How an alcohol detox works

How an alcohol detox works

Firstly- congratulations on finding this article: in searching for this, you’ve taken the first step towards detoxing from alcohol and started your journey towards a happier, healthier you. We’re here to assure you that with the right help and support, it’s possible for you to live an alcohol-free life.

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a serious form of problem drinking. People suffering with this condition will often have an uncontrollable obsession and compulsion to drink against their will. Sadly, people suffering with alcohol addiction will generally place drinking before all other commitments including family and work.

Signs of alcohol addiction may include:

  • Withdrawal from family or social occasions
  • Isolated drinking
  • Irritable, restless, discontent
  • Disconnected from the family
  • Lack of interest in appearance
  • Hand tremors
  • Visible physical deterioration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constant need to drink or have a plan to drink
  • Devious, secretive, dishonest behaviour

There is often a trauma that creates a dependence (such as addiction to alcohol), and the addiction often functions as a coping mechanism to handle pain, fear or stress. Whatever the catalyst, private addiction clinics can offer a holistic and compassionate approach to treatment, ensuring you will have the full support you need to overcome your addiction.

What is an alcohol detox?

An alcohol detox is the process through which all traces of alcohol are removed from the body, ensuring that a person is physically stable and ready to start therapy as part of their long-term recovery from alcohol addiction.

Over time, alcohol addiction results in a physical tolerance being built up, and people become used to having alcohol in their system. When alcohol in the body is reduced during detox, the brain will have to adjust to the sudden decrease, and people can experience unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is so important that people suffering from alcohol addiction seek clinical intervention to undergo a safe and medically assisted detoxification process.

A specialist addiction clinic will aim to minimise the negative impact of withdrawal symptoms, and make the detox experience as safe and as comfortable as possible.

What happens during an alcohol detox?

The most effective form of detox is one that is medically assisted and supported by trained specialists: attempting to detox on your own is rarely successful. A specialist addiction clinic can provide the professional support you need.

A specialist detox clinic will have a team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals on hand to help you through the detox process. For example, Sanctum Healthcare in Wilmslow, Cheshire, provides a mental health nurse assessment and a private GP physical health consultation as part of the process. Other specialist team members at Sanctum include a Consultant Cardiologist, personal trainer, a recovery manager, and a chaperone service.

The detox programme at a specialist addiction clinic such as Sanctum usually includes a medical detoxification, psychiatric assessments, psychological assessments and sessions, and pharmacogenomic testing (tests to see how genes affect the body’s response to certain medicines). Sanctum will also create a Neurological Neurotransmitter Profile for the patient, and will undertake ongoing health screening and diagnostics. Patients will undergo functional medicine and nutritional assessments, liver and critical organ tests and MRI scanning.

It’s very important to remember that recovery from alcohol addiction does not end with the detox: rather, the detox is just the initial phase of the process that ensures the patient is ready to begin their long-term recovery from alcohol addiction. Specialist addiction clinics will focus on recovery dynamics and educate patients in relapse prevention, as well as addiction and mental health education. Some clinics such as Sanctum also offer personal fitness assessment and ongoing training, yoga, meditation and mindfulness coaching. A truly holistic approach looks at all aspects of the patient’s mental and physical health to determine the root cause of the problem, and prevent it from recurring in future.

How to start your detox journey

Advice and support from addiction recovery specialists is key to a healthy, successful detox and a full recovery.

If you need treatment for alcohol addiction, you’re entitled to NHS care, and your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment. You may be offered treatment at the practice, or you may be referred to your local addiction service.

Unfortunately, waiting times for referrals on the NHS may not be immediate, and if you want to start your route to recovery quickly, your best option may be a private addiction clinic such as Sanctum Healthcare in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Sanctum is a provider of bespoke treatment for alcohol addiction, offering a holistic approach to the treatment and recovery of each client on a one to one basis.

To start your recovery journey today, contact Sanctum for a confidential, non-judgemental chat.

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