Understanding Alcohol Detox
If you're suffering from alcoholism, then you have most likely been misinformed about alcohol detox. Many think that this is the instant cure for alcohol addiction when treatment for alcoholism involves much more. If anything, alcohol detox is just the beginning of the treatment. It's an integral part of the process, but is certainly not the end-solution to addiction.
What do you mean by detox?
When someone goes through alcohol detox, this means that s/he has made the decision to stop consuming alcohol. The term "detox" can be considered misnomer because it suggests an instant cleansing of the body for toxic substances, in this case alcohol. Unfortunately the process is much more complex than that. Alcohol detox is a medical treatment which involves the cessation of alcohol intake while introducing other drugs into the body which produce the same effect.
This way, the body doesn't suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Going "cold turkey" can be too difficult, so with the help of medical professionals, the patient's body is gently weaned off of alcohol dependence.
Why isn't detox enough?
Alcohol detox is necessary, but is in no way enough to treat alcoholism or alcohol dependence. Alcohol addiction is both a psychological and a physiological disorder. The detox treatment purges the body of current alcohol levels in the body, but does not instantly cure the long term effects of alcohol on the behaviors of the person. Long term substance abuse physiologically changes the structure of the brain which makes the patient behave differently.
At the slightest inclination, the individual may fall back to drinking alcohol excessively. Proper treatment for alcoholism entails the treatment of both the body and the mind or spirit. Unless the patient is able to win over his or her addiction to alcohol by sheer will power, the treatment cannot be called a success.
If alcohol dependence is severe, the patient may be asked to leave his or her current surroundings so that the treatment can be done outside of the negative environment. Some believe that alcoholism is triggered by emotional trauma or personal problems and while these stressors may also be the cause of someone's alcohol dependence, unseen factors in the patient's environment are most often the cause the addiction.
For example, the behavior of those around the alcoholic may actually trigger him or her to drink more alcohol in attempts to either join in the fun or to escape the pressure of life in general. The abundance of alcohol can also lead to uncontrolled alcohol drinking. These factors could be counter-productive to the initial intent of the patient when he or she decided to go for an alcohol detox session.
What happens inside the rehab center?
Rehabilitation centers offer more than just alcohol detox to patients who have entered the facility. After the physiological treatment, patients also go to individual and group counseling. As they progress with their rehabilitation, they're re-introduced to factors which they'll have to face outside the center. These are specific to the patient's needs.
Family and Environmental Support
Once outside the rehabilitation center, individuals in out-patient treatment need a lot of guidance to adapt to the real world. These patients are actually most susceptible to relapse when they've just "come out clean". This is why the support of family and friends is very much needed for their full recovery. The patient needs to feel that what they're doing to overcome the addiction is needed. This also helps the families of individuals who are prone to alcoholism understand the situation better.
Choosing a Facility
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Facility for Alcohol Detox
If this is your first time seeking alcohol detox for yourself or a loved one, it would be helpful to know which questions to ask when searching for possible programs. RecoveryNowTV will guide you in making the most appropriate decision based on your individual needs.
When researching alcohol detox programs, consider the questions below to help guide you to making the most appropriate decision for treatment:
When searching for an alcohol detox, if time and your schedule permits, it is recommended that one enter an extended care program or a structured sober living
environment. This will ensure that the re-entry back into daily living is a safe transition. Many programs offer a step-down or sober living program which includes mandatory Twelve Step participation, curfews, and drug testing
Is there a program in place for relapse?
It is important to know if the alcohol detox program will support you during a relapse. Many programs have relapse prevention or a refresher course in case of a relapse. Although many people do not want to consider readmitting to a treatment facility, it is important to know that your treatment program will support you if you have a relapse.