Alcohol detoxification is a process in which alcoholics attempt to wean themselves from alcohol consumption by either giving up alcohol entirely or by slowing down the rate at which alcohol is consumed. This method is commonly coupled with replacement of various drugs that have similar effects on the body as alcohol so as to avoid alcohol withdrawal during the detoxification process. The amount of alcohol consumed and the frequency at which alcohol is drunk determine when an individual may need to undergo an alcohol detox.
There are a number of conditions that may necessitate the need for alcohol detoxification. Individuals suffering from alcoholism are likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression can make it difficult for a person to control his own life, let alone consume alcohol on a regular basis. If these symptoms are present in an alcoholic, he may be more receptive to feelings of anxiety and depression. Alcoholism, when left unchecked, can result in a host of other health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive disorders, sleep disorders and even arthritis.
The first step to take following alcohol detoxification in any alcohol treatment program is to cease drinking. It is very easy to say given that alcohol addiction does not result in physical problems, but the damage is far reaching. This damage can often lead to serious illness and disease and should not be ignored. A person must be free of alcohol dependency in order to begin the process of recovery.
As with many things in life, the first step to recovery is admitting to a problem. People who suffer from addiction often feel ashamed or embarrassed about their condition and may try to bury the fact that they have a problem. Seeking help in the form of alcohol detoxification will not only help you get rid of your addiction, but will also likely help you work through the symptoms of withdrawal. It can provide you with a list of resources to deal with the negative effects that come with withdrawal as well as offer ways to manage the symptoms that you experience during this process.
Regardless of the method of alcohol detoxification you choose, the treatment program should address both the physical and emotional issues associated with addiction. It is important for patients to know that the withdrawal process from inpatient treatment programs is extremely painful and unpleasant. Many alcoholics believe that it is preferable to experience the pain in an out patient setting. While inpatient treatment programs can be beneficial, they can also be demanding and take up a lot of time away from family and friends. There are also risks associated with inpatient treatment programs, such as the potential for relapse and other serious consequences.
One of the most widely used drugs used to treat alcoholism is benzodiazepines. These drugs are often used in combination with other medications to effectively combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Commonly known as tranquilizers, these drugs are designed to produce a relaxed state of mind. However, these drugs can cause serious side effects, including drowsiness, slurred sleep, memory loss and impaired concentration. Because of these side effects, benzodiazepines should be reserved for very serious circumstances only.