Recovery from alcohol abuse begins with detoxification or detox. A few hours after a person’s last alcoholic drink, the body will start to get rid of the remaining alcohol. The process generally doesn’t last long – usually only a week or so. However, the amount of time that one’s body takes to detox depends on how big that person’s drinking problem was. A person who drank heavily every day for ten years, for example, might take several weeks to detox.
About 5% of people in alcohol detox experience DTs
Roughly half of all people who quit drinking alcohol experience withdrawal symptoms during detox. Withdrawal happens because the nervous system gets used to operating under the influence, and when the alcohol gets taken away, it can take a long time for the nervous system to readjust. The symptoms can include any or all of the following:
- Racing heart
Some have even experienced a phenomenon called Delirium Tremens or DTs, which causes hallucinations, delusions, and potentially seizures.
If you’re struggling with alcoholism, or you have a loved one who is struggling, call Rehab Info at 800-492-QUIT today.
While it is possible to detox from alcohol at home, most experts recommend detoxing in a medical facility instead. Some medical facilities exist for the sole purpose of detoxing from alcohol and other substances. The biggest advantage of these facilities is that trained medical staff members are available right away if an emergency such as a seizure should happen to the patient. In medical detox, the patient is also far away from access to alcohol and other potential relapse triggers. The staff can keep the patient safe and comfortable during detox, and they may even prescribe benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medication) to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
The next step to recovery is participating in a rehabilitation program. Some detox facilities are also rehab programs, which means that a participant does not have to travel far between detox and rehab. Inpatient rehab programs house participants for 30, 60, or 90 days. These programs are highly structured and offer different therapy options such as group therapy. Outpatient programs also offer different options, but they tend to have less structure, and they last longer than inpatient programs. Some programs are free and government-owned while others are privately-owned and cost money. The right choice depends on the individual’s personality, needs, and financial situation.
Many alcoholics have also found success with recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. AA and other programs help addicted individuals by giving them a step-by-step path to recovery. These programs also put individuals in contact with people who have been through the same problems, giving them a sense of community and understanding.
Alcoholic individuals can also seek out continued individual or group therapy to get to the root of the drinking problem. Talk therapy helps patients explore their pasts and potential triggers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches patients how to recognize harmful thought patterns and use the tools they need to redirect those thoughts. Many different types of therapy can prove helpful, and there is no right or wrong choice.
The First Step
There is no magic pill that can cure alcoholism, and the process of recovery can seem daunting. Many people simply don’t know where to start. That’s why Rehab Info is here. If you begin by calling us, we’ll help you find your first steps to helping yourself or your loved one recover from alcoholism.