An alcoholic beverage can be best described as a drink consisting of the drug ethanol. Alcohol can be classified as a depressant because it can slow down vital functions of the body – the result being unsteady movement and slurred speech. If your close relative or you have become dependant on alcohol, he/she/you can be subjected to detoxification treatment. In this article on detox from alcohol information will be given on the different steps of the process and how it can assist an individual to get rid of the drinking habit.
There are many persons who are addicted to alcohol, but in the initial stages you had consumed the drink only for getting the ‘stimulant’ effect or to loosen your feelings. The challenges comes when you consume more than the body could handle, and over a period, if you cannot go to bed without consumption of alcohol, you start to lose control and become an alcohol addict.
Detoxification can be classified as an option that you can opt for, provided you are dependent on alcohol. “Dependency” is the valid term as you get the strong desire and impulse to consume the liquid. In course of time, your body becomes accustomed to alcohol and after three hours, once the effect wears off, you can experience withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the symptoms are nausea, trembling, sweating, intense craving for alcohol and feeling depressed/lonely. Hallucinations and convulsions are quite common in these cases. To get rid of the negative feelings, you consume more alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms can reduce in five to seven days, but the impulse for drinking alcohol can continue for a longer period.
Describing Alcohol Detoxification or Detox From Alcohol
Detox or detoxification can be described as a small time remedy in which you take medicine for preventing withdrawal symptoms of drinking alcohol. The most known medicine for this type is chlordiazepoxide (benzodiazepine). The other medicines that are considered for detoxification are haloperidol and olanzapine (antipsychotic medicine) as well as lorazepam.
If you want to end the relationship with alcohol, you can very well seek the assistance of a General Practitioner (GP) and he/she will be eager to help you get out of the abuse. Let us discuss the common plan that can be suggested by the GP.
He/she can prescribe a high medicine dose on the day you discontinue drinking alcohol.
You will be given a chart and based on instructions, you can decrease the dosage for the next few days. The medicine is a great help as it reduces or prevents the harmful withdrawal symptoms.
If you are going through a detox program, you should not drink any alcohol. You may have to attend regular sessions of counseling during the program.
Family members and friends can be of great help. A family member can assist in getting medicines, the correct dosage and keep a record of the time the dosage must be taken.
The Time Of Alcohol Detoxification Programs
The first few days are crucial and the withdrawal symptoms vary according to your age, health; Some find the phase more difficult. Some of the symptoms are:
- You can get nervous or suffer from anxiety for the next few days
- Lack of sleep for the first three days
If you have been drinking alcohol for a longer time, you can suffer from tremors. However, the detox medicine will surely have a positive effect on the body by preventing these types of symptoms.
Kindly note, the detox alcohol medicine will not stop you from drinking as it is not “A Magic Lamp.” You need to get the support of your family, friends and make a firm determination to discontinue the habit. The medicine is given only to make you feel better when the body returns to the normal phase by not taking alcohol. The family members and friends, should remember after the completion of detox session, you can still feel the craving for alcohol. Strategies to stay away from alcohol will be taught to you in the detox counseling session.
You can be given vitamin supplement or tablets such as thiamine (Vitamin B1). During the time you were dependant on alcohol, you could have skipped meals and the body could be suffering from lack of vitamins. Deficiencies of this vitamin can lead to brain problems.
Taking The Assistance Of Other Health Physicians
If you are having withdrawal symptoms, you can be referred to a hospital facility for the ‘detox’ process. Other options for getting admitted as inpatients are mental and health problems and if you have:
- Neither home or other social support
- Previous rehab programs have failed
The medicines may or may not be the same in these units when compared to GP’s prescribed medication. However, these units will have more experienced professionals on their rolls for giving support and other training activities.
Usually, the inpatients can be a juvenile aged under 16 (with withdrawal symptoms) or an adult with serious psychological and health problems.
Being dependent on alcohol can have negative effects on your learning abilities, interacting with others and other medical conditions. These units have specialized units to cater to any emergency.
After Completion Of The Program
For some people, the program is just a temporary session, and they go back to their old habits. This time, they will drink more alcohol than before. For preventing the condition known as “relapse”, you will be given assistance in the form of medication or making you participate in self-help groups.
You can be prescribed any of these medicines to prevent relapse.
Acamprosate – This medicine assists in warding off the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. It is given in the initial stages of the detox session. The GPs will provide the necessary counseling and support if needed.
Naltrexone is the drug prescribed by only specialists, and it is used as a substitute for acamprosate.
Nalmefene drug is used in new methods of treatment. It is prescribed for people dependent on alcohol but do not display withdrawal symptoms nor require the detoxification process. However, this process should be followed only by a specialist and continuous review sessions should be conducted for the patient.
Disulfiram – Another type of drug that will give unpleasant symptoms if you resort back to drinking after the detox session. It is rarely recommended and the symptoms might be vomiting, headache and palpitations. In short, the medicine can assist people to stop drinking alcohol.
Although you had successfully completed a detox session, you can go back to your old ways and start drinking again. To prevent such occurrences, hospital authorities have enabled self-help groups to act as stand-by counselors. The best-known self-help group is Alcoholics Anonymous who have assisted many individuals in staying off alcohol.