Alcohol detox saves countless lives every single day. It is an essential part of addiction treatment as it prevents relapse while setting a foundation for lasting sobriety. The medications provided during alcohol detox offer withdrawal symptom relief as well as hope to those struggling with alcoholism. At Ocean Hills Recovery’s Orange County alcohol detox center, our supportive staff is dedicated to providing a warm and caring environment that facilitates healing and long-term success.
What Happens in Alcohol Detox?
During alcohol detox, all alcohol and toxins are eliminated from the body. This process causes withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings. Medical supervision for alcohol detox is highly recommended as these side effects are associated with mental, emotional, and physical distress — the likes of which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Alcohol detox is typically one of the first steps towards recovery and is completed prior to entering inpatient treatment. While in an alcohol detox program, qualified staff members will closely monitor clients in a safe and comfortable environment. Additionally, they will administer medications to help ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
How Long Is Detox?
There is no set length of alcohol detox, but typically people spend seven to ten days in our program. However, some people might need a full 14 days in detox before moving forward in their recovery journey. The amount of time detox takes depends on the person, the amount they drink, and how frequently they drink. It is also important to note that detox is only the first step on the path to recovery. Further addiction treatment is essential in relapse prevention.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically last anywhere from two to eight days, depending on the person. Generally, alcohol withdrawals follow the below timeline:
- Stage 1 (mild): These symptoms usually begin 6-12 hours after a person’s last alcoholic beverage. Typical symptoms include sleep disturbances, headache, feelings of anxiety, tremors, and upset stomach.
- Stage 2 (moderate): These symptoms begin within 24 hours. In addition to the already listed symptoms, they include, confusion, abnormal breathing patterns, and higher than normal blood pressure and heart rate.
- Stage 3 (severe): These symptoms typically present themselves after 24-72 hours. Symptoms peak during this time and include delusions, hallucinations, seizures, and impaired judgment as well as the previously listed symptoms.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)
PAWS refers to specific withdrawal symptoms that have the potential to persist for weeks or even months following detox. Though these symptoms are typically manageable, they are uncomfortable. Sleep disturbances, fatigue, and cravings are common PAWS for those overcoming alcohol addiction. Additionally, a person in this phase of recovery is highly susceptible to environmental triggers, which can potentially cause relapse. For a better chance at avoiding or having minimal PAWS, it is crucial to properly detox at an Orange County alcohol detox center.
Benefits of Alcohol Detox
The primary benefit of alcohol detox is setting you up for long-term sobriety. Some additional benefits that patients receive while under the care of our capable detox team includes the following:
- 24/7 Monitoring. Our medical professionals monitor all of our clients 24 hours a day to ensure that they are safe and comfortable throughout the entire process.
- Professional Care. Our team members are licensed in their field, trained, and expertly vetted to ensure that they provide only the best care possible.
- Comprehensive Alcohol Addiction Treatment Services. We promote a collaborative recovery approach that utilizes various evidence-based treatment practices. These include:
- 12-step program
- Relapse prevention training
- Individual and group counseling
- Life skills training
- Aftercare support
- Individualized treatment plans. Alcohol addiction looks and behaves differently for every individual, so we believe that a treatment plan should be customized to fit each of our client’s unique backgrounds.
- Secure facility. We create a relaxing environment that promotes physical and emotional healing.
- Holistic treatments. These teach healthy habits and coping mechanisms. Examples include yoga, art, and mindfulness exercises.
Medications Used in Alcohol Detox
We administer certain medications in our alcohol detox program in order to make the overall process go smoothly and safely. Not only do these medications ease withdrawal symptoms but they reduce cravings — making it easier for clients to continue detox without relapse. These medications include:
- Benzodiazepines. These trick your brain into thinking you are still drinking. Therefore, they provide relief for those detoxing from alcohol and are slowly tapered off as the detox comes to an end.
- Disulfiram. This is used to treat alcohol cravings in order to prevent relapse. It makes alcohol have unpleasant side effects that are often compared to hangover symptoms.
- Naltrexone. This alters the brain’s response to alcohol by interacting with neurotransmitters which reduces a person’s “reward” for drinking—otherwise known as the feeling of being “drunk”.
- Acamprosate. This helps to reduce dependency on alcohol which in turn lowers a person’s desire to drink. Acamprosate is typically taken alongside naltrexone and disulfiram.
Can I Detox from Alcohol at Home?
Due to the dangerous nature of withdrawal symptoms, it is never recommended to detox at home. Our Orange County detox center gives patients access to full-time attention and monitoring, that way complications can be resolved quickly and a patient can be effectively stabilized. Complications that can result from detoxing at home include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Liver or kidney failure
- Heart complications
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Severe stomach problems
Additionally, detoxing at home has a much lower success rate. Individuals are more likely to relapse without the structure and support that detox programs offer.
Alcohol Detox in Orange County
It is time to start your path to a clean and sober future. We at Ocean Hills Recovery are ready to help. You will be shocked how freeing a healthy body and a clear mind will make you feel. Addiction recovery is possible. To learn more about our detox services or to get started, please give us a call or visit our contact form today.