Improved Health and Safety – The medical care you will receive during the detox phase is designed to help identify any harmful complications and provide you with speedy treatment so that you can continue to recover.
- Improved Chance of Successful Recovery – Getting the right type of detox can help can improve an individual’s chances of making a long-term recovery from alcohol addiction.
What to Expect in Alcohol Detox
When you enter detox, you’ll go through several steps. First, you’ll undergo an intake assessment. This allows the counselors, therapists and medical professionals to develop an individualized treatment program. You may also be given medication to help manage your withdrawal symptoms. Next, you’ll receive individual and group therapy and be held accountable for your progress through the program.
Assessment and Individualized Treatment Planning
Your intake assessment helps determine what services you need so that the addiction treatment specialists can create your individualized treatment plan.
Medications to Manage Withdrawal Symptoms
Since withdrawal symptoms can be severe and uncomfortable, medications may be prescribed to help you manage those symptoms. There are several types of medications that are used during the detox process. They include benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. You may also be given medication to help control anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, which are common side effects of the detox process.
Therapy and Counseling
Therapy and counseling can help you understand why you became addicted in the first place. It can help you learn coping strategies to manage your triggers and cravings and help you develop a plan for ongoing recovery. Therapy options typically include individual, group or family-based, and during these sessions, you may undergo cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing or another type of evidence-based therapy.
Group Support and Accountability
Support groups and 12-step programs can provide you with a sense of community as well as support while you navigate the detox process. These group sessions provide individuals with a network of peers who understand the challenges of addiction and can offer support and encouragement.
Choosing the Right Alcohol Detox Program
In order to choose the right program for your specific needs, you’ll want to take a look at the quality of programs by asking about success rates. Also, determine all the available resources at the treatment center and what types of aftercare services they provide. Specialized programs may offer specific care for unique needs and preferences. Additionally, cost and insurance considerations may impact your program selection.
Factors to Consider
When choosing a program, ask yourself several questions. Does the rehabilitation center offer the right care for you? How experienced are the staff members, and what resources will be available to you to help your recovery? Next, take a look at the location of the treatment center. Is the location desirable to you? Are there plenty of amenities to keep you busy and comfortable? What’s the treatment philosophy of the center? Do you agree with it? Lastly, do they offer follow-up care after you complete your treatment program and how do you access those services? In order to choose the right treatment center for your needs, you may want to research several in the area where you’d like to receive treatment. Then, choose the one that best meets your needs and aligns with your goals for a long-term recovery.
Specialized Programs for Specific Needs and Preferences
Different treatment centers will offer different services. For example, some programs may specialize in treating co-occurring mental health conditions, while others may offer holistic treatments such as yoga or meditation. It is important to choose a program that offers the services and resources that are most relevant to your unique situation.
Cost and Insurance Considerations
Cost can be a significant barrier to treatment. To make sure the treatment program is affordable for you, research the costs and ask which types of insurance they accept. If you do not have medical insurance or your insurance does not cover addiction treatment, you may want to find a treatment center that offers financial assistance or bases the treatment costs on your income.
Overcoming Common Challenges in Alcohol Detox
When you go through the process of detoxification, you’ll encounter some challenges that may feel like setbacks, including successfully managing your symptoms, treating any mental health conditions, if you have them, and building a reliable support system that’s willing to listen to your struggles and your achievements. To help you overcome these challenges, you may need medication management, instruction for relaxation techniques and individual and group therapy. To give yourself the best chance of success, it’s important to work closely with medical professionals and to develop a personalized plan for managing challenges and maintaining your sobriety.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms and Cravings
The severity of your withdrawal symptoms may cause you to consider consuming more alcoholic beverages in order to alleviate your discomfort. To manage your withdrawal symptoms and stop you from relapsing, medications may be prescribed by a medical professional. Additionally, engaging in relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, and getting enough sleep and exercise can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. To address cravings, it is helpful to identify triggers and develop a plan for coping with them. Support groups and therapy can also provide tools and strategies for managing cravings and preventing relapses.
Addressing Underlying Mental Health Conditions
Many individuals with alcohol addiction have underlying mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or trauma. These conditions must be treated alongside your alcohol use disorder. Treatment for mental health conditions may include individual or group therapy and/or medication management.
Building a Support System for Ongoing Recovery
It is generally advisable to create a support system to help you while you are recovering from your alcohol use disorder. This may include support from friends and family, joining support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or continuing your therapy sessions. In order to continue your sobriety, it’s important to identify people and groups who can provide support and help you remain accountable throughout your recovery journey.
What to Do After Alcohol Detox
After completing alcohol detox, the next steps in recovery are crucial for maintaining your sobriety and achieving long-term success. Here are some important considerations:
- Importance of Ongoing Treatment – Ongoing treatment may involve individual therapy or group therapy or a combination of both. Therapy can help you address the underlying causes of your addiction and help you develop strategies for managing triggers and cravings so that you do not relapse.
- Finding Support Groups and Resources in the Community – Support groups can help you keep your recovery in the forefront of your mind and help you stay accountable after you complete your initial recovery program. Additionally, community resources such as wellness programs or sober living homes can provide you with ongoing support.
- Addressing Underlying Causes of Addiction – Addressing underlying causes of addiction such as mental health conditions or trauma is essential for maintaining your sobriety. This may involve ongoing therapy or medication.
- Creating a Plan for Ongoing Recovery – Creating a plan for ongoing recovery usually involves identifying triggers and developing strategies for overcoming temptation. Remember to set goals for your recovery and establish a support system.
When you need to get sober after realizing you have an addiction to alcohol, it’s important to choose a treatment center that offers what you need. At Live Free Recovery Services in New Hampshire, we offer detox, inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization programs as well as various types of therapy and aftercare services.
To start your sobriety journey, give us a call at 888-610-2847.