Alcohol addiction is one of the most common forms of addiction in the United States. It is easy to become addicted to alcohol due to its accessibility. There are several types of alcohol addiction treatment programs available for those who would like to seek help. It is recommended to get help from a qualified treatment facility rather than self-medicate or go through the detoxification process alone.
The road to recovery from alcohol addiction will start with detoxification. It is a process wherein a person gets rid of the alcohol in his system. Depending on how severe the case is, those who have been drinking for a long time may experience some extreme withdrawal symptoms. If this is the case, it is advisable to undergo supervised alcohol detox to avoid experiencing life-threatening complications.
Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms:
- Shaky hands
- High blood pressure
Symptoms can be mild during the first few hours and can worsen 12 to 48 hours after you stop drinking. Those with extreme withdrawal symptoms may find comfort in a medical detox program to help alleviate the symptoms.
What is Medical Detox?
Medical detoxification will provide a safer environment for people who are withdrawing from alcohol or other substances under medical supervision. Depending on how severe the withdrawal symptoms are, patients may receive medication to lessen the symptoms. By receiving medication, it will not only make the detoxification process more bearable but also safer than going through it alone.
If you are wondering whether medical detox can treat alcohol addiction, well the answer is both yes or no. Yes, in the sense that it can help your body get rid of alcohol and relieve you from severe symptoms caused by withdrawal. However, it cannot be used as a sole treatment as it does not address the primary cause of addiction and does not support long-term sobriety.
Medications Used for Alcohol Detox and Recovery
Sometimes therapies and counseling are not enough to treat patients with alcoholism. This is why medications are sometimes given, especially during the detoxification process.
Drinking alcohol for a long period affects how a person’s brain works. Acamprosate helps by making the brain function normally again after drinking large amounts of alcohol. This drug is also used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and alcohol cravings. It is important to understand that this medication will not prevent withdrawal symptoms, but will only help lessen the discomfort.
This prescription drug has almost the same effect as acamprosate as it can also help in reducing alcohol cravings. Apart from that, it also lessens the pleasurable effects of alcohol. Compared to other medications, naltrexone has less severe side effects. Patients who took naltrexone observed improvements in the outcome of other treatments such as counseling and therapy.
Vivitrol is almost the same as naltrexone but as an extended-release formulation. It is given once a month for people with alcohol addiction. This treatment helps reduce drinking alcohol by reducing alcohol cravings. Taking Vivitrol along with counseling can help the recovery process faster. Before starting Vivitrol, the patient should not be drinking and must be opioid-free for at least 7 to 14 days to prevent opioid withdrawal.
Disulfiram or Antabuse as its brand name is commonly prescribed to patients suffering from alcoholism. This is typically given to those with chronic alcoholism. This medication works by discouraging the use of alcohol. Patients who had taken disulfiram and ingested alcohol after may experience unpleasant side effects. It is important to note that this drug does not help reduce withdrawal symptoms or alcohol cravings. It is more of a deterrent to alcohol drinking. It helps reduce the desire to drink due to its severe side effects once alcohol is consumed.
Alcoholism can cause serious health issues when not dealt with right away. If you or anyone you know is suffering from alcoholism, it’s best to get them the help they need immediately by searching for “alcohol rehab near me” at your local city for treatment to find the best local rehab facilities.