Author: Gary Jackson

Alcohol Detox and Rehab Programs: What to Expect and How to Choose

We’ll be able to tell you if your insurance provider is in network with an American Addiction Centers treatment facility. Addiction medicine physicians are specifically trained in a wide range of prevention, evaluation, and treatment methods for helping people with SUD and addiction. Call your local mental health or addiction medicine department or reach out to your personal doctor. People who drink heavily but not daily, such as binge drinkers, are less likely to develop physiological dependence that would lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol detox programs evaluate and monitor withdrawal symptoms, physical health, and mental health. Outpatient detox programs will recommend that people monitor their own vital signs throughout the withdrawal period and advise them to seek emergency medical care if they develop dangerous symptoms. Residential and inpatient detox programs will monitor vital signs regularly and may also conduct other medical tests to evaluate liver functioning and other potential long-term health complications from alcohol addiction. These advanced practice clinicians support patients through the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions. They work closely with doctors and care teams to provide medical services and counseling for mental health, substance misuse, and addiction issues.

Drug and alcohol treatment and recovery

Based on your typical drinking pattern, it is best to gradually reduce your drinking over days or weeks until you reach zero drinks. Cutting back standard drinks by 10% per day can reduce the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms. This method can be difficult for some people since there is a tendency to relapse when trying to cut back alcohol use without being fully abstinent. Alcohol and drugs impact the way the brain functions by interfering with the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. If the person then stops using the substance, it takes time for the brain to re-adjust to the lack of substance effects. The initial period of readjustment involves withdrawal symptoms that are typically the opposite of the substance effects, and this is referred to as detoxification.

  • People who drink heavily but not daily, such as binge drinkers, are less likely to develop physiological dependence that would lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • However, if you are unable to get professional oversight, you can minimize the risk of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in several ways.
  • Getting through detox isn’t just a matter of willpower, and stopping “cold turkey” without at least medical help is never recommended.

When you stop drinking, the brain undergoes another adjustment period as the alcohol leaves the system. Withdrawal symptoms of varying levels of severity can occur as a result. Rehab programs can include a range of services from medical care and counseling to life skills training and help preventing a relapse. Everyone has different needs when it comes to treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), a condition that can be diagnosed when your pattern of alcohol use is problematic and causes significant distress. It can range from mild to severe, depending on how many symptoms you have. The care you’ll need depends in part on where you fall in that range.

Do I Need a Detox Program?

While alcohol detox and rehab offer clear-cut ways of getting and staying sober, it’s not always so easy. If you love someone with AUD, undiagnosed or diagnosed, please consider reminding them you’re there to support their sober goals no matter how long it takes. Alcohol detox, also called alcohol withdrawal, happens after a person drinks alcohol frequently (i.e., daily) or excessively (i.e., binge drinking) stops.

  • While alcohol detox and rehab offer clear-cut ways of getting and staying sober, it’s not always so easy.
  • Your symptoms may last a week or more, typically hitting their worst within hours.
  • Addiction medicine is about more than just clinical care — it’s about acceptance and understanding.
  • Inpatient, where you live at a hospital, detox clinic, or rehab center during the process.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Inpatient Alcohol Detox

Addiction treatment programs that do not offer detox may require someone to complete detox prior to being admitted to the treatment program. Many alcohol rehabs treat people with co-occurring mental health conditions or dual diagnoses such as anxiety and depression. For example, this person may choose to enter a sober living facility, continue alcohol abuse treatment in an outpatient setting, and/or regularly attend local support group meetings. Someone’s ideal continuing care plan hinges on their recovery progress, their motivation, their current health assessments, and their specific circumstances. Should your risk of severe or complicated alcohol withdrawal be significant at the point of your initial assessment, your first stage of inpatient alcohol treatment may include a supervised medical detox. In some cases, our care teams prescribe medication to treat an underlying mental health condition, like depression or anxiety.

alcohol detoxification program

Once you get back into the swing of your normal life, it might be easy to relapse and start drinking again. You have lots of options, including 12-step programs, private therapy, and group counseling. Outpatient alcohol detox may be a good fit for people at low risk for severe withdrawal.

Alcohol Detox and Rehab Programs: What to Know

It looks at your specific case and decides the type of treatment you qualify for. Intensive outpatient treatment involves a scheduled series of visits that are longer and more in-depth than a traditional outpatient program. You may do this after partial hospitalization, detox, or residential rehab. When you think about detox programs, it helps to look a step ahead to rehab. That’s because you’ll also need treatment to break your addiction, and some programs combine the two. Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your health care provider or mental health provider.

alcohol detoxification program