It’s challenging to figure out if someone has an alcohol addiction. And this is because alcohol is mainly acceptable for regular consumption. But statistics from the NIAAA show that 15 million persons in North America suffer from alcohol use disorders.

This number reveals there can be a problem with its excessive consumption and a need for programs like inpatient alcohol detox.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is typically characterized by an inability to abstain from or significantly reduce one’s consumption of alcoholic beverages. And this incapacitation usually defies the promise of adverse consequences like legal troubles, family problems, financial difficulties, health problems, and so on.

Are you or a loved one looking to quit alcohol via medical help? The first and most crucial step on that road begins with enrolling in an inpatient programme.

Here, we’ll answer questions like “what is inpatient alcohol detox?” by taking you through the details of the program.

Let’s get into it.

Treatment Stages For Alcohol Detox

People give several reasons for not seeking help for addiction. But a popular one is the apprehension about what they may encounter in a rehabilitation center for alcoholism. And as it is, the success of any treatment plan hinges on the patient’s commitment to its procedures.

Individuals knowledgeable about therapy details and stages are more likely to commit to the process as a whole. And this is crucial in improving their chances of a successful outcome.

treatment stages for alcohol detox

The First Phase of Treatment

The first step on the road to recovery is deciding to enter a professional inpatient alcohol detox programme.

You may decide to enter rehab of your own will. And you could find yourself in a dire situation where you have no choice. Regardless, professional treatment is the first step toward a sober life.

You may feel conflicted about fully committing to rehabilitation in the first few days of treatment. In fact, you may even convince yourself that your drug use problem isn’t as severe as other patients. In the early stages of rehabilitation, your deadliest adversaries may be uncertainty and denial.

At this stage, what to expect from an inpatient alcohol detox program is getting you to commit to treatment. An alcohol disorder counsellor may assist the patient in the following ways toward the goal:

  • Consider the negative consequences of alcohol addiction
  • Investigate your denial about the issue
  • Gain the individual’s buy-in to the healing process

Addiction specialists will record an individual’s alcohol and drug use history at this point. Also, they’ll explain the treatment programme carefully. Afterwards, they’ll establish a personalized treatment strategy between the patient and counsellor.

Second Phase – Early Abstinence

Early abstinence is the second phase of alcohol detox. And it comes after you pledge commitment to continue your treatment for alcohol dependence.

Early sobriety in alcohol detox treatment procedures strongly identifies with favourable treatment outcomes. This phase may be the most difficult to endure due to many circumstances, including:

  • Prolonged withdrawal symptoms
  • Neediness in the body
  • Mind involvement
  • Relapse triggers

Alcohol cravings, peer pressure, and potentially dangerous settings can all be obstacles during this recovery phase. This early period of abstinence is when your addiction counsellor will start and intensify teachings about the tools you’ll need to maintain your sobriety in the long run. Recovery will be easier with the skills you’ll acquire here.

At this stage of inpatient alcohol detox, you’ll focus on the challenges of early abstinence. These include detox’s physical and psychological effects like recognizing situations that trigger drinking and managing your urges without relapse.

Methods proven to be helpful at this stage include:

  • Motivating people to take part in healthy pursuits
  • Eliminating alcohol use by replacing it with healthier activities
  • Taking part in informational and rehabilitative self-help groups
  • Recognizing the people, places, and things in one’s environment that can set off cravings

The Third Step: Keeping Clean

After about 90 days of sobriety, you’ll graduate from the early abstinence stage. Then you’ll move to the third stage of abstinence maintenance.

The next step is transitioning to an outpatient programme to continue follow-up counselling. And this is because you began your alcohol detox treatment procedure in an inpatient facility.

At this point in treatment, staying sober by preventing relapse is a priority. To avoid relapsing, you will gain insight into the precursors and triggers of relapse.

In this recovery phase, you’ll also learn how to apply the skills you gleaned in early abstinence to other aspects of your life. And this will expand your capacity for genuine sobriety. You’ll see more to your future happiness than just cutting back on drugs or alcohol.

The coping mechanisms and resources you’ll acquire will ensure you:

  • Don’t replace one addiction with another
  • Create positive bonds with others
  • Stop using drugs and start living sober
  • Gain practical experience in the job market and financial planning
  • Learn to control your rage
  • Put your diet and workout routine to good use

You’ll enter the phase of recovery known as “maintaining abstinence” roughly three months into your treatment programme. And you’ll stay in this phase until you’ve been sober for nearly five years.

workout routine to good use

The Advanced Recovery

The fourth and last stage of the alcohol detox program is advanced recovery. And you’ll usually get there around five years of sobriety. At this level, you put into practice the knowledge and skills gained through rehabilitation counselling.

Some possible solutions at this juncture are:

  • Setting ambitious long-term objectives
  • Establishing a routine
  • Getting to know sober people and having fun with them
  • Taking part in activities one can enjoy without using alcohol
  • Pursuing enjoyment and fulfilment through activities that include reaching out to others, such as religious or spiritual practice, volunteerism, or political activism.

Related Article: What is The Cost of Medical Detox in Ontario?

Medication used During Alcohol Detox

Benzodiazepines may be prescribed to patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal during inpatient alcohol detox. And this prescription is to prevent or alleviate withdrawal symptoms and the medical consequences that can arise from them. These medications can prevent potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.

Additional drugs may be administered for patient stabilization and comfort. Such medications include anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, and alpha-adrenergic agonists.

Also, fluids and vitamins may be administered to malnourished or dehydrated patients.

Other possible medications for the treatment of alcohol use disorders are:

  • Acamprosate: aids abstinence from alcohol following treatment
  • Disulfiram: It makes you uncomfortable if you drink alcohol
  • Naltrexone: Reduces alcohol’s reinforcing or rewarding effects

Please note that you may only take these drugs at your doctor’s prescription.

Timeline for Alcohol Detox

The timeline for an alcohol detox program can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And this will depend on various circumstances. They include:

  • When and how often alcohol is consumed
  • Whether or not drug use is happening alongside alcohol consumption
  • Clarification of any pre-existing physical or psychological conditions
  • Traditions and ancestry
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Body Mass Index

Depending on the individual, detox may take between one to two weeks. In extreme circumstances, it may take longer. Despite the conclusion of detox, mental and physical recovery from addiction may take several weeks, months, or years.

It’s vital to note the liver’s function in how long withdrawal lasts. It may take a longer period for the liver to repair if the addiction has caused significant impairment to the liver’s ability to handle alcohol.

Withdrawal and Any Side Effects to Expect During Alcohol Detox

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be relatively minor to extremely severe. Yours will be determined by how much alcohol you’ve consumed and for how long.

However mild, the first signs of withdrawal may appear as soon as 6 hours after you last drank. These things may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

48-72 hours later, you may experience:

  • Panic and a fast-beating heart
  • Fever Hypertension
  • Excessive sweating

Related Article: What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Detox?


Final Thoughts

Inpatient alcohol detox is beneficial for anyone looking to attain sobriety from alcoholism. Its four stages ensure you’re better on all sides.

As earlier implied, you need the supervision of qualified specialists to oversee your recovery process. Therefore, you must enlist top-notch addiction recovery services like ours.

We at Medical Detox Ontario are one of Ontario’s best detox treatment services providers. Our programs are empathetically and professionally designed to fit individual alcohol recovery needs. Reach out to us today to start your journey to recovery.

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