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Alcohol detox programs available in the United States are necessary for several reasons. First, alcohol is a legal drug, and its misuse is common. Second, alcohol detox programs offer essential care for those struggling with alcohol addiction. Finally, alcohol detox centers provide an important service to the community by helping those struggling with alcohol addiction get into alcohol rehab programs they need.

Skywood Recovery’s alcohol detox center in Augusta, Michigan, offers an alcohol detox program
and various other addiction treatment programs. If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol dependence or addiction, call 269.280.4673 to learn more about how Skywood Recovery can help.

Why Choosing the Right Alcohol Detox Program Is Important

Alcohol works on the brain’s cells that regulate activity and excitement. The alcohol works like padding, wrapping up those cells, and soothing them, so they do not respond to information moving toward them. As a result, the brain begins to function at a slow, sedate pace, with only a few cells responding to each stimulus provided. This muffled, slowed brain can wake up when alcohol is removed, but alcoholics might never allow that mind to awaken fully. Alcoholics might drink throughout the day—drinking first thing in the morning, continuing in the afternoon, and tossing back nightcaps when bedtime comes. Over time, the brain begins believing that a slow and steady pace is just normal or preferable.

When someone struggling with alcohol dependence or addiction chooses to stop drinking, and that padding around the cells is removed, the excited cells awaken once more, and the brain crackles and snaps with activity. These awakened cells are slightly damaged and more likely to overreact during detox. If the person starts drinking again and then subsequently chooses to stop drinking again, these cells can quickly spring into life and cause terrible side effects.

Studies show that symptoms of alcohol withdrawal tend to grow worse with each attempt to complete detox. That’s why people must get detox right the first time and maintain sobriety for the rest of their lives.

What to Expect from Alcohol Withdrawal

The symptoms of mild alcohol withdrawal are likely familiar to anyone who has ever had too much to drink. Symptoms might include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Clammy skin
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin

Over time, these symptoms can increase in severity and move from the physical realm to the mental. People might feel depressed or anxious, as though they cannot wholly process what has happened to them and what might happen in the future. As more and more cells begin to wake up, people might develop more severe symptoms, seeing things that aren’t there and hearing noises others can’t hear. Some people progress into seizures as their brain cells awaken and begin firing. These seizures are rare, but they can be life-threatening.

Since alcohol withdrawal can cause severe symptoms like this, most experts agree that people need to talk to their doctors before considering reducing or stopping their alcohol use. Most people struggling with alcohol addiction need to obtain around-the-clock medical supervision while they go through alcohol detox. An inpatient alcohol detox program is vital to long-term success for these people.

What to Expect from an Inpatient Alcohol Detox Program

Alcohol detox is usually accomplished within two to three days, although five days isn’t uncommon.

Alcohol Detox Intake Process

When a person enters a program like this, the medical staff at the alcohol detox center performs a complete medical examination and asks the person questions such as the following:

  • How much alcohol do you drink every day?
  • Have you been through detox before?
  • What happened during that time?
  • Are you using other drugs?
  • Are you taking prescription medications?

The person is then taken to a private and secluded room and allowed to settle in while the detox process begins. Periodically, the staff checks in and takes measurements of the person’s blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. The staff members might also ask the person to describe how they are feeling.

Medication Management

If the person begins to demonstrate withdrawal symptoms—such as a fever, sweating, or hallucinations—medications are provided to soothe the mind and help the process move forward. The person might also be supplied with bland and soothing foods and plenty of fluids to help the body flush out the alcohol.

Benzodiazepine medications are commonly provided to people in alcohol detox, as they tend to work on the same receptors used by alcohol and bring about similar effects on the mind. Other medications have also been used during detox, including beta-blockers, haloperidol, clonidine, and phenytoin. While these medications benefit some people in the withdrawal process, they’re not required for each person who goes through detox. Some people manage to get through alcohol detox without taking any medications at all.

What Happens After an Alcohol Detox Program

Detox alone isn’t considered addiction therapy. Instead, it’s regarded as a preemptive step a person must take to prepare for the hard work of alcohol rehab. A person intoxicated with alcohol cannot do the hard work of therapy and isn’t considered prepared to move forward with care. Detox is a vital first step that must be completed to achieve long-term success.

Some detox programs ask patients to attend group meetings as soon as they feel well enough. Other programs provide people with one-on-one counseling so they can begin to understand why their addictions developed and what they should be doing in the future to keep those addictions from growing and spreading.

Similarly, some detox programs are housed within the same buildings that house rehab programs. People completing detox are asked to spend time in the rehab facility, acclimating themselves to long-term care. By using these subtle but persistent steps, detox programs help to push those recovering from alcoholism to accept the inevitability of continuing care. It could make all the difference to those who need to leave an addiction behind them. Detox programs strive to help people see the importance of long-term rehab care.

Find an Alcohol Detox Center in Augusta, Michigan, at Skywood Recovery

Alcohol detox is not considered pleasant or fun. Even with medications, the process can be physically uncomfortable, and people in detox might be confronted with memories and thoughts they’ve been suppressing for decades. However, all of this hard work can pay off, as detox programs can allow people to clear their minds and prepare their bodies for long-term sobriety. The cycle of addiction can end, and a new life can begin.

If you think you or someone you know requires alcohol detox or treatment for alcohol addiction, contact Skywood Recovery today at 269.280.4673 to learn more about the alcohol detox program offered by Skywood Recovery.