When it comes to treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), clients often have different needs. The mental health issue can be diagnosed when a client’s pattern of alcohol use is problematic and causes significant distress to their life and the lives of their loved ones. An AUD case can range from mild to severe. As a result, the care a client needs depends on where they fall in that range. However, before someone considers getting into an addiction treatment program that can help them overcome their AUD, they first have to think about undergoing an alcohol detox program.
People struggling with AUD become dependent on alcohol and often experience significant withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking. The effects of withdrawal symptoms on the body and the mind can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. This is where a professional alcohol detox program can help, as self-detoxing at home is usually not recommended.
When Do You Need to Undergo Alcohol Detox?
When someone’s struggling with an AUD, the idea of quitting can feel overwhelming. This is especially true when they’re familiar with the idea of withdrawal symptoms. They may even consider detoxing by themselves in their own home. However, alcohol detox can be difficult to attempt without medical supervision because some withdrawal symptoms can quickly worsen and may even turn out to be life-threatening.
The alcohol detox process needs to happen before further someone undergoes further addiction treatment. Someone going through alcohol detox may or may not experience troubling withdrawal symptoms, including a strong urge to drink more alcohol. These are the reasons why getting admitted into an alcohol detox center is a good idea. When part of an alcohol detox program, a client not only has access to medical supervision but is also barred from drinking alcohol if their cravings overtake their good sense.
How Do You Prepare for an Alcohol Detox Program?
Before you get admitted into an alcohol detox center, it may help to calm your body and mind if you learn about what to expect. Most alcohol detox programs include the following:
- Assessment: This is required for the detox team to figure out what kind of support you need during the process. You may get blood work, be interviewed about your health and drinking history, and undergo tests to check your physical and mental health.
- Detox support: This may include medicine for withdrawal symptoms and care for other issues that come up. The goal is to help you stabilize mentally and physically. You may have your blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and temperature checked regularly during the detox process.
- Further recommendations: Many alcohol detox centers help clients transition into further addiction treatment programs. This is done so the momentum gained by going through alcohol detox isn’t wasted and clients can do further work to overcome their alcohol addictions.
You may also prepare your loved ones and your home for your return after getting addiction treatment. You can share your rehab plans with those close to you and ask for support.
After Alcohol Detox, What’s the Next Step?
When clients and healthcare providers think about alcohol detox programs, they should consider the next step after it. In most cases, this is a form of alcohol rehab. However, some comprehensive programs combine both the detox process and further addiction rehab treatment.
When choosing the addiction treatment program to transition into after undergoing an alcohol detox program, it helps to identify what your specific needs are and compare that to what’s currently available within your budget. Mitigating factors would be your personal finances or your health insurance. In the process, you may want to consider:
- Age-specific programs
- Gender-specific programs
- Inpatient vs. outpatient programs
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
- Trauma-informed programs
- Luxury programs
For the most part, the detox team’s recommendation can be your starting point. You may also need to make a decision on whether or not you want to overcome your alcohol addiction by using FDA-approved prescription medication.