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Programs I Drug Detox I Definition

The definition of detoxification or detox is as follows: "A treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to rid the body of the addictive substances, and the physiological and mental readjustment that accompanies the process." This definition refers to the physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, as well as, the accompanying psychological symptoms of alcohol addiction.


How The Alcohol Detox Process Works

Alcohol detox is a challenging process, but alcohol detox is necessary once someone has become alcohol dependent. Alcohol detox is a component of an alcohol addiction treatment program that in order for the alcoholic to get sober, they must participate in. Even in the best of alcohol addiction treatment programs or alcohol rehabs, alcohol detox can be uncomfortable. Our medical staff understands the process of alcohol detox and does everything within our power to minimize the uncomfortable feeling associated with detoxification following alcohol addiction. With the variety of detox medications available today, alcohol detox is not like it was years ago. In some cases, the withdrawal associated with alcohol detox can be minimal.
Alcohol detox should be done within the structure of an alcohol rehab program, with a medical detox component, complete with 24 hour nursing care. When a person is at the point of alcohol addiction and requiring alcohol detox, there are generally a variety of medical problems which need to be addressed. The medical problem can best be addressed in an alcohol detox and met with a qualified nursing component. When alcohol use is discontinued, everyone reacts differently. Some people might just be dealing with sweats and nausea, while some could be in danger of seizure. In either case, it is best to have medical personnel available to assist 24 hours a day, until all of the withdrawal symptoms are resolved.


Alcohol Detox Components

There are many different components of alcohol detox. The first is the medical aspect. The Lakeview Medical Director is a Board Certified Physician, trained in addiction medicine. One of his primary responsibilities is to meet with every person admitted for alcohol detox and design an alcohol detox protocol capable of reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with alcohol addiction withdrawal. In addition to managing the alcohol detox protocol, he meets with each patient daily to manage any medical problems that are present.
The second component of alcohol detox is physical in nature. Our in-house nutritionist will design a healthy eating plan, so the person in detox will optimally respond to any medications provided and motivate the body to begin its recovery. Almost every patient entering alcohol detox is compromised from a nutritional point of view. Healthy eating, along with detox, is the beginning of recovery.
The third component of alcohol detox is the emotional aspect. Every staff member in our detox unit is highly trained in the art of drug and alcohol addiction and alcohol treatment. Alcohol detox can be an extremely emotional time. The alcohol rehab staff is here to help the patient cope with cravings, depression, anger or whatever feeling is causing them difficulty.
In addition to a highly competent alcohol rehab staff, a Board Certified Psychiatrist meets with each patient to address or rule out the possibility of an accompanying psychiatric disorder. If the patient is found to have a psychiatric disorder, in addition to their alcohol addiction, that is referred to as a dual diagnosis and it is treated in conjunction with their alcoholism. Alcohol detox is the first step in the treatment of alcoholism, alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Psychological alcohol addiction may occur with regular use of even relatively moderate daily amounts. It may also occur in people who consume alcohol only under certain conditions, such as before and during social occasions. This form of alcohol addiction refers to a craving for alcohol's psychological effects, although not necessarily in amounts which produce serious intoxication. For psychologically addicted drinkers, the lack of alcohol tends to make them anxious and, in some cases, to create a feeling of panic. Physical alcohol addiction occurs in consistently heavy drinkers. Since their bodies have adapted to the presence of alcohol, they suffer alcohol withdrawal if they suddenly discontinue consuming alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from jumpiness, sleeplessness, sweating, and poor appetite, to tremors (the "shakes"), convulsions, seizures, hallucinations, and sometimes death. All of the above mentioned alcohol withdrawal symptoms are managed and sometimes eliminated in a safe and effective alcohol detox program like ours.


Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism

Since alcohol permeates every cell and organ of the body, the physical effects of alcohol abuse are wide-ranging.

  • Alcohol interferes with the metabolism in every cell.
  • Alcohol damages the liver, the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, heart and other organs in the body.
  • Those who abuse alcohol or become alcohol dependent can decrease life expectancy by 10 to 15 years.
  • Persons suffering with alcohol abuse finally grow obsessed with alcohol to the exclusion of almost everything else. They continue to drink alcohol despite the pleading of family, physicians and alcohol treatment professionals.
  • The continual consumption of alcohol, alcohol abuse, becomes more important than family, health, employment, finances or relationships.


Late Stage Problems of Alcohol Addiction

The late-stage alcoholic suffers from a host of problems. Despite all of the problems of alcohol addiction that continue to develop, the alcoholic continues to drink alcohol. In many cases, the only way to discontinue alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction and treat their host of medical problems, is with admission to an alcohol rehab program and begin the process of alcohol detox. As mentioned earlier, due to the medical complications that result from alcohol addiction (liver, heart or gastrointestinal problems) alcohol detox should always be provided within the structure of a medically monitored detox unit. This will allow the medical staff to manage your alcohol withdrawal symptoms, while addressing the medical problems resulting from alcoholism, alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction.



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