how long does it take to detox from alcohol

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Alcohol addiction and the length of detox is dependent upon a variety of factors due to the severity of the addiction. Alcohol is a powerful substance that can cause extreme physical and mental effects. Long-term abuse can result in damage to many vital organs, including the kidneys, liver, and heart.

In addition to possible health risks, alcohol abuse can also lead to bad choices. Some of these choices could result in severe harm or death to one’s self or others. Driving while intoxicated or having unprotected sex are two potentially dangerous risks of binge drinking or abusing alcohol.

Many people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol eventually reach a point where they realize they have a problem. At this point, they may wish to get help. For various reasons, some of these people try to get clean on their own by attempting self-detox. 

Though these attempts are grounded in good intentions, they’re commonly unsuccessful and can lead to the user giving in to the temptation for another drink; thus, the cycle of addiction picks up right where it left off.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction 

Alcoholism is a serious illness that not only hurts the user but those around them as well. Alcohol addiction can take over your life if not treated sooner rather than later. But no matter what stage you’re in, recovery is possible.

Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction allows you to put a stop to overdrinking. The sooner you’re aware, the sooner you can take action. While there is no exact formula for determining whether or not someone is an alcoholic, symptoms often co-occur. 

Many alcoholics experience similar symptoms. Although every patient’s challenge is unique, there are similarities within all kinds of addictions.

Some of the more common symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
  • Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings
  • Making excuses for drinking such as to unwind, deal with stress or feel normal
  • Choosing to drink over more important obligations
  • Becoming isolated and distant from those close to you
  • Drinking alone or in isolation
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Changing appearance and group of friends you hang out with

No matter how minor a drinking problem may appear, alcohol abuse symptoms should not be ignored. Choosing to detox from alcohol is a choice that can turn your entire life around. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time for you to enroll in treatment and begin the detox process.

Recognizing Alcohol Addiction

Determining alcoholism starts with understanding what kinds of questions to ask. There are multiple screening tools we use to assess our patients. One tool is known by the acronym CAGE – a questionnaire that measures the severity of an alcohol problem. If you answer “yes” to two or more CAGE questions, we strongly recommend that you call us today. We’re here to help. 

The four CAGE screening questions are:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s sometimes hard to see the situation from a non-biased perspective. We urge you to look at things from an honest angle. Ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully.

There is no shame in going through obstacles. You have the power to change your life and use your pain to catapult you forward. To begin the recovery process, medical detox is necessary. Keep reading to learn more about how a detox from alcohol could help. 

So, How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

For anyone serious about getting sober, medical detox is a necessary and crucial first step of the recovery process. Self-detox is not only dangerous but can also have fatal consequences. With professional assistance, it’s considered a safe and effective method of treatment.

The amount of time it will take to complete medical detox from alcohol will vary from person to person. Generally, this process takes about 7-10 days. However, several factors will help determine the exact time frame, as well as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms each faces. 

Some of these include:

  • How long the individual been drinking
  • Whether alcohol consumption is used in conjunction with any other addictive substances
  • How much alcohol the individual consume daily
  • Whether the individual has co-occurring mental health symptoms that could have resulted from the long-term abuse or a co-occurring mental disorder

Medically-assisted detox for alcohol addiction is the first step in ridding your body of toxins and starting fresh. Thinking about how long it will take to detox from alcohol may be intimidating. However, we assure you that the long-term reward of sticking it through is beyond worth it. The recovery journey has its ups and downs. But you’re strong enough to get through it.

The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after your last drink. Within 24 to 48 hours upon cessation, symptoms generally start to appear. This is when you may experience the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, sweating, tremors, and fever.

The severity of side effects will be dependent upon each person’s unique addiction. How long detox takes will also be dependent upon the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For instance, delirium tremens is one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Delirium tremens can become prevalent within the first 48 hours after your last drink. It involves confusion, severe shaking, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Although delirium tremens is rare, it can be life-threatening. 

Heavy drinkers who suddenly stop drinking may experience any range of dangerous symptoms. This is why it’s crucial to undergo medically-assisted detox in a monitored and safe setting.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally follow this timeline:

Six to 12 hours post-ingestion

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting

12 to 24 hours post-ingestion

  • Disorientation
  • Hand tremors
  • Seizures

48 hours post-ingestion

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Tactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations
  • High fever and excessive sweating
  • Delirium tremens

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

As mentioned above, detox is necessary. The type of detox program or level of intensity needed for effective alcohol withdrawal management will depend on the severity of the addiction. The magnitude of alcohol dependence and the risk of experiencing a complicated withdrawal. 

Our dedicated medical staff will evaluate you before any kind of treatment. We’ll make sure your current state is accounted for, and each step forward is as comfortable as possible. The specific detox method will vary based on the patient. However, you generally have the option of detoxing in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Benzodiazepines or other sedative medications may help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Medication is not a cure for alcoholism. However, several medications have been proven to aid in recovery when used as part of an overall plan involving counseling, group therapy, and social support.

Outpatient Detox for Alcohol

Outpatient detox for alcohol withdrawal may be the right level of care for people at low risk for severe withdrawal. Withdrawal progress is monitored through frequent check-up appointments within our facility. If additional care is needed, we can modify the treatment accordingly.

Inpatient Detox

Undergoing the detox process while residing at our facility is generally the best option. This is ideal for those struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol. Inpatient detoxification also provides individuals with a trigger-free setting. In other words, stimuli that might increase the risk of relapse is removed from their environment.

Help is Available for You or a Loved One

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how long does it take to detox from alcohol,” it’s time to explore your options. For successful and long-lasting results, detox should be immediately followed by extensive addiction treatment at a reputable rehab facility, such as 1st Step Behavioral Health.

Treatment is about using a wealth of resources to treat alcohol addiction. We tailor our treatment programs to meet each patient’s needs. From therapy to medical care to massage services, your comfort and security are our priority.

We’ll give you the tools to continue long-lasting sobriety after your treatment with us. We’re not just a treatment facility; we’re a family that’s in this together.

Our treatment programs include:

  • Personally assigned medical physician and therapist
  • Individual, group, and family therapies
  • Long-term care lasting up to one year
  • Recovery coaches on staff to assist patients with job/recovery skills
  • 2-bedroom, fully furnished apartments that offer the convenience and comforts of home
  • Holistic and recreational therapies such as yoga, art, music, wellness, massage, and acupuncture therapies

Beat Alcohol Addiction with Detox

There is no reason to let alcohol addiction control your life any longer. At 1st Step Behavioral in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can overcome your active addiction and learn how to successfully maintain your sobriety for many years to come. 

Our team of expert physicians, psychologists, and other medical professionals are eager to help you make this life change. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.

How to Help an Alcoholic Get Sober

Knowing that someone close to you is suffering is very difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to addiction. Understanding how to help an alcoholic isn’t always easy. Those with an addiction to alcohol can often be quite defensive and are rarely sober. There are certain ways that you can help a person who has alcoholism, and the first is to understand alcoholism.

How to Help an Alcoholic Starts with Empathy and Understanding

When you’re in active addiction, the part of the brain that tells you to stop drinking isn’t as strong as it should be. As a result, addiction wins. Even though you may want to stop, you simply can’t.

Addiction is a very serious illness, and it’s important to understand that. When someone is struggling with alcoholism, many people believe that he or she could stop simply with strong enough willpower. The reality is that most people want to stop, but don’t have the tools or capacity to. The part of the brain that’s responsible for regulating things like addiction is also responsible for the following, which helps to explain the behaviors of someone with addiction:

  • Empathy
  • Logical decision-making
  • Self-awareness
  • Impulse control
  • Emotional regulation

Start with an Informal Intervention

Help for alcoholics can start with something as simple as talking to the person about his or her drinking problem. This is a soft approach that many refer to as an informal intervention because there aren’t any firm boundaries. Believe it or not, when a person is in the cycle of alcoholism, he or she may not have even thought about going to treatment. Once you bring your concern to his or her attention, it may give him or her the push he or she needs towards help.

Enabling and Boundaries

While you may not realize it, you might be enabling your loved one’s addiction. Although you may not be buying alcohol for the person directly, you may be enabling the behavior. In the mind of a person with an addiction, the brain justifies drinking by saying things like, “Well it can’t be that bad because I still have support.” Sometimes you need to draw boundaries to let the person know that he or she needs to get help.

This is very difficult to do, and it can be even more difficult if the person is your child, spouse or parent. The reality is that if you don’t draw this firm boundary, you may be helping the person continue his or her behaviors. The other aspect you need to be aware of is your own mental health. Your ability to find peace is just as important as your loved one’s. Sometimes you may need to draw this boundary to take care of yourself as well as your loved one.

If you’re ready to learn how to help an alcoholic loved one seek alcohol and drug addiction treatment, call 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (866) 319-6126.

alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

If you want to end an alcohol addiction, you’ll have to work through withdrawal. This can be a difficult process, but it typically lasts less than a week. Once you complete an alcohol withdrawal, you’ll be ready to tackle true recovery. Explore some of the most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms as well as the most severe.

Nausea and Abdominal Pain

The most common symptom of alcohol withdrawal is gastrointestinal distress. This is typically the first symptom to appear, and it can also be the last to leave. As few as eight hours after the last drink of alcohol, patients might experience nausea as well as abdominal pain and cramping. This can make it difficult to eat or drink.

Increase in Temperature, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure

Alcohol withdrawal is a form of stress on the body. Since the central nervous system is dependent on alcohol, detox can come as a shock. It’s normal for patients in withdrawal to see their body temperature rise, the blood pressure increase and their heart rate pick up.

Nausea in combination with an increase in body temperature means lots of sweating if individuals don’t focus on adequate liquid replacement. Many withdrawal patients experience dehydration, which can sometimes be severe. Fortunately, patients in a medical facility have access to electrolytes as well as IVs with a saline solution, both of which can combat dehydration.

The increases to heart rate and blood pressure are generally temporary. In most cases, patients won’t be impacted by these symptoms beyond the few days of detox. However, some patients with preexisting cardiac conditions may encounter problems. In rare cases, heart attacks or even strokes are possible.

Anxiety and Insomnia

Many of the worst withdrawal symptoms are physical, but some symptoms can also be psychological. Many patients will experience insomnia, which makes it hard to get enough sleep or to feel rested. It’s also normal for individuals to develop anxiety.

Patients with co-occurring disorders are more likely to see their psychological symptoms worsen during withdrawal. Fortunately, most of these patients will go on to receive dual diagnosis care, which can treat and resolve any mental health concerns.

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Many patients report that their withdrawal symptoms are similar to a case of the flu. In some cases, symptoms can be more severe. Patients may experience a high fever that requires emergency care, they can act out in paranoid or even violent ways and may experience hallucinations.

What Happens After Withdrawal Ends

Withdrawal is just the first step in ending substance abuse. True recovery for an alcohol addiction also includes rehab. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, patients will access a long list of therapies and treatment methods to help them put a stop to addiction. These may include:

  • Talk therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Relapse prevention treatment
  • Holistic therapies

Once the alcohol withdrawal symptoms fade, attending rehab has to be a priority. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can take control over your life. Say goodbye to addiction by calling (866) 319-6126 today.

Leverage Effective Therapies and Treatment Methods for Withdrawal Symptoms

As discussed previously, there is a plethora of withdrawal symptoms that addicts experience when they stop using drugs or alcohol. These symptoms range from mild to severe. Whether you are suffering from alcoholism or trying to get rid of drug addiction, the condition can put you through a lot.  Not only does it cause depressive effects on your body, but it also slows down your brain. Typically, it can alter the way nervous system sends messages to the body back and forth. 

Over time, your nervous system learns to adjust its functioning with drugs in the body all the time. Your body, in the mean time, tries to keep the brain in an active and awake state and also keep nerves connected to one another.  

When an addict commits to a drug recovery program, the level of alcohol drops significantly, but the brain stays in the same keyed up and active state. This state is what specifically causes severe withdrawal symptoms that we have mentioned earlier including insomnia, high temperature and nausea. 

Some other common physical and psychological symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability
  • Perspiration
  • Shakiness
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Cognitive issues
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Delirium tremens
  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue

Thanks to 1st Step Behavioral Health treatment and therapies drug addicts can overcome addiction in a medically supervised environment. These treatment and therapies are extremely effective.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy is basically individual alcohol/drug counseling in the medical terminology. The individual therapy works through one-to-one conversation between the client and therapist. There is no doubt that it is one of the most effective types of therapies to overcome behavioral and mental conditions. Therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health use excellent therapeutic techniques to build rapport and earn the trust of patients.

Both these features provide great support in individual recovery. Through talk therapy, psychotherapists try to explore a patient’s personality and underlying behavior to help him/her recover from their withdrawal symptoms.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

 Although it is a relatively new therapy in the field of drug addiction recovery, it is growing in popularity.  Therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health have tried it on a number of addicts with severe withdrawal symptoms, such depressive episodes, mood swings, and delusional behavior.

 The results of this rehabilitation program have been optimal so far as it focuses on a patient’s mental illness and addiction during recovery process.

Relapse Prevention Therapy

This is another effective form of therapy that can help cocaine addicts recover from withdrawal symptoms. Therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health use cognitive-behavioral strategies to help drug addicts recover from withdrawal symptoms. 

The therapy is very helpful for individuals when it comes to identifying and correcting problematic behavior. Not only this, relapse prevention therapy encompasses many cognitive-behavioral strategies to facilitate abstinence to help patients who experience relapse.  

Family Therapy

1st Step Behavioral Health treatment processes do not just include medical assistance, but also incorporate sessions in which family members can participate. The purpose of the therapy is to educate family members on how to help patients who go through this difficult phase. 


how does alcohol affect the brain

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

Everyone has seen someone who’s had too much to drink at some point. These people often stumble, slur their speech, and perhaps even vomit. In some cases, they black out and aren’t able to remember most of the night. This leads a lot of people to wonder, “How does alcohol affect the brain in the short and long term?”

Alcohol Affects Motor Skills and Memory

The cerebellum, which controls motor skills such as walking and maintaining your balance, is the first victim of intoxication. Hand in hand with this problem is the effect of the drug on the cerebral cortex. There, it depresses the brain’s ability to gather and process information. As a result, drunk individuals often have a hard time thinking clearly and making sense of what they’re hearing and seeing.

As you might imagine, these effects on the brain’s functioning increase when you introduce more alcohol. When consumption reaches a tipping point, the drug impairs memory function. You may wake up without being able to recall an event, your actions, or even how you got to where you are. Someone else will have to tell you what happened, which still may not trigger any recall.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain in the Long Term?

People with an alcohol use disorder typically drink to excess on a daily basis. A regular influx of chemicals puts the brain at risk for gradual shrinkage. This type of brain damage can result in the development of learning disabilities, impaired memories, and sensory processing difficulties. Typically, these changes get progressively worse as the alcoholism continues.

Experts suggest that early stage alcohol abuse results in dopamine release, which reinforces the addiction. However, over time, the chemicals in the drug rewrite brain chemistry to such an extent that dopamine release no longer occurs. Even so, you’ll continue to chase the initial highs you remember by drinking more and more — without the desired outcome. By acting on the pituitary, which regulates hormone release, the drug further establishes its hold over you.

Undoing the Damage

There’s help for alcoholics at any stage of an alcohol use disorder. Whether you’ve been drinking for years or just a few months, you can get out of the vicious cycle. Enlist the help of a rehab facility that specializes in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Programs there will include:

  • Assessment for a co-occurring disorder that allows for the combined treatment of a mental health issue and the addiction
  • Emphasis on talk therapy that allows you to explore the origins of negative thought, feelings, and behavioral patterns
  • Family therapy options to bring in loved ones for assistance with your pursuit of sobriety
  • Holistic treatments that help you get well physically as well as mentally; modalities might include acupuncture and massage
  • Life skills development for the ability to live life without reaching for a drink during typical activities

If you’re struggling with an alcohol abuse problem and want to stop, there’s help available right now. The friendly therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health will partner with you in your goal of attaining sobriety. You don’t have to take the next drink or spend the rest of your life wondering, “How does alcohol affect the brain?” Reach out right now by calling (866) 319-6126 for immediate assistance.

effects of alcohol

Effects of Alcohol on the Body and Brain

Drinking alcohol affects the body and brain in many ways. The effects of alcohol change depending on how much and how often people drink. While everyone experiences alcohol effects in different ways, it’s important to know the general effects of this drug. In some cases, having a deeper understanding may motivate people toward getting the help that they need.

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Alcohol use really takes a toll on the body. Studies show that it affects a number of systems in the body, including:

  • Digestive system
  • Central nervous system
  • Excretory system
  • Circulatory system

All of these systems are necessary for the body to function properly. Unfortunately, alcohol can knock them out of sync and disrupt their functions. Over time, alcohol can cause a number of serious health problems because these systems function poorly.

In terms of digestion, alcohol causes inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation hinders the ability of the organ to regulate metabolism and aid digestion. Alcohol can damage the digestive system, causing abdominal fullness, gassiness or even diarrhea.

The drug also makes it hard for the digestive tract to absorb vitamin B and control bacteria. Because of an inability to absorb certain nutrients, many alcoholics suffer from malnutrition. Alcoholics run the risk of developing throat, esophageal, and mouth cancer as well.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Alcohol inhibits hormone production in men, which can lead to both erectile dysfunction as well as testicular issues.

Women aren’t safe from the effects of this drug either. Studies show that women who drink heavily may stop menstruating because they become less fertile than women who don’t.

Shrinking Frontal Lobes

Although most people think that alcohol only impacts the body, it has dangerous psychological effects too. Alcohol travels quickly through the body and into the brain. Over time, it shrinks the frontal lobe, causing slurred speech and dizziness.

Shrinking frontal lobes cause a number of other problems as well. People often find it harder to talk and concentrate. Damage to this area of the brain also causes memory loss and confusion over time.

Don’t Let Alcohol Ruin Your Body and Mind

While people think of drinking as a social event, the effects of alcohol on the body and brain are real. Now that you know what alcohol addiction does to the body, you know how important it is to get help for alcohol abuse or addiction. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we provide substance abuse programs to help you overcome alcoholism. Some of the different programs that we offer include:

Fight back against your addiction, and start a new life. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from getting help. Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (866) 319-6126 for more information.

detox definition

Detox Definition

After abusing drugs or alcohol for a lengthy period, you’ll experience negative symptoms of withdrawal when you try to quit. These ill feelings are at the beginning of detox when your body works hard to cleanse itself of various toxins. That is the detox definition: The timeframe in which the body processes substances in your system, clearing those toxins out.

Before detox, your body has developed a dependency on drugs or alcohol. Your body thinks it needs the substances that you’ve been abusing to make it through each day. This is why your body fights so much when you take away what it believes it needs for normal functioning. 

When you look at the detox definition this way, the sickness and psychological struggles of detox make more sense. The key to getting through detox and achieving sobriety is not letting these ill feelings get the best of you. This is a time when many people relapse and end up back on the streets as slaves to their addictions or, worse yet, dead from a fatal overdose. 

When you know what to expect and feel prepared, you can get through detox and into a quality rehab program.

Benefits of a Supervised Detox

Supervised detox ensures you feel as comfortable as possible throughout withdrawal. Medical professionals in a supervised setting help keep you safe, relaxed, and well-nourished. Our goal is to provide ease as you go through symptoms of withdrawal. You’ll feel much safer with people around you that know what to expect. 

These professionals provide medications or other remedies for the worst symptoms to alleviate discomfort. In drug detox, you can also start getting ready for the next step in the recovery journey. After all, detox is only the beginning of recovery. By itself, detox doesn’t provide tools for ongoing sobriety. 

A drug treatment center is where you’ll receive the therapies and treatments you need for a life without drugs or alcohol. However, detox is still an essential first step. This sets you up for future success in a rehab program for drug or alcohol treatment. 

Medical Detox: What is it?

The definition of detox wouldn’t be complete without explaining medical detox. Medical detox is typically a three-step process: evaluation, stabilization, and preparation for future treatment. Medical detox involves prescribed medicine to allow the patient to wean off the substance abused safely. 

The medicine is not only carefully prescribed, but also closely monitored. The goal of medical detox is to alleviate the pain of withdrawal symptoms in a safe, controlled manner

The three steps of medical detox include:

  • Evaluation

The evaluation consists of a questionnaire, a physical exam, blood tests, and a screening for co-occurring mental health disorders or other medical conditions. Our staff will diagnosis the patient’s psychological and physical state. A medical professional will then use this information to create a personalized treatment plan. This is a crucial step when tailoring a treatment plan for an individual’s unique needs. 

  • Stabilization

Stabilization is the step where patients stop abusing the substance. Medical professionals then help the individual achieve a healthy, stable state. Medication may be prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms for some drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, and opioids. Stabilization generally takes between one to three weeks.

  • Preparation

The additional treatment following detox is crucial in the recovery process. We want to make sure our patients are prepared. The psychological challenges can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ll help you, or a loved one, tackle these obstacles with a tailored treatment plan.

A treatment plan will aim to solve the underlying issues of a drug or alcohol addiction. This includes different kinds of therapies, as well as a supportive and encouraging environment. 

Medical Detox: What Drugs are Prescribed?

Different medications are used to treat various withdrawal symptoms. Medication prescribed will also vary depending on the severity and length of the addiction. These medications can include:


These drugs reduce anxiety and irritability. Anxiety is a common symptom of withdrawal from many drugs, such as alcohol and opiates. Benzo prescriptions must be carefully monitored as they can be addictive on their own.


An addicted individual will struggle to produce natural amounts of happiness-inducing chemicals in their brain. The chemical dependency drugs create is the reason for this.

Because they’ve relied on drugs to keep them happy for so long, people in detox often experience depression. Zoloft and Prozac can help reduce depressive feelings until the brain can produce happiness-inducing chemicals on its own again.


Clonidine is used to treat alcohol and opiate withdrawal. Clonidine reduces sweating, cramps, muscle aches, and anxiety. It can also aid in fighting against tremors and seizures.

Holistic Detoxing: A Different Approach

Holistic detox is a lifestyle change that targets symptoms more naturally. You are not your addiction. Understanding how the mind and body connect can transform an addicted individual’s life. The definition of detox, by holistic means, is lifestyle centered around transforming the mind and body.

As the name suggests, holistic body detox is defined by an easy-to-follow and sustainable routine to energize your life fully.

An all-around approach achieves body detoxification. Healing yourself starts with taking care of your mental and physical well being. This can be through making sure your body is receiving essential nutrients in conjunction with daily mediation. 

To target sickness, heal yourself, and feel great, you must nourish, relieve, detox, and cleanse your body, starting from the inside! This includes getting rid of toxins that clog your arteries, hang around your intestines, wear out your body organs, and cause harmful symptoms.

Body Detox

Fasting, cleansing, juicing, and healthy eating methods are all a part of holistic body detox. This can also be defined by the understanding of what your body needs to function optimally. A juice cleanse can act as a “restart” button for your body.

Mental Detox

A mental detox can be defined by connecting back with who you are. Becoming connected with yourself means spending some time alone with your mind. This is where meditation comes in!

Through practiced meditation, many report lessened feelings of anxiety and depression. Meditation is a great way to combat stress and ease mental clutter.

Spiritual Detox

Spiritual detoxification is the last phase we need to make the health approach ‘holistic’. The definition of a spiritual detox is the connection to the higher self. This can mean something different to each person. 

As humans, we are supposed to reconnect ourselves with nature. Spiritual detox can help you reconnect with nature again. This can include spending more time outside, journaling, meditating, yoga, and a variety of other approaches.

Take Your First Steps Into Addiction Recovery

Knowing you’re not alone in detox makes the journey to rehab much less intimidating. After detox, you can fully participate in your recovery at 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida. At 1st Step, you’ll receive the therapies and education you need for the successful maintenance of your hard-won sobriety.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, therapies include:

Therapies During Detox: A More In-Depth Look

Talk Therapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a treatment method involving the process by which psychological problems or disorders are treated. These problems are treated by a trained therapist with a skilled background in psychological theories and methods. 

The goal of psychotherapy is to improve your overall mental health and well-being positively. Therapy generally takes anywhere from a few months to years. It depends on the severity of the addiction and the patient’s unique needs. Individual sessions last 30 to 60 minutes. 

By identifying root issues and working through them through in-depth, analytical, discussion can help change behaviors. 

This includes behaviors that go hand in hand with substance abuse. Types of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Humanistic therapy
  • Supportive therapy

Family Therapy

Family therapy aims to help families learn communication skills, work through old arguments and traumas, and find recovery as a unit. Family therapists understand how each person in the family unit is affected by other members of the family group. Our medical staff has specialized education and experience in helping our patients heal and interact within the family unit.

Every family is a system, and each part is connected to all other parts. This means that a change in any part of the family system will bring about changes in all other parts. When one family member experiences addiction (or recovery), the entire family will be impacted. 

On the other hand, healthy family units can help individual family members recover and achieve long-lasting wellness.

Call Us Today

If you or someone you love is ready to end addiction to drugs or alcohol, 1st Step Behavioral Health is prepared to help you get there. Understanding how detox is defined allows you to move forward in getting the treatment you need. Our goal is not only to treat you but to educate you too. 

Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.

best detox

Best Detox Practices

Even if you want to stop using drugs or alcohol, it can be incredibly difficult. Once addiction takes hold, recovery can feel impossible. Detox is the first step in the process of overcoming addiction long term. Understanding the best detox practices is a strong start toward getting the right help and treatment for recovery.

Professional Support is Critical for the Best Detox

First, and most importantly, all prospective patients need to understand the value of professional support. Technically, you can detox solo at home. However, there are a staggering number of risks involved. Plus, at-home detoxes are statistically not as successful.

The main goal of a detox is to end your chemical dependence on drugs or alcohol. To do that, you have to work through the withdrawal period. During that time, withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and even severe.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed during detox. Symptoms may include cravings, which can make it tough to stay on track. Without support and accountability, many individuals give up and return to substance abuse.

If you’re serious about ending your addiction for good, then professional help can make all the difference. It’s safer and means you’ll have a much greater chance at lasting recovery.

24/7 Medical Supervision

The best drug or alcohol detox center will always be the one with 24/7 medical care. Around-the-clock medical attention is not a luxury during detox: It’s a necessity.

Withdrawal symptoms during detox can vary from unpleasant to fatal. If a patient struggles with cardiac problems or severe dehydration, the resulting problems could be life-threatening. Getting help the next day just isn’t a viable option.

Patients deserve and require medical supervision and monitoring at all times during detox. Medical professionals can check vital signs and ensure patients are staying sober, giving an extra layer of accountability. Patients can stay on track and still be safe and secure throughout the detox process.

Secure Facilities

Drug treatment centers need to be secure. If patients are free to come and go as they please, there’s a chance for them to access alcohol or drugs. For the health of all patients, the detox facility has to remain drug and alcohol-free at all times.

In a secure detox facility, patients know that using drugs and alcohol just isn’t possible. Even if cravings and temptations are strong, patients know there isn’t a way to veer away from sobriety. This makes it easier to get through challenging times and commit to sustainable recovery.

Planning Life After Detox

After detox, patients need to commit to continuing care. This often starts with inpatient or outpatient rehab. During this time, patients learn to stay sober, explore the causes of addiction and guard against relapse. They achieve all of this through a range of addiction treatments, which can include:

  • Family therapy
  • Massage and acupuncture therapy
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Talk therapy
  • Music and art therapy

Following best detox practices means you’ll have a better chance at successful, lasting recovery. After detox, head to 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, for continuing rehab and treatment. To overcome addiction and begin your recovery today, call (866) 319-6126.

Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid Withdrawal

Opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers are highly addictive. In order to end an addiction, users have to go through opioid withdrawal. Before you begin a solo detox, take a closer look at what withdrawal is really like. Often, medical supervision is the right choice for those who want a safe and secure recovery.

When Does Withdrawal Begin?

Many prospective patients are curious about when withdrawal symptoms begin. Ultimately, that answer depends on the kind of opiates you consume. If you use short-acting opiates, symptoms will appear sooner than if you use long-acting opiates.

Heroin is a short-acting opiate. It enters the bloodstream quickly, and users feel its effects quickly. Withdrawal symptoms for heroin users generally begin around six or eight hours after the last dose.

Many prescription painkillers are long-acting opiates. Drug manufacturers design them to have an extended release for longer pain relief. Individuals with addictions to long-acting opiates might see withdrawal symptoms 24 or 30 hours after the last dose.

How Long Will an Opiate Withdrawal Last?

Opiate withdrawal can last anywhere from one week to a full month. It all depends on the kind of opioid drugs patients used and the severity of the addiction. Short-acting opiates tend to lead to a longer withdrawal.

The first symptoms of withdrawal tend to be mild. However, they can build in strength and intensity for the first few days. Often, symptoms tend to peak around 72 hours after the withdrawal has begun. From there, they will slowly taper off until the withdrawal is over.

What are the Most Common Symptoms?

An opioid withdrawal can often be an unpleasant experience. Although it’s a necessary part of the process for those eager to beat addiction, it can bring a number of uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional and psychological.
A few of the most common opiate withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Muscle cramping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sweating and dehydration

Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce these symptoms. In a medical setting, patients have access to medications, resources, and support to increase comfort. Plus, 24/7 attention ensures that medical professionals can properly and swiftly deal with any emergency situations.

What Comes After Opioid Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is definitely a smart first step on the road to recovery. However, it takes more than just a detox to end an opiate addiction. After withdrawal, drug treatment programs become a priority.

During treatment programs, which may occur through inpatient or outpatient setups, patients can get to the root cause of their addiction. They can learn to fight against relapse, and they can embrace a lifetime of sobriety.
A few of the treatment methods that can help address addiction include:

  • Family therapy sessions
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Holistic and wellness therapies
  • Relapse prevention treatment
  • Art, music, and talk therapy

Taking the first step to sobriety means completing an opioid withdrawal. Then, at 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can begin working towards your lasting recovery. Call (866) 319-6126 to make the changes you need for a healthier, happier life.

am I an alcoholic

Am I an Alcoholic?

People often wonder, “Am I an alcoholic if I have a little too much to drink?” Interestingly, being in denial about an alcohol use disorder is easy. Mainstream society accepts the use of the drug and even abuse of it on occasion. However, if you’re asking yourself probing questions about your drinking habits, there might be more to them.

Common Misconceptions about an Alcohol Use Disorder Color Perception

Many people believe that alcoholics are the “other” people—the ones who are homeless, jobless, and friendless. In reality, people struggling with an alcohol addiction can have jobs, be moms or dads, and own homes. They run companies, work steady jobs, volunteer for charities, and coach children’s sports. In short, anybody could be suffering from this disease.

Am I an Alcoholic if I’m …?

Typically, there are three distinct signs that your casual drinking has given way to an abuse problem. For starters, you drink heavily. Medical experts consider four drinks a day to be a sign of heavy drinking. If you have more than 14 drinks in a week, they also consider you a heavy drinker.

Binge drinking is another warning sign. It’s possible to go for days without drinking and then suddenly start bingeing. From there, it’s easy for the behavior to become a daily occurrence. Bingeing refers to imbibing more than four or five drinks within a couple of hours.

A third warning sign is the possible outcome of your drinking. A glass of wine or beer with dinner is likely to have no adverse outcome. However, if you find that you neglect responsibilities or engage in risky behavior because of drinking, there’s a problem.

Treatment Can Help You Overcome an Alcohol Use Disorder

When you recognize that your drinking has turned from occasional indulging to addiction, it’s time to seek help. Rehab facilities routinely work with people just like you who need assistance to beat an addiction. Therapists use a variety of treatments to help patients break out of their substance abuse cycle. Examples include:

  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders that makes it possible to explore and handle underlying mental health challenges
  • Talk therapy in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy and similar modalities to change disruptive patterns
  • Group therapy, which allows for peer input and builds self-esteem
  • Holistic wellness treatments that enable the healing on multiple levels via massage therapy or acupuncture
  • Life skills training that helps you get into the swing of going about a typical day without using alcohol

Where to Find Help

Was your answer to “Am I an alcoholic?”, yes? If you or a loved one suffer from an alcohol abuse problem, the therapists at 1st Step Behavioral Health can help. Why let alcohol rob you of your enjoyment and sense of self-worth for another day? Get in touch with the knowledgeable therapists to learn more. Call (866) 319-6126 now for immediate assistance!

long term effects of alcohol

Long Term Effects of Alcohol

16 to 17 million American adults are currently struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Only a small number of these individuals seeks out treatment. Other statistics show that among preventable causes of death, alcohol-related fatalities rank third. Avoid becoming a statistic—learn about the long term effects of alcohol today.

Brain Damage Compounds with Long-time Alcohol Use

You’ve likely heard the quip that alcohol kills brain cells. Typically, this statement elicits a chuckle. In truth, though, alcohol has the power to interfere with neuronal pathways. That’s why people stagger and slur their speech after drinking too much alcohol.

Interference with the pathways also results in memory impairments. In the short term, these blackouts cause people to miss entire portions of an event. However, if individuals continue drinking heavily for months or years, the effects compound. Pathways that typically reestablish themselves fail to do so.

Long term, your reaction times slow and you’re at a higher risk of suffering a stroke. Along with physical manifestations such as a fatty liver and high blood pressure, your organs experience life-threatening outcomes. As you continue drinking alcohol, your immune system can no longer fight off infections.

Poor Nutrition Leads to Further Long Term Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol eliminates vitamin B in your system. In particular, it diminishes thiamin, which is vitamin B1. This nutritional building block plays a pivotal role in nervous system health. In the short term, intoxication leads to temporary double vision, which is familiar to most people.

If you keep overindulging, however, your body runs low on thiamin on a more consistent basis. This deficiency can result in the development of mental confusion, coordination problems affecting the extremities, and vision problems. An extreme expression of this condition is the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which can produce false memories.

Getting Help Now Prevents Worse Effects in the Future

If you have avoided seeking help because of the fear of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you need to rethink your decision. Medically supervised withdrawal for substance abuse can keep you healthy and comfortable during the process. While in rehab, therapists help you to get out from under the cravings. Examples of modalities include:

  • Inpatient treatment for a complete change of scenery
  • One-on-one treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy that emphasizes support network formation
  • Holistic treatments to help with physical manifestations of alcohol abuse
  • Treatment of co-occurring disorders to get to the “why” of your addiction

If you do nothing, the long term effects of alcohol addiction begin to build up. Cirrhosis of the liver is a common alcohol-related illness that eventually leads to death. Changes to the brain can create a variety of disorders as well as worsen mental illness. Of course, there’s also the interpersonal side of effects to consider. Alcoholism gradually isolates you from others, causing you to feel alone and misunderstood.

If you or a loved one suffers from an alcohol use disorder, get help now. It’s possible to stop or limit many of the adverse effects that alcohol abuse brings about. Therapists at 1st Step Behavioral are standing by to help. Call (866) 319-6126 today for assistance.