Alcohol Detox Thousand Oaks
What Is Alcohol Detox Like?
Because the detox period for alcohol is known to cause a great deal of physical discomfort and psychological distress, many people who would otherwise stop drinking continue abusing alcohol to avoid going through the withdrawal symptoms. It is true that without medical care, some people may experience severe withdrawal that can lead to death. Still, there are medically assisted treatment (MAT) programs available at facilities with alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks that provide medical staff who will monitor your symptoms 24 hours a day, getting you through your withdrawal symptoms safely and without suffering.
During alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks, clinical care providers will also provide medications, therapy, and other treatment to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible. You will be within a completely safe and sober facility, so the chances of relapsing as your body removes the toxins from your system are significantly reduced, and you can begin to work on the psychological aspects of your addiction right away. Once you have gone through alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks and then alcohol rehab, a sober support community will give you the chance to move into recovery and allow your body to heal.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal and Why Does it Happen?
Alcohol withdrawal is the name for your symptoms when you stop drinking alcohol. Your brain begins to send out distressing signals to the rest of your body that are uncomfortable, painful, and cause anxiety. These may become dangerous to your health and can even lead to death if you detox without medical support.
Alcohol withdrawal happens because your body has become physically dependent on alcohol to function normally. When there is no more alcohol, the brain needs to chemically readjust itself and detoxify your system, reaching a new equilibrium.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning that it interferes with the way the neurons in your brain fire and disrupts the messages being sent to your central nervous system.
- Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is the primary neurotransmitter affected by alcohol, and it produces endorphins which create a feeling of well-being. Once the brain becomes accustomed to having alcohol in your system, GABA (and other neurotransmitters) production is disrupted, causing adverse physical and psychological effects.
- Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that is affected by alcohol abuse. This is an essential chemical in the brain responsible for regulating motivation, enjoyment, energy levels, motor coordination, cognition, attention, and mood. When you drink alcohol, dopamine is released, and the brain becomes dependent on the presence of alcohol over time to tell it to remove this chemical. Without alcohol, dopamine production stops, causing a host of negative symptoms to occur.
The feelings of withdrawal can become so distressing that many people will immediately relapse, preferring to drink alcohol despite the negative health implications.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Nearly everybody who has an alcohol use disorder will experience various stages of withdrawal. These stages include:
Stage one: mild withdrawal symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping/intense nightmares
- High heart rate (over 100 bpm)
- Poor decision making
- Memory lapses
- Hand tremors
- Poor appetite
- Sweating uncontrollably
- High sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
These symptoms can cause feelings of distress, fear and may cause you to lash out in ways you normally would not, including violent behavior. You may feel uncomfortable in your skin and have the strong urge to drink alcohol to make it stop. Staying in a professional detox center can ease these symptoms so you can rest without feeling pain or agitation as the alcohol leaves your system.
Stage two: major/severe withdrawal symptoms
It is not ever a good idea to quit drinking alcohol on your own at home because there is a chance that your withdrawal symptoms can escalate to dangerous levels, causing severe issues, including brain damage or even death. These can include:
- Having delusional thinking (believing things without having any evidence that they are true)
- Visual, aural, or tactile hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not real)
- High blood pressure, intense sweating
- Full body tremors
Stage three: withdrawal seizure symptoms
Seizures are caused by abnormal activity in the brain, and in this stage, they tend to be brief and generalized, and in some people, this may be the only symptom of alcohol withdrawal. This stage happens to people who have no previous history of seizures.
Stage four: delirium tremens
There is a set of symptoms called delirium tremens (otherwise known as “the DTs”) that have a high chance of causing death if left untreated by medical professionals. These symptoms can show up anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days after your last drink, including:
- High blood pressure/fast heartbeat
Treatment for the DTs during alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks includes benzodiazepines to keep your brain from being overexcited, along with IV fluids to treat dehydration from fever and other mood-regulating medications to calm agitation. To avoid the incredibly high risk of death from DTs, it is best to check in to a detox facility that provides 24-hour medical oversight and treatment before stopping alcohol use. This way, the symptoms can be caught, and treatment can begin immediately.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (aka PAWS)
PAWS is a syndrome that happens to some patients, in which symptoms of withdrawal will return, disappear, and reappear for months after detox is over. PAWS may include symptoms like:
- Aggressive behavior
- Mood swings
- Low libido
- Inability to focus/memory lapses
- Alcohol cravings
Alcohol withdrawal after addiction treatment can become incredibly emotionally taxing. Still, if you are prepared for the possibility of PAWS and have a continued connection with professional and peer support, you will be equipped to face these symptoms as they come. These symptoms will come less and less frequently until they disappear entirely.
Alcohol Detox Timeline
Every person has a unique experience with their withdrawal, as each person has special health issues and a different history of substance abuse. In general, the symptoms of alcohol detox last for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, with the average being two to eight days, beginning within just a few hours of your last drink. Those who experience PAWS will continue to have symptoms that come and go for weeks or even months, and others may have a few symptoms like anxiety or sleep issues that seem to linger for weeks after detox.
Factors That Affect the Severity of Alcohol Withdrawal
Some of the factors that will affect the severity of your alcohol withdrawal include:
- Your level of dependence on alcohol
- How long you have been drinking
- How frequently you drink and the amount you drink each time
- Your history of drinking, addiction, and drug use
- Pre-existing mental and physical health conditions
- Your age
If you use more than one substance consistently, that will negatively affect your experience, causing more dangerous withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox.
Why Choose a Medical Detox Program for Alcohol Detox
Medical detox is a treatment provided for alcohol withdrawal of all levels. In medical detox, your physical and psychological symptoms will be treated in a combination of professional medical care, therapy, counseling, and the provision of medication in a 24-hour detox facility. During alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks, you will remain safe, comfortable, and secure in a sober facility away from triggers and temptation. There are three main stages to medical detox:
- Evaluation: you will have medical and psychological evaluations to determine which treatments will work best for your unique situation
- Stabilization: medical professionals will help you deal with your acute withdrawal symptoms with treatments and medication to reduce distress, keep you comfortable, stop seizures and other dangerous physical effects, and help you rest. You may be administered anticonvulsants, sedating medications, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic medication at this time.
- Facilitation: detox is only the first step in quitting alcohol, with rehab as the next phase of treatment. Most detox facilities provide a continuum of care that will lead you into an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program so you can continue to work on your sobriety in a safe and supportive environment.
Alcohol Detox and Rehab at Muse
At Muse Treatment’s alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks, we will customize your alcohol detox and rehab program so that you get the best possible, personalized treatment. You can check into our detox facility and receive medical care and therapy. Our MAT treatment helps you with alcohol cravings, pain, discomfort, anxiety, and distress as you dig into your underlying trauma and mental health issues through dual diagnosis treatment.
We can then seamlessly move you into a 30 to 90-day rehab program, with behavioral therapy, groups, and other treatment provided as you live in our sober, serene facility. There are then different levels of outpatient programs included in our continuum of care, which will help you transition back into your everyday life while still providing you full sobriety support and medical care. Contact Muse Treatment at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more about alcohol detox in Thousand Oaks.