Detoxification is the process of removing the chemical toxins that have built up in your system from your alcohol use and the body returning to a normal state. As many excessive alcohol users also use drugs, the detox process will also cleanse your system of drug toxins as well. For many individuals who have made the decision to stop using alcohol, and have asked can detox help with alcohol abuse, the answer is that detox is a step in the direction of reclaiming your life from alcohol use.
Not all alcohol users will experience withdrawal symptoms. Whether or not withdrawal symptoms will occur depends on the amount of alcohol used along with the duration of alcohol use. A small percentage of alcohol users actually become alcohol dependent and experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Early signs of severe withdrawal are experiencing tremors or shaking in the morning after a night of drinking, and requiring a drink in the morning to function.
The kind of the detox program you choose can make all the difference in how successful you will be in ending alcohol use problems permanently. Traditional alcohol detox programs promote an idea that excessive alcohol use is a disease called alcoholism and that there is no cure. Traditional alcohol detox centers rely on oral medication that has questionable efficacy at alleviating some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Traditional programs provide minimal monitoring or medical care and can be staffed with minimally credentialed doctors and nurses with no experience in detox, or critical care. Patients are forced to attend 12-step support group meetings and group therapy designed to convince them they are forever powerless. For these reasons many people question if detox can help with alcohol abuse.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be painful and dangerous. Patients may experience nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal cramps, anxiety, irritability and tremors. In some cases patients experience the DTs which consists of hallucinations, extreme agitation and can lead to seizures and death if not treated properly. Traditional alcohol detox programs often leave patients to withdraw on their own.
Traditional alcohol detox programs admit large numbers of patients, housing them in rooms with multiple beds or in psychiatric units in institutional settings. The treatment of patients is often questionable as they are subjected to demeaning behavior and harsh judgment from staff. Patients who enter traditional detox centers are usually stripped of all personal belongings and cut off from all communication outside of the facility. This is degrading to the patients and it isolates them, leaving them to deal with their detox on their own, feeling abandoned and hopeless.
Most individuals find that detoxifying in a private facility that uses medication and methods that not only keep them comfortable but also treat them with respect and dignity is a better solution. As far as methods are concerned, most physicians agree that a facility that offers IV therapy medical detox is the better method for detox. The reason is that intravenous therapy makes it possible for the medication to be increased or decreased to meet the patient's withdrawal symptoms as they change which in turn keeps the patient comfortable and able to complete the detox successfully. Studies report that individuals who successfully complete detox are more likely to be successful in sobriety than individuals who leave before the detox is complete.
Once you have successfully completed detox, you may find it necessary to enroll in a program that can help you build your life without alcohol. St. Jude Retreats offers a six week Cognitive Behavioral Learning program that is not a 12 step program.
The St. Jude program uses self assessment and self change to help guests reevaluate their decisions and make choices that are productive and enhancing. Our guests learn to develop behaviors and habits that are more positive and purposeful, and they are empowered to build a happy and successful life.
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