Part of the recovery process from alcohol addiction is detoxification, or detox. This is the process the person with alcohol dependency goes through as he or she stops drinking. While an important part of the process, it carries with it certain risks. If someone you love is seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, use this guide to help understand the detox portion of recovery.
Detox Should Be Monitored
When a person stops drinking, the body goes through withdrawal, known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). For a person who has drank heavily for an extended period of time, there are certain medical risks involved. Because of the medical risks involved, a monitored detoxification program can provide the support your loved one needs. Thes medical risks from AWS can include:
Having a drug addiction treatment counselor or a doctor monitor the detoxification process can help to assure your loved one's health as he or she begins to have withdrawals from alcohol.
Medication Assistance May Be Available
Some addiction treatment centers will use prescription medications to help with the side effects of alcohol withdrawal. These medications may include Valium or Diazepam, and they can be administered orally or through injections. If your loved one has a secondary addiction, such as a dependency on opiates, it is important to tell the addiction treatment counselor, as this can help him or her to decide which course of treatment is best. It's important to note that these medications can help to ease some of the symptoms of withdrawal, but they will not cure your loved one's alcohol dependency.
Detox Can Take Time
The length of time it takes for your loved one to complete the withdrawal process may depend on how long he or she drank, as well as a number of other factors. The first symptoms can occur between 6 and 12 hours after the last drink, and the whole process can last between 5 and 7 days. Your addiction treatment center will be able to better tell how long to expect the process to take. If your loved one chooses to detox at home, you may want to consider taking several days off of work to monitor him or her during this time.
Road To Recovery
The road to recovery begins with drug detoxification, but it's only one step. Your loved one will need the assistance of an alcohol addiction treatment center and recovery-based support groups. To better understand what he or she is going through, you may want to consider joining a support group for family members of people with addiction problems. This will give you an idea of what to expect, and it can provide you with much-needed support as you help your loved one recover from addiction.
For more information, contact a business such as Evergreen Recovery Centers.