Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Detox

Admitting that you may have a disorder when it comes to your alcohol intake, or even just looking up this website, is the first step to a life of freedom and health. We’re glad you’re here and want to help you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a medical condition where alcohol use becomes problematic and causes extreme distress. Depending on your symptoms, the condition can be mild, moderate, or severe. Also depending on your symptoms and diagnosed condition is your care and treatment plan. When it comes to treating AUD, each person has different needs.

Some individuals with an AUD diagnosis are severely dependent on alcohol and experience intense withdrawal symptoms if they were to stop drinking alcohol all at once, or cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms affect your mind and body. Both can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. This is where clinical alcohol detox is beneficial.

What Exactly Is Alcohol Detox?

First, let's look at what alcohol detox is NOT. It is important to understand that detox alone is not alcohol treatment. However, detox is the first step in leading a better life of health and freedom from alcohol dependency.

When an alcohol-dependent individual goes cold turkey with alcohol, withdrawal symptoms typically have an onset within six to 24 hours after the last alcoholic beverage was consumed. It is possible for the symptoms to remain in effect while the alcohol is still in the bloodstream.

Some individuals may only experience mild withdrawal symptoms, but for others, it can be far more severe. Some withdrawal symptoms you may experience included the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Problems Sleeping
  • Shakiness (particularly in the hands)
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there)
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs)
    • This is a life-threatening problem that could cause you to be upset, restless and confused. It may cause fever, hallucinations and even seizures.
  • Unstable Heart Rate
  • Unstable Blood Pressure

Do You Need an Alcohol Detox Program?

When you consider feeing “normal,” is any amount of alcohol involved? If so, there’s a good chance that you need some help in order for you to overcome the addiction. Getting through any detox program requires a significant amount of willpower, and it is never recommended to cut off all alcoholic beverages immediately without some form of medical assistance. In some cases, your life is on the line with withdrawal symptoms. Even if your withdrawal doesn’t get serious, it is a huge challenge to take on by yourself.

Our detox program offers you support that will help you through the entire withdrawal phase, including medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms, and medical care for any mental health or medical conditions that you may have.

Withdrawal symptoms can last for a week or longer and often peak 24 to 72 hours into the process. Keep in mind that individuals are most likely to remain in a detox program when they have support.

What Exactly Occurs During Detox?

Generally, a detox problem will included the following three basic elements.

  1. An Intake Exam – This exam is necessary so the detox team can determine what level of support you need during the detox process.
    • Blood work
    • Tests to determine your mental and physical health
    • Discussions about your drinking and health history
  2. Detox Support – This could include medical care as well as medication for your withdrawal systems. Ideally, the end goal is to ensure that you are physically and mentally stable throughout the detox process. Your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing may be monitored.
  3. Treatment – This will involve assistance getting into a treatment facility (inpatient or outpatient, depending on your needs) to help you with breaking your alcohol addiction.

Different Types of Programs

It’s important to think beyond the detox program itself. Let’s think ahead to rehabilitation. You will need treatment after you complete your detox as it’s necessary to break your alcohol addiction. Keep in mind it is possible to find a program that combines both detox and rehab.

There are two main options for detox programs:

  • Inpatient – This involves living at a detox clinic, hospital, or rehab center during the detox process. Throughout it all, you will have around-the-clock care.
  • Outpatient – This is where you will receive treatment during the day, but you will continue living at home. In most cases, you will simply visit your health care provider on a regular basis to receive medication.

Generally, you will receive more services through the inpatient option, but it is often more expensive. Outpatient is a more affordable while still being a safe and effective option. It may be especially ideal for those with a mild to moderate alcohol problem. It’s best-suited for individuals who have been cleared mentally and physically, have a stable home, have support at home and don’t have an extended history of problematic drinking.

Rehab programs tend to include a variety of services. This can include counseling, medical care, life skills training and assistance for preventing a relapse.

Inpatient treatment at a medical center or a hospital is not nearly as common as it once was, but these types of programs are ideal if you have serious medical or mental health problems.

Outpatient residential rehabilitation typically lasts between one to three months and is ideal if you have difficulty staying sober or have a significant alcohol problem.

As long as you are not a current danger to yourself or other individuals and you have the capability of remaining sober when you are at home, other types of rehabilitation may be better-suited for you. The following are examples of alternatives to residential or inpatient treatments.

  • Day Treatment or Partial Hospitalization is when you continue living at home, but you visit a clinic or hospital for treatment a minimum of five days a week.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment consists of a series of visits that are more in-depth than traditional outpatient programs. These are often done following a detox, residential rehab, or partial hospitalization. However, it can also be a way to prevent needing those services.

How Do You Choose a Program?

When you are ready to choose an alcohol detox or rehabilitation program, you will want to begin with a list of your individual needs. For instance, do you have a mental health condition or a medical issue? If so, your list should begin with that since you will need services for it. Have you struggled over the years due to not having a support network? If so, then it may make sense to opt for an inpatient program.

After you have a list of your needs, you can begin looking at the quality and cost of the programs. You want to ensure that you choose a program that you can afford, but you also need to ensure that you locate one that has trained, licensed staff and a program with a high success rate.

Here are some questions that you may want to ask about various programs:

  • Are your staff members licensed? How are they trained?
  • What types of insurance do you accept?
  • Do you offer medical services and counseling?
  • Can I see a sample treatment plan?
  • How is a relapse prevented?
  • Is there any type of aftercare offered when the program is completed?

Insurance Coverage

Generally, some services in the program will be covered. It will depend on your individual health plan and the program that you choose to know exactly how much money you will be paying out of your pocket. Keep in mind that your insurance company will only pay for medically necessary services. To determine what is medically necessary, the insurer will look at your individual case and determine the type of treatment for which you qualify. They will take notes from your health care provider into consideration.

Mental health care in hospitals is covered by Medicare Part A and includes alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment. Outpatient services for AUD are covered by Medicare Part B.

Ultimately, you should call your insurer and ask them what is covered. Specifically, ask about the following:

  • Copays and similar costs
  • Services that your particular plan covers (inpatient/outpatient rehab, detox, etc.)
  • How they decide what will be covered

Follow-Up Care

Once you finish detox and rehab, you will go back to your normal life – in the real world. This can be a hard transition, and many people relapse. To help prevent this from happening, you will want to participate in follow-up care for approximately one year. This can include anything from 12-step programs to group counseling or private therapy.

For more information about alcohol detox and rehabilitation programs, contact Shadow Mountain Recovery today.

Don’t wait another day to get the help you or a loved one needs. Call us now.

Addiction Treatment(800) 203-8249