Medical Alcohol Detox and Treatment
By The Recovery Village Ridgefield
Editor Jonathan Strum | Medical Reviewer Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN
Last Updated: May 31, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
People experiencing alcohol addiction struggle with compulsive behaviors and intense cravings for alcohol. If someone with this disorder suddenly stops using alcohol, they can experience severe withdrawal symptoms like tremors or seizures.
Health care professionals recommend that people undergo alcohol withdrawal in a safe environment with medical guidance and support. Alcohol detox facilities in Washington, such as The Recovery Village Ridgefield, can offer a supportive atmosphere for those experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
What Is Medical Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is typically the first phase of addiction treatment. During this stage, the body naturally removes alcohol from its system. In a detox facility, medical professionals might use medications to reduce painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and promote sleep.
For many people, completing a medical detox program is the best way to detox from alcohol. At an alcohol detox facility, doctors can cater to the specific needs of each patient. People who detox from alcohol at home might not have the knowledge or resources needed to deal with withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous in some cases.
How Does Alcohol Detox Work?
Detox is an effective starting point for recovery because it allows the body to relearn how to function without the presence of alcohol. This stage of treatment helps the body adapt to abstinence and can help control cravings, though cravings can still occur after detox ends.
Alcohol addiction can damage the brain and affect the way people function. Detox can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and support the brain in healing from alcohol misuse.
Who Needs Alcohol Detox?
People addicted to alcohol typically need an alcohol detox program to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox has helped people of all ages manage the effects of withdrawal, which can peak within 72 hours and last for several weeks.
Withdrawing from alcohol without medical supervision can be dangerous. Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include delirium tremens, which is characterized by confusion, shaking and hallucinations.
Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal, and people who have struggled with alcohol addiction for several years are more susceptible to these severe symptoms. Due to this increased risk, people with long-term alcohol addictions should typically go through the withdrawal process at a professional detox facility.
What To Expect During Medical Alcohol Detox
Medical alcohol detox involves several steps. The first involves completing an intake examination. A person might answer questions about their medical history and undergo a physical and mental health test to gauge their overall well-being.
During this stage of treatment, an individual might receive alcohol detox medications, such as benzodiazepines. These medicines can reduce symptoms like restlessness, irritability and difficulty sleeping.
Medical professionals typically monitor a person’s health throughout alcohol detox. Doctors may check a patient’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. At the conclusion of detox, patients usually transition to residential or outpatient care.
Medical Alcohol Detox Near Me
If you struggle with an alcohol addiction, a medical detox program followed by rehab treatment can help you stop drinking and avoid alcohol use in the future. Conveniently, several detox centers can be accessed from Washington state and Oregon.
The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers a full continuum of care, including medical detox services, for people dealing with alcohol addiction. To learn more about how detox and other treatment resources can help you recover from your alcohol addiction, contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.
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- Vasan, Sarayu; Kumar, Anil. “Wernicke Encephalopathy.” StatPearls, August 11, 2021. Accessed November 13, 2021.