In the past, alcohol detox has been considered synonymous with alcohol rehabilitation however that isn’t always the case. While detox may sometimes be seen as an important part of an overall rehab program, there are cases where the two processes may occur separately.
Even in cases where an alcohol addiction program includes both processes it is also worth understanding the key differences. In doing so you will not only have a better idea of what to expect from an alcohol treatment program but you’ll also have a better understanding of how the two aspects work together.
Alcohol detox can be considered a “drying out” phase whereby alcohol is not only allowed to leave the system over a period of days but a period of abstinence is also introduced. Typically an alcohol detox program will last around a week though the exact length of time may vary with the severity of your addiction and the side-effects observed.
While giving up alcohol will see little or no side effects for the average person, for those who have developed a genuine alcohol dependency there is a likelihood that the body will go into withdrawal during this detox process.
The severity of these withdrawal symptoms, together with the specific problems observed can vary massively from one patient to another. Typically the longer you have been drinking heavily and the larger the volume of alcohol you have been consuming on a daily basis, the worse the withdrawal effects during detox may be.
Fortunately many of these withdrawal symptoms when eliminating alcohol from your body are well-known by the medical professional and can be dealt with safely.
As some of these withdrawal effects can be quite unpleasant in the short term it is essential that individuals with a serious alcohol dependence receive regular observation and medical checks throughout the process of detoxing. In this way any health issues arising can quickly be resolved. This also makes alcohol detox both safer and more effective in the long term as one is able to better deal with the detox process.
In many cases the alcohol detox program will involve some form of drug-based therapy in order to successfully avoid the temptation to start drinking again. For example sedatives may help to calm the nerves and reduce the anguish that many recovering alcoholics experience. For more severe cases tranquilizers may be used, in order to allow one to sleep calmly through the difficult first few days.
Alcohol rehab typically takes place once a process of detox has been undergone. At this point the individual will have rid their body of alcohol and should have started to see the withdrawal effects dropping away. In other words you find a new mental clarity that will enable you to begin rebuilding your life in the absence of alcohol.
That said, just because you have successfully passed through a detox program does not necessarily mean that the battle is over. Most likely you will still harbour an alcohol addiction that needs to be fought and controlled on a daily basis. Only time and a good dose of self-discipline will help these pangs to drop away; and for you to begin living a normal life again.
Alcohol rehab exists to help provide you with the tools to cope with an alcohol-free existence. It may, for example, include extensive counselling in order to talk through your experiences. These typically take place both in a group situation as well as one-to-one therapy.
It is essential that you fully subscribe to your rehab program and partake in every exercise offered if you are to gain the most from it. Remember that quitting drinking is never easy, but with the right help and support you can gain a new lease of life and start over with a fresh outlook.