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

Some people can be treated at home, but others may need supervised care in a hospital setting to avoid potentially dangerous complications such as seizures. On the other hand, binge drinking is generally defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men within a two-hour period. And even occasional binge drinking episodes can have profound effects on your liver’s health over time.

  • These programs involve working with a team of mental health professionals in a group and individual setting.
  • Detoxing from alcohol at home can work for some people, but you should always consult with a doctor before attempting to detox by yourself.
  • Alcohol detox can lead to potentially fatal complications, especially in severe cases of alcohol dependence.
  • If a person can answer yes to two or more of the CAGE questions, they should consider seeking treatment.
  • GABA also helps produce endorphins in the brain, which produce a sense of well-being.

However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal. When they suddenly quit drinking, the brain continues its hyperactivity, but alcohol no longer suppresses the effects. This can cause seizures and delirium tremens, a severe form of withdrawal marked by tremors and hallucinations. If you taper off alcohol slowly or with medical supervision, the brain has time to adapt without causing severe side effects. If you are concerned about potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Cost of Alcohol Detox

In some people, the initial reaction may feel like an increase in energy. But as you continue to drink, you become drowsy and have less control over your actions. As with other addictions, alcohol dependency can negatively affect a person’s life.

  • Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect.
  • In other cases, long-term alcohol exposure can increase a person’s risk of developing a psychiatric illness.
  • Delirium tremens only affects 3% to 5% of people going through alcohol withdrawal, but it is fatal in well over a third of cases if left untreated.

You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs. Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another. People who have an addiction to alcohol or who drink heavily on a regular basis and are not able to gradually cut down are at high risk of AWS. A high fever, hallucinations, and heart disturbances are all reasons to seek immediate help.

Alcohol Detox

Meanwhile, the brain is producing more and more neurotransmitters, making a person further imbalanced. If your doctor thinks you might be going through alcohol withdrawal, they’ll ask you questions about your drinking history and how recently you stopped. They’ll want to know if you’ve ever gone through withdrawal before. Benzodiazepines carry a Food and Drug Administration boxed warning because there is a risk of dependence. If you’re prescribed a medication from this class of drugs talk with your doctor about the risks before taking them and always follow the doctor’s instructions. It can be hard to find (or even know) the balance of how much alcohol your body is able to handle.

  • Detoxing at home usually takes longer because you should be cautious to avoid serious complications.
  • The prognosis (outlook) for someone with alcohol withdrawal depends greatly on its severity.
  • In general, blood work will test serum magnesium, and replacements will occur if indicated.
  • The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to serious.
  • To begin the process, your health care team will perform a comprehensive exam.

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