Some 14 million adults in the United States–1 in 13-–abuse alcohol or have a problem with drinking. So do 3 million teens and 3 million seniors. Addiction is a complicated illness made up of genetics, family and environment, and individual brain chemistry. Thus, it can be a hard fight to stop. If you’re facing the problem or trying to get help for a loved one, you should know the best approach for how to detox from alcohol combines both medicine and therapy, and may require a doctor’s coordination.
In severe cases, patients must detox before treatment, and withdrawal without medical care can be dangerous or life-threatening. After detox, the best treatment plans take an integrated approach and look to the long term. There are no quick fixes for this chronic illness.
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How to Detox from Alcohol
Before withdrawal, a medical professional considers any other problems the patient may have along with his or her alcoholism. An exam might reveal problems such as heart or liver irregularities, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, poor nutrition or mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.
Elderly and pregnant patients are particularly at risk, too, with seizures or DTs a concern.
Treating the Symptoms
After a doctor determines the best course of treatment, withdrawal from alcohol can be on an outpatient basis or in a hospital. Medication will likely be a part of the treatment. In some mild cases, a program involving nutrition, a quiet and supportive environment and personal care may fit the patient instead.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin anywhere from six hours and can last up to about 5 days after the patient stops drinking, according to “Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal,” by doctors Hugh Myrick and Raymond F. Anton. After withdrawal, the patient is ready to begin the journey of recovery.
Take the 1st Step
An individual, patient-centered approach such as that at 1st Step Behavioral Health can help you beat your addiction.
1st Step Behavioral Health, in Pompano Beach, Florida is led by Gus Crocco, L.C.S.W., who has three decades of experience in addictions and their related problems. The staff includes two recovery coaches as well.
Treatment in 1st Step’s caring environment might include:
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient
Residential living and sober living support are also options, depending on a patient’s needs.
Behavioral talk therapy, which research supports as helpful in fighting addiction, is a strong component in 1st Step’s approach. Family therapy and life skill coaching both go a long way in helping with recovery, as well.
1st Step Behavioral also offers art and music therapy along with holistic treatments such as chiropractic and massage therapy. A nurse practitioner is on site, and patients who have co-occurring health issues such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and PTSD receive treatment according to their individual needs.
Whether the patient needs residential care in apartment-style living, or outpatient counseling and treatment, 1st Step Behavioral Health can be the road to a healthy recovery.