Alcohol Detox – What Does It Involve?
Alcohol has ruined the lives of many people throughout the UK. Alcohol, however, is a widely accepted and legal substance whilst being extremely dangerous as well. The government has recently updated its guidelines regarding the weekly maximum alcohol intake recommendation, which is now 14 units per person per week.
When a person keeps their alcohol consumption in line with the recommended limits, the chances of developing an addiction or serious alcohol-related health issues should be quite small. Yet there are lots of people who drink a lot more than the recommended guideline.
Exceeding the recommended limits also very common in Britain as there is a strong binge drinking culture. Although the weekly units are set at 14, these units should still be split over a few nights a week. But many Brits have misconstrued this information to mean they can ‘save’ those 14 units and drink them in one ‘session’ and it still is considered ‘safe’ and within the guidelines.
This repeated misunderstanding or disregard of the guidelines could not only physically hurt someone but also mentally, as developing an addiction is a very real possibility.
In many serious cases, quitting alcohol will be nearly impossible to do by yourself, which in turn, will lead to Alcohol Detox. Alcohol Detox is often seen as the hardest part of the road to recovery, yet many people do not know what it exactly entails. In this blog post, we’ll explain what Alcohol Detox involves.
Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Detox
Those that have struggled in the past with alcoholism, or are currently struggling with alcoholism, know how it can affect every aspect of your life. Surprisingly enough, alcohol abuse is still normal in many circles, and the culture of alcohol abuse is not only acceptable but heavily also encouraged. The reality is different, however, alcohol can be a destructive force for individuals and within society.
Many people still believe there is a stigma around alcoholism and see it as a sign of weakness. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism is not a sign of weakness. Some people tend to be more vulnerable to addictions, which could lead to alcohol addiction. Scientists have claimed that this is partly genetic, as around half of alcohol addiction sufferers have a parent who has also struggled with alcoholism.
Although it is also believed to be the result of certain environmental factors, such as childhood abuse, losing employment or separating from a partner.
There is also the emotional attachment we have created as a nation. We are encouraged to drink to celebrate a new job, a wedding or any other positive experience. But we are also encouraged to drink when we are sad to ‘take our minds off’ any issues. Or if someone isn’t feeling self-assured or confident alcohol is encouraged to give them the ‘Dutch courage’ to talk to someone they are interested in or ask a risky question.
But consistent abuse of alcohol can cause some changes in your brain. Your body will become more accustomed to the effects of alcohol and you will need more alcohol to maintain the same levels of pleasure. The longer you continue to drink the more accustomed your body becomes to the high alcohol percentages in your blood, the more difficult it will become to quit drinking. Alcohol detox is the process of removing all traces of alcohol from your system. Alcohol tends to have a serious withdrawal effect if the substances have manifested in your body for a long period of time.
The Alcohol Detox Process
Alcohol rehab treatment will begin with detoxification. Detox is the process of removing alcohol and its toxins from the body whilst managing any withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox can be done on an outpatient basis, but a residential programme is recommended, especially with extreme addictions.
The process involves an evaluation and then the actual detox. The alcohol detoxification process should be medically supervised as detoxing without medication, often called “cold turkey”, can produce painful and sometimes fatal consequences.
The ‘cold turkey’ without medical supervision is considered dangerous because alcohol is a depressive and after extended excessive use your whole body will have adapted to function with a high level of alcohol. Meaning when you quit your body will have to readapt back, but it will initially cause your heart rate, sweating and several other bodily functions to become overactive or hyperactive.
This is why it is strongly advised to detox in the presence of a medical professional who can guide you emotionally and physically throughout.
There are several serious withdrawal effects. The ‘shakes’ is the most documented and well-known alcohol withdrawal symptoms, a lot of alcohol addicts come across. After a period of heavy and prolonged drinking, one might start experiencing body tremors. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse cause tremors in diverse ways. In many cases, shaking from alcohol withdrawal is a physiologic tremor, which disappears after you complete the withdrawal process.
Extreme emotions can increase physiologic tremors, so if you are anxious about withdrawal and detox, the trembling might be stronger. In some serious cases, this could even lead to death which is why it is so important to undergo alcohol detox at a residential alcohol detox centre. Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous, and you should only do it in so in a controlled environment, where there are medical professionals nearby to help you in case severe withdrawal symptoms happen. In many rehab centres, such as Ocean Recovery Centre, there is medical supervision available 24 hours per day while undertaking alcohol detox.
After your alcohol detox session, you will be enrolled in post detox, which mostly involves therapy sessions to ensure you understand your addiction and your addiction triggers. If you know what makes you crave alcohol, you will be able to avoid these situations. This is a big part of an alcohol rehab programme.
Are you curious what alcohol detox involves? Are you are suffering from an addiction yourself? Visit our alcohol detox page for more information, call Ocean Recovery Centre 01253 847 553 or complete our online contact form.
John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.
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