What is an alcohol detox with medication?

alcohol detox with medication

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. 

Do I have an alcohol addiction?

Let’s start by talking about what an alcohol addiction is. Put simply, 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.

It is estimated that in England there are 602,391 dependent drinkers. Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.

Unfortunately, it is believed that only 18% of England’s dependent drinkers are getting professional help for their alcohol addiction. Often, it is difficult for someone suffering from alcohol addiction to recognise and admit that they need help, and even once they have jumped this hurdle, finding the right help and support can still feel like a mountain to climb.

We are here to assure you that you are not alone in your journey to beat alcohol addiction. There are private addiction clinics such as Sanctum who 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?

Understanding what an alcohol detox is can make the process seem much less daunting. A specialist addiction clinic will be able to explain the whole process to you, ensuring you feel fully informed and reassured about what your alcohol detox will entail.

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.

It is commonly known that detoxing from alcohol can have some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and this can seem frightening to people considering undergoing an alcohol detox. However, it is important to remember that with the correct help from a specialist addiction clinic, any withdrawal symptoms and side effects can be effectively minimised.

Here, we will explain what it means to detox with medication, and why it is so important that people suffering from alcohol addiction seek clinical intervention to undergo a safe and medically assisted detoxification process


What is an alcohol detox with medication?

One very commonly-asked question is what medication is used as part of an alcohol detox. Here, we will explain everything you need to know about what an alcohol detox with medication entails.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that 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 around the clock to help you through the detox process.

So, what exactly is an alcohol detox with medication? Put simply, it’s a detox from alcohol supported with medication. You can also detox without medication– we will talk through the two options in more detail.

Your options when detoxing from alcohol are either to stop drinking completely (going ‘cold turkey’), or instead gradually reduce alcohol consumption until you get to a point where you are no longer drinking at all. By reducing alcohol consumption gradually, the patient doesn’t experience withdrawal symptoms, however this process is much slower and takes longer to complete. If a patient undergoes the detox method whereby they stop drinking alcohol completely, they will be taking a much faster route to recovery, but they will experience withdrawal symptoms. It’s important that these symptoms should be managed professionally by an experienced addiction specialist or clinic otherwise they can be life threatening. Medication is used to manage withdrawal symptoms safely and effectively, ensuring that they have minimal impact on a patient’s detox and recovery process. A specialist addiction clinic such as Sanctum in Wilmslow, Cheshire, will aim to minimise the negative impact of withdrawal symptoms, and make the detox experience as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Which medication is used?

An addiction specialist will take time to understand an individual patient’s problem with alcohol, including the amount they drink. This will enable them to prescribe the correct medication for their patient.

Librium is a commonly-used medication in alcohol detoxing. Librium is proved to be extremely successful in managing withdrawal side effects, and helps ensure the detoxing process is not unpleasant for the patient. Many specialist addiction clinics may also alternate librium with diazepam (often referred to as Valium). Librium and diazepam are very similar medications and can be interchanged according to the patient’s needs.

There are other medications that you might hear mentioned in your research about alcohol detoxing, such as Ativan and Gabapentin. Although sometimes used in alcohol detoxes, Ativan is not as long-acting as alternative medications such as librium and diazepam, and Gabatine does not carry as much evidence that it works as successfully as the alternatives. With this in mind, it’s important to find an alcohol detox clinic who can advise you on all medication options and prescribe the best option.

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 want to start your route to recovery quickly and without waiting for a referral, 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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