Therapy is the part of drug and alcohol addiction treatment where the magic happens. This the part of addiction treatment where clients get the opportunity to work as individuals and in groups on a mission to learn as much about their addictions as possible. What they learn about becomes the basis for them to develop the tools and strategies they will need to avoid falling into the trap of relapses.
Before therapy gets its chance to shine, a lot of clients have to go through the detox process. Once someone decides to say “no more” to their substance of choice, their body is going to react in the form of withdrawal symptoms. It’s highly recommended that addiction sufferers don’t attempt to go through the detox process on their own. It’s a process that’s fraught with danger should a person’s withdrawal symptoms manifest into something significant.
As a point of reference, you might be interested to know what a group of withdrawal symptoms would look like for someone who has a significant addiction to an opiate substance like heroin. We are pointing at the extreme to make the point that some withdrawal symptoms can create significant physical and mental issues. Here’s a partial list of heroin withdrawal symptoms:
- Severe respiratory and circulatory issues
- Loss of concentration and body control
- Convulsions and tremors
- Hallucinations and nightmares that interfere with the sleeping process
- Severe muscle cramping throughout the body
Surly you agree, these are scary symptoms. While alcohol withdrawal symptoms are rarely this severe, there are clients that encounter serious issues. That’s why the medical and addiction treatment communities highly recommend that addiction sufferers seek help with the detox process.
In a treatment facility like ours, there is a medical staff on board to monitor clients as they detox. Should any client show signs of distress, one of the medical staff members will be standing by to offer prescription medications to help relieve the client’s distress symptoms. While allowing clients to detox as naturally without medical intervention is preferred, more times than not, medical intervention is required in order to keep a particular client safe.
After completing a successful alcohol detox program, clients are usually better able to focus on therapy. It’s fair to say that without proper handling of the alcohol detox process, clients are bound to struggle during therapy, which opens the door to at least one relapse.
What Happens If My Alcohol Detox Time Duration Goes Longer Than Originally Planned?
Alcohol withdrawal usually occurs in three stages. In stage 1 (up to 24 hours), an individual is likely to encounter symptoms like nausea, vomiting, anxiety and abdominal pain. Moving into stage 2 (1 to 3 days), an individual will likely find themselves dealing with symptoms like breathing issues, rising temperature, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure. The real danger starts in stage 3 (4 to 7 days) when an individual is likely to experience tremors, hallucinations, suicidal ideology, Delirium Tremens (DTs) and high fever. Most clients will start feeling better by the end of the first week of withdrawal. Unfortunately, some people struggle through the withdrawal process. The ones most likely to struggle are the clients that enter rehab after years of drinking vast amounts of alcohol on a daily basis. In such cases, the client needs to remain in their detox program for as long as it takes to clear their system of withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
In the worst cases, a client might be placed on a tapering schedule. Over weeks not days, they will slowly decrease the amount of alcohol they are consuming. This is a precautionary step that’s necessary to ensure a severely addicted client doesn’t run into heart or breathing problems that might put their life at risk.
As a client, you can rest easy knowing your rehab facility’s medical staff will not release you for therapy until it’s safe for you to move on. The goal of any good detox program is to keep clients safe and secure until they are able to stand up to the rigors of therapy.
The fact you are reviewing this information indicates you are contemplating getting help for your alcoholism. That’s good news and something with which we are ready to give you assistance. With one phone call to 800-411-8019, we can tell you about our facility and services while preparing you to come in and start your journey towards a lasting recovery.