Alcohol is undoubtedly one of the most consumed liquids around the world. It comes majorly in the form of beer, wine, and spirit. There are also many other alcoholic drinks, and fruits, natural substances rich in alcohol.
Beer, which is the most popular alcohol, may have been around since over twelve thousand years ago, and there is nothing to suggest it will soon be abandon. However, as harmless as a cup of alcohol can seem, the liquid can be addictive. It is not uncommon to see people suffering from different side effects of alcohol consumption. This may make a drinker decide to stop the habit and rid his body of the toxins from alcohol consumption.
If you are considering this action, one of the first steps you will have to take is to detox.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detoxification, as it is usually called, is the process of getting rid of poisonous substances in the body that have accumulated due to the consumption of alcohol. The process occurs naturally when you stop the consumption of alcohol. The process involved in overcoming alcohol addiction, stopping the consumption, and managing the withdrawal symptoms is described as alcohol detox.
Why Do I Need to Detox?
So, you may be asking, “what is wrong with consuming alcohol?” or why do I need alcohol detox? Well as pleasant as alcohol could taste to many people, consuming it in large quantity for a long period has many negative effects on our body. Everybody knows that even heavy drinking on a short term can lead to fatigue, blackout, and behavioral change. It may affect your sense of judgment and decision making. Long-term drinking can cause shrinkage of the frontal lobe of the brain and damage to vital organs like the heart, liver, lungs, intestines, and pancreas. Drinking alcohol excessively has also been linked with a stomach ulcer, diarrhea, infertility, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer of the mouth, throat, and guts. It can also cause breast cancer in female drinkers and child defects in pregnant women.
With all these side effects, deciding to quit alcohol may be a good decision. However, if you are dependent on alcohol, choosing to stop is also risky and has cost the lives of between 1 to 5 percent of those who made the decision. So, what are the possible side effects of withdrawing from alcohol, and what can you do about it?
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- pale skin
- mood swings
In some cases, alcohol withdrawal may lead to more serious symptoms like seizures, high levels of agitation, hallucination, and high blood pressure.
Alcohol Detox Program
To successfully withdraw from alcohol and rid your body of all the negative impacts of the liquor in your body system, you may need the guardian of a professional. It is risky to detox at home without supervision as symptoms may suddenly increase and become unbearable. Severe cases may be fatal. Alcohol detox programs usually involve both medical treatments and psychological therapies. It can be done either as an outpatient treatment or inpatient in the hospital or other private facilities.
If you choose to detox at home, you must do so under the supervision of a friend or a family member.
Steps Involved in Alcohol Detox Program
- Consultation and Medical Tests
The first step should be a consultation with a medical professional. During this stage, you must be truthful and give a detailed history of your alcohol consumption. The stage will also include medical tests to determine any damage the liquor has done to your brain and other body organs.
- Decide the Kind of Treatment You Want
You may choose to detox at home, in a medical facility, or in a rehabilitation center. Factors that will determine your choice include your consumption history and the expected symptoms, medical result, your personal preference, and your budget.
- Medication for Withdrawal
Many medications can help reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Your medical practitioner may prescribe some for you.
Where to Detox
As stated earlier, alcohol detox can take place in a hospital, at home, and in a rehabilitation center. If you stay at home, it is important to pay close attention to your symptoms as it may change drastically within a short time. It would be best for patients with other underlying factors like a heart problem or organ failure to detox in a medical facility.
Alcohol Detoxification in a Rehabilitation Center
There are many rehabs where you can safely detox. Some centers offer full residential services in which you stay in their facilities throughout the entire duration of your detoxification. In some centers, you only visit every day and return home. It all depends on your symptoms, your mental state, and your budget.
What Do You Get at an Alcohol Rehab Centers?
In a typical center, you will be placed under the supervision of a professional who will monitor your activities, state of mind, symptoms, and health. There will be many counseling sections that will help you cope and prevent relapse. There will be activities to distract from alcohol consumptions, and there will be group and individual therapy sections.
How Long Does it Take to Detox?
The detoxification period varies from one person to another. It depends on how long you have been consuming alcohol, how heavy you drink, how much damage it has done, and the nature of your body. However, the average is around five days.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually begin about 8 hours after the last time of consumption and attain their peak between one to three days after the last consumption. However, a patient can experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks after he stops taking alcohol.
The first step in treating alcoholism is to detox. Alcohol detoxification will rid your body of all toxins that might have accumulated as a result of longtime consumption of alcohol. It will also help you manage the withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox can take place at home or in a medical or private facility. An ideal alcohol detox program should include medical tests, abstinence from alcohol, and medication for treating withdrawal symptoms.