The Role of Alcohol Detox in Recovery

If you’re struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, chances are you’d like to get free, but perhaps you are fearful of the detox and recovery process.  You may be wondering what withdrawal symptoms you will go through and whether or not you can stay sober for the long haul.  Some alcoholics may not need to attend an alcohol detox center.  It will depend on how much and how long you’ve been drinking, as these are key factors in determining whether or not detox is necessary.

The difference between rehab and an alcohol detox

The role of an alcohol detox center is to detox a patient from the toxins associated with the alcohol.  Sometimes detox centers are within a rehab center and sometimes they are facilities all on their own. Detox is the first step in recovering from an addiction and understanding a bit about what it entails is helpful for relieving fears.

A rehab center is the next step for recovering alcoholics, as it is a program designed to assist an alcoholic in learning how to stay free from his or her drug of choice – alcohol.  Rehab centers have substance abuse professionals that offer individual and group counseling so that the recovering alcoholic can learn about the disease of alcoholism and acquire tools for staying sober once outside of rehab.  There may also be educational classes or 12 Step meetings at the rehab to help the recovering addict.

Medication use during detox

Many alcohol detox centers have medication available to help clients experience less withdrawal symptoms.  The use of medicine during detox is to be a supervised procedure and many patients report that it really does help lessen the pain associated with withdrawal symptoms.  Fear of the severity of withdrawal symptoms is what keeps many addicts out of the detox centers, but knowing that there is medication available to help should ease this fear.

Withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the drug of choice.  Common symptoms for withdrawing from alcohol include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Body aches
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DMs)

Knowing that you have professional help available at an alcohol detox center ought to help you relax a little bit when it comes to the thought of actual detoxification. The staff can make sure that you are informed of every step and also may be able to administer medication to help ease some symptoms.

What’s after detox?

Once you’re through with alcohol detox, you will most likely enter a rehab program to continue treatment. There you will also be surrounded by professional staff that will continue to assist you in learning about addiction, and after care treatment options. There are inpatient and outpatient rehab centers to cater to those who can leave their families and work and those who cannot.  Either type of treatment are good choices, as both offer quality services to help you continue to stay free from alcohol and drugs and receive therapeutic services to help with any emotional issues.

Is Alcohol and Drug Treatment Necessary After Detox

This is a fairly common question when it comes to treatment. The general consensus from most substance abuse professionals is that yes, alcohol and drug treatment IS necessary after detox, but it really is an individual choice.

Detox is an important part of recovery and highly recommended for anyone who is struggling with addiction. Detox is a wonderful tool to help addicts get off of their drugs or alcohol with minimal withdrawal a goal.  It is a safe place that provides 24 hours of care with professionals who understand substance abuse issues.

Understanding that detox alone is not sufficient to prevent relapse, there are after care treatments available to help recovering addicts stay clean and learn to live life sober.

What types of treatments are available after detox?

  • Rehabilitation

You may choose to enter an inpatient Rehab that will help you to continue living free from substances, educate you about addiction, create a relapse plan, and most likely introduce you to some sort of 12 step recovery program. Rehab is very helpful for those who don’t feel ready to go back home and stay clean. It is also helpful for those who do not have a home, as finding suitable housing could be a goal on the treatment plan.

  • Outpatient treatment

There is outpatient treatment available at various community agencies.  This entails individual or group counseling and will help recovering addicts deal with plenty of issues necessary for a life without substance abuse.

  • 12 Step Programs

Many recovering addicts choose to attend a 12-step recovery program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as they find a group of people with similar problems and a safe place to learn and grow.  They can find a sponsor and work the 12 steps, which help recovering alcoholics grow in many ways.  There are many cities that have meetings available every day of the week. There are morning, afternoon, and evening meetings to choose from. Making a commitment to attend meetings regularly helps many people stay sober and clean. The camaraderie found in meetings has been known to help recovering alcoholics feel like they fit in, feel loved unconditionally, and this helps them on many levels.

To go back home alone after alcohol detox with no support system surrounding you is not wise according to most professionals.  Detox may get the addictive chemicals out of your body, but there is a lot more to recovery and living a clean and free life than just not picking up alcohol or drugs.  Choose an after-care treatment option or several so that you can continue to stay clean, learn how to live successfully without substances, and create a life you love.

How to Beat the Alcohol Detox Blues

According to a study by The National Institute Of Mental Health, over 14 million people in the US alone are affected by depression each year during and after alcohol detox. Various studies show that millions of people worldwide engage in substance abuse after alcohol detox to deal with depressive symptoms.

Alcohol abuse detox can be a challenging moment in a person’s life. Depression is one of the side effects of substance abuse withdrawal. Feeling blue after an alcohol detox can affect a person’s life both psychologically and physically. Some symptoms of depression after a detox includes headaches, fatigue, extreme sadness, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, loss of appetite, etc.

Many recovering alcoholics struggle with finding motivation, energy, and enthusiasm to handle life. Listed below are five top things a recovering alcoholic can do to beat depression during and after drug rehab to fight the etox blues.

  1. Counselling sessions- Taking part in substance addiction counseling can help an individual uncover the underlying cause behind his/ her alcohol abuse. Counseling provides recovering addicts or alcoholics with coping skills, better decision-making and helps enhance a person’s life in both mind and spirit. Attending counseling sessions can help addicts keep from relapsing in the coming days.
  2. Joining recovery groups- Joining a group of recovering addicts can help you keep depression at bay. A recovery group encourages people to share their fears and worries with like- minded people. Instead of holding everything inside, sharing and learning from others can greatly increase your confidence and uplift your spirits.
  3. Exercise- There can be no better way to beat depression than moving your body. Working out boosts the production of feel good hormone, in addition you are able burn excess fat in the process. Get up and go for a run, swim, do yoga. Choose a workout you will enjoy.
  4. Start a new hobby- This might seem uninteresting to many recovering alcoholics. However, doing something that ignites your passion and interest can help beat the recovery blues. Find something you are passionate about and make it part of your hobby. This can include reading, writing, singing, painting, sculpting, woodworking, etc.
  5. Connect with friends and loved ones- Reaching out to your friends, relatives, and loved ones can help you in your road to recovery and beat the detox blues. Aim to form meaningful relationships and friendships with positive people who can motivate and help you feel better about yourself. Connect, share and help others where you can.

Feeling depressed during and after detox is normal. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to remain miserable, as there are things you can do to improve your life and be a better person. Using the tips above will help beat your blues both during and after the recovery.

Should you require assistance for getting off of drugs or if you are struggling with depression due to coming off of drugs, please contact us. We can assist you in finding just the right alcohol detox or rehab that will help you get free from addiction and begin to thrive as a free individual.

You don’t have to fear alcohol detox when it comes to addiction recovery. Knowing what to expect and understand the role it plays in recovery is your first step toward living a clean and sober life. If you or a loved one is struggling to stay sober, please give us a call today.

We’re here for you!