Medical Supervision for Alcohol Detox
Many people try to quit substances of abuse cold turkey. They get rid of their substance of choice and try to ride out the withdrawal symptoms without relapsing. For some substances, your body is so dependent on getting it that sudden cessation can be fatal. Alcohol is one of these. If you want to stop drinking, medical supervision for alcohol detox is a necessary step to ensure your safety.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcoholism
You may have a drinking habit that has lasted years or decades. Your body doesn’t know how to function properly without this substance, which causes imbalances in many systems and organs. Here are a few ways that you’re impacted by alcohol withdrawal:
- Issues with sleeping: You may have a hard time getting enough quality sleep. Falling or staying asleep may become a major issue, or you could sleep enough but not enter REM cycles normally. You end up feeling exhausted and unfocused from sleep deprivation.
- Frequent headaches: You could experience serious headaches as your body tries to adjust to life without alcohol. These headaches may make it difficult to do normal daily activities, such as working or going to school.
- Gastrointestinal distress: Vomiting and upset stomachs are frequently seen during withdrawal from alcohol. You may struggle with keeping food down or being comfortable while these symptoms progress.
- Mood shifts: Your mood may become out of control in several ways, from rapidly swinging from one to another, or causing extremes in your mood.
Delirium tremens deserves its own section, as this is the alcohol withdrawal symptom that is serious enough to lead to death. You could have a hard time thinking clearly, may hallucinate, and you may have serious seizures. The risk of experiencing delirium tremens is why medical detox is such a critical part of recovering from alcohol.
What Happens During Medical Supervision for Alcohol Detox
The goal of medical detox is to allow your body to adjust to life without alcohol in a supportive environment. Instead of quitting cold turkey with no help on hand, you have professionals who offer their support through:
- Monitoring your medical condition
- Providing treatment for withdrawal symptoms
- Helping your body lose its dependency on alcohol
- Providing 24/7 care during the inpatient detox process
You may be on sedatives for part of this process, as a way to alleviate the worst of the withdrawal process. Other medications may be added to manage your pain levels, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms.
Benefits of Medical Supervision for Alcohol Detox
When you go to a detox center, you have a team on-hand to leap into action if you begin experiencing severe side effects. There’s no waiting for an ambulance or trying to get yourself to the emergency room. The medical staff is right there with you, so you can focus on making it through withdrawal without worrying about how you’ll get care.
While in inpatient care, you get your meals and other needs are taken care of. You don’t have to try to manage everyday activities when you’re going through such a hard fight. Instead, you’ll get to dedicate your time and attention to the recovery process.
Alcohol addiction recovery programs are also staffed by people very familiar with alcohol withdrawal. Their extensive experience allows you to get the best specialty care, as they have many tried and true methods for successfully getting clients through the detox and the recovery process.
Another advantage of inpatient care is that you won’t have any access to alcohol onsite. Resisting temptation can be hard, especially at the start of sobriety. Staying in an environment where that isn’t an issue gets you started on the right foot.