According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use disorder is defined as severe problem drinking that is characterized by physical dependence and a compulsion to consume alcohol that is beyond the person’s control.
There are all levels of severity of alcoholism and no two people are the same in terms of how it is treated. Clients in Elevate’s residential or outpatient alcohol rehab centers each have their own unique set of circumstances to cope with and a varying backstory as to how they initially started drinking. For this reason, we personalize each and every alcohol recovery program to the individual’s specific needs.
Although everyone requiring an alcohol recovery program is different, the first step is universally detox. When a person has made the significant decision to enter inpatient alcohol rehab, they will first have to rid their bodies of any chemical residues that have accumulated as a result of alcohol abuse.
It is important to remember that simply quitting drinking is not sufficient to have made the person better and that alcoholism is an illness that requires time to heal. Therefore, detox is not a standalone process but the most important component of an ongoing one.
Supervised Alcohol Detox in Residential or Outpatient Alcohol Rehab
No matter what stage of alcoholism a person is suffering, it is always recommended that they attend supervised detox in a specialist center. This is because it is impossible to predict how the body will respond to being denied alcohol and how uncomfortable the process detox will be for the individual. Having specialist addiction staff on-hand throughout ensures that any unpleasant or potentially serious withdrawal symptoms are dealt with promptly and before complications develop.
Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal
When an individual stops drinking, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms within 8-72 hours after abstinence. The most common signs of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Irritability and jumpiness
- Extreme mood swings
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Shakes and sweats
- Insomnia or nightmares
Less common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Severe headache
- Loss of appetite
- Clammy skin
- Rapid heartbeat
One of the most severe signs of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens which has the following symptoms:
- Cognitive changes
- Shivering or shaking
- Mental agitation and low attention span
- Delirium and hallucinations
- Paranoia or fear
- Intense fatigue
- Fits and seizures
Holistic Therapies Elevate Recommends for Detox
An Elevate alcohol detox program has a recommended duration of 90 days. We feel this gives ample time for clients to adapt to sobriety while allowing their bodies to heal naturally. Alcoholism is not an illness that can be cured overnight and so it makes sense that it takes time to treat. At Elevate centers, we use holistic therapies during the detox process that are often continued through rehab and into recovery.
Some of the holistic therapies we offer for alcohol detox include the following:
This hands-on therapy provides clients with considerable relief during detox, allowing them to remain as comfortable as possible when they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Not only does massage therapy relax the client but it also improves circulation and lowers blood pressure which counters the unpleasant effects of alcohol detox. Many of our clients go on to continue enjoying massage therapy after leaving rehab, using it to help them maintain a relaxed state of mind in recovery.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Mindfulness practices are designed to allow clients to find true relaxation through controlled breathing. Meditation therapists at Elevate guide clients through the process of shifting the mind from focusing on negative thoughts or cravings to achieving a state of inner silence. Silencing an internal dialogue is not easy for an individual to achieve without the help of a therapist but once they have mastered the technique, it is something they can apply to their lives in recovery to prevent relapse.
Exercise is extremely invaluable for clients detoxing from alcohol. When an individual has suffered alcohol use disorder, they are unlikely to have taken care of themselves. When someone is not in good physical condition, they are not as able to fight disease and infection. Exercising while in detox helps to strengthen clients and improves self-confidence, allowing clients to proceed into rehab with renewed motivation.