Alcohol Detox in Los Angeles: How it Works
Why Go to Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol addiction impacts the lives of over 300 million people worldwide, and within the United States alone, there are 14.4 million Americans today living with an alcohol use disorder. While the rate of individuals living with an alcohol use disorder is at an alarmingly high rate, there is a societal stigma associated with alcohol addiction that often creates hesitation from those affected by addiction to reach out and ask for help.
Additionally, the use of alcohol has become a staple in American culture as it is associated with most holidays and traditions or as a crutch or tool to manage unpleasant emotions or troubling situations. The prevalence of alcohol in American culture can often blur the lines for individuals in determining if their alcohol use has progressed into alcohol addiction. If you have had to take the time to assess your drinking habits or have heard from loved ones that your alcohol consumption has become an area of concern, then it is time to address your alcohol addiction within an addiction treatment program.
Alcohol addiction is a multifaceted condition that derives from your own personal contributing factors and deep-rooted emotions. Each patient who enters alcohol rehab will need an individualized treatment plan centered around healing from their own underlying causes of alcohol addiction. With that said, before you can address the emotions and thought processes attached to your alcohol addiction, you will need to address the physical dependency that has developed. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance that creates significant physical addiction the longer someone engages in alcohol abuse. As more time goes on within your alcohol addiction, the more your body becomes accustomed to functioning with alcohol and needs alcohol to feel normal and functional each day. To overcome this, Los Angeles residents will first need to address their alcohol addiction within an alcohol detox program.
Many individuals preparing to enter alcohol rehab will often ask if they should complete their alcohol detox within their own home before attending the recovery center. Due to the potential severe withdrawal side effects from alcohol withdrawal, patients are always strongly encouraged to attend a medically supervised detox program. Here, you will have access to on-site healthcare providers trained explicitly in safe detox practices that ensure your safety and maintain a level of comfort as you progress through your alcohol detox process. Throughout your time in alcohol detox, you will be monitored by nurses and physicians that will provide appropriate medical interventions, including medication-assisted treatment that will help to reduce the severity of your withdrawal symptoms while significantly reducing any alcohol cravings that you may experience. This is essential for patients as it helps to keep you focused and relaxed on achieving your goals of a life free of alcohol in sober living.
Common Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol detox will be a unique process for each individual entering the addiction recovery center. While there are common signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, each person will experience their own levels of severity of these symptoms depending on their history of alcohol abuse. For individuals engaging in heavy, excessive drinking or binge drinking episodes frequently, you will most likely experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms, whereas those who have been engaging in alcohol consumption recently in their lives and not over a prolonged period will experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. No matter the severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms, the healthcare providers within the medically supervised detox program will be able to effectively treat your symptoms as they arise to ensure your overall health and safety.
Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:
- Irregular sleep patterns or insomnia
- Drastic mood changes
- Gastrointestinal changes or disruptions
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Hand and body tremors or shakes
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid, abnormal breathing or changes in respiratory functioning
- Visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
Learn what happens when you try to detox on your own:
Alcohol Detox Timeline
Los Angeles residents going through an alcohol detox program will often experience the varying symptoms of alcohol withdrawal within three different stages. The three stages typically appear as follows with the corresponding withdrawal symptoms:
This is where patients will begin to feel the onset of withdrawal symptoms, typically characterized as mild symptoms. These symptoms may include anxiety, headaches, tremors, gastrointestinal challenges, and irregular heartbeat.
During this phase, symptoms that arise are typically characterized as being moderate. Patients will begin to feel similar mild symptoms as in phase one but will have additional symptoms on top of what you were experiencing, such as elevated blood pressure, rapid or increased heart rate, feeling confused or dazed, hyperthermia, and irregular breathing patterns.
This stage is considered when patients will exhibit the most severe withdrawal symptoms as well as still feeling the symptoms from stage two. During stage three, individuals will feel symptoms such as impaired attention and focus, disorientation, hallucinations, and seizures.
Moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become life-threatening should patients experience symptoms of delirium tremens (DTs). Delirium tremens has a mortality rate of one in four and needs to be carefully monitored by medical professionals to safely remove the harmful toxins of alcohol from your body without causing harm or putting yourself at risk.
Having the support of a medically supervised detox program will support patients in overcoming unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal symptoms using behavioral therapy methods, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic treatments. These methods will help you move through your alcohol withdrawal while taking care of your body, mind, and spirit.
Medications Used in Alcohol Detox
When patients are exhibiting signs of severe alcohol withdrawal that threaten their overall health and physical safety, there is the option to undergo a medication-assisted treatment program. Patients will be provided with medications that will help to target any severe alcohol cravings and work to reduce the thoughts and urges to return to drinking alcohol. Medications have the added benefit of reducing the severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms to a mild or moderate level, helping you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your alcohol detox program.
Medications that are commonly provided within a medication-assisted treatment program are:
- Benzodiazepines: These medications help lessen the severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of antagonizing previous medical conditions.
- Acamprosate: works as a method of relapse prevention. You will become nauseous or ill if you attempt to drink alcohol while taking acamprosate. This often helps people avoid picking up the bottle again to avoid feeling sick.
- Disulfiram: It works similarly to acamprosate as it creates discomfort and sickness in individuals who drink alcohol while taking this medication.
- Naltrexone: Helps to block the rewarding effects of alcohol if it were to be consumed.
How Long Will Alcohol Detox Last?
Your time in alcohol detox will be dependent on your history of alcohol abuse. Individuals who have been engaging in alcohol abuse for a prolonged period will most likely experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms for longer than those who have just recently begun their alcohol abuse.
Often individuals will be in alcohol detox for seven to 10 days, depending on their history of alcohol abuse. You will begin to feel the onset of alcohol withdrawal within eight to 10 hours of your last drink. These symptoms will be stage one symptoms. As time progresses into days three to seven, patients will move through stages two and three with symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Once patients have reached day seven, the severity of symptoms begins to subside. You will be able to start addressing the underlying causes of your alcohol addiction within alcohol rehab.
Alcohol Detox at Muse Treatment Center in Los Angeles
Muse Treatment Center offers Los Angeles residents an opportunity to attend alcohol detox to focus on stopping drinking within our detox and residential treatment center. You will have access to our on-site addiction counselors and medical professionals to provide you with a personalized treatment and detox program. This plan will safely and successfully remove the physical and emotional dependency on alcohol to help propel you towards life in addiction recovery. Through our whole-person integrated approach to addiction treatment, patients will learn how to heal from addiction and emotional pains through various levels of evidence-based therapy methods that target healing from addiction physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. With specialized addiction treatment methods, including dual diagnosis treatment for a co-occurring disorder, patients will be able to learn how to effectively manage their co-occurring disorder without turning to alcohol or drugs as a method of self-medicating. Patients will learn the tools for effective emotional regulation and relapse prevention tools for overcoming triggers.
Our team is waiting by the phone to hear from you so we can create a personalized treatment program for you that will assist you in overcoming your alcohol addiction and have you on the path to living a life of sober living and happiness. Call us today at (800) 426-1818 to learn more.