Alcohol Detox Medication

A medicated alcohol detox is considered to be the safest way to withdraw from alcohol as it manages withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens, alcohol hallucinosis and alcoholic seizures. By using medication as a substitute for alcohol under careful supervision, you can avoid the psychological and physiological side effects that are induced through withdrawal.

Alcohol has a depressive effect on your body and mind; it slows down your brain function, and alters the way that nerves transmit messages. As time goes by, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol and your body compensates to keep your brain more alert and your nerves communicating. But when your level of alcohol drops your brain continues to operate in a hyper-aroused state, which is what causes withdrawal symptoms. Our detox center offers you a safe approach to the detox process by using substitute medication.

Why Use Medication during Alcohol Detox

Completing an alcohol medicated detox enables you to take control of your health and wellbeing. Years of research and recovery success have shown that medications are a positive and beneficial component of recovery for alcohol use disorders. No single treatment approach or medication is effective at treating every case, as each patient is different.

If you have an underlying mental health disorder, the psychological condition and the addiction will both present symptoms, which can affect your ability to function normally. Both conditions need to be treated or they will influence one another negatively.

Benzodiazepines are frequently used to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms as they have a calming effect on the central nervous system. Unlike many other medications, benzos can be used during the detox period to make symptoms more manageable. They may also help patients who have co-occurring addictions and dual diagnosis, particularly patients who suffer from anxiety and depression.

What Medication to Use for Withdrawal Symptoms?

Using medication to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms enables you to interact positively with the experience and complete your detox program. Medication may be used for withdrawal symptoms like nausea, dehydration, high blood pressure, sleep problems, electrolyte imbalances, anxiety, and depression. Vitamin B and glucose are often supplemented during medicated alcohol detox.

Benzodiazepines help with tremors, hallucinations and anxiety to make the detox a more comfortable and manageable process. Patients who are resistant to benzos and those going through severe withdrawal may benefit from treatment with barbiturates.

Anticonvulsant medications may be used for seizure management. They can be used in conjunction with or instead of benzodiazepines. Antipsychotics may be prescribed for patients with thought disorders like schizophrenia.

Some patients need medication to help manage alcohol cravings. Naltrexone is a medication used to reduce alcohol intake or to prevent a relapse. It blocks opioid receptors and therefore blocks the effect of alcohol.

How Medicines Will Help You

A medicated alcohol detox will help you to get through the peak stage of alcohol withdrawal. During this phase, your symptoms are at their most intense as most of the alcohol has been eliminated from your body and you are at the greatest risk of relapse. As your body becomes more accustomed to functioning without alcohol, you will be weaned off the medication and will be ready to work through therapy.

Pre-existing mental health conditions

The alcohol detox process can exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions. Clients who were suffering from depression may find that withdrawal pushes them towards suicidal ideation or psychosis and clients with anxiety disorders find they get worse during withdrawal. Using medication during alcohol detox treats underlying mental health illnesses, and enables a safer and more comfortable detox that supports your mental health.

Pre-existing physiological conditions

Alcohol withdrawal can cause previously managed physiological conditions to result in medical complications. By taking your full medical history we can understand what your physiological health risks are and adopt a suitable treatment plan. It is quite common for clients with long standing alcohol use disorders to have vitamin deficiencies, high blood pressure, liver dysfunction, increased heart rate and kidney dysfunction, and these need to be managed effectively to have a safe detox and in choosing the correct medications to support it.

How Medication Is Administered

The severity of alcohol detox symptoms depends on the amount of alcohol you have been consuming, the length of time you have been consuming it for and any co-occurring physiological or psychological health disorders. Medication can be administered on a fixed schedule or according to your symptoms.

In the early stage of withdrawal, usually between six and 24-hours after your last drink, most symptoms are mild and medication is usually not required. Once you reach the peak stage, typically 24 to 48 hours after your last drink, most of the alcohol has been eliminated from your body and you are likely to experience the most intense symptoms. This is usually when you are at the highest risk of relapse and medication is needed. By the time you reach the weakening stage your symptoms should have started to improve and you can be weaned off medication. However, if delirium tremens is going to present, it is likely to be during this stage and medication will be used. By the final stage of withdrawal, five to 14 days after detox, most patients can leave the inpatient environment and move forward with a rehab program.

Why Choose United Recovery California for Drug Detox?

BRANDX offers you a tranquil and supportive environment in which to detox alcohol from your system safely. Your comfort and safety is our primary focus and we make use of the latest, evidence-based approaches to help you achieve your sobriety goals. We provide specialized therapy for stress, trauma and mental health disorders so that you can heal and grow.

Our alcohol detox program is tailored to your unique needs and recovery goals and we ensure you have 24-hour support as you break your physical dependence on alcohol. Our luxury rehab center is your home away from home and ensures you have everything you need to succeed on your journey to recovery.

About United Recovery Project

Why Choose United Recovery CA for Drug Detox and Withdrawal?

Our medical detox and rehabilitation center has been designed for comfort and safety. We enable our patients to retreat into a luxurious and non-judgmental space where you receive 24-hour medical supervision and clinical interventions to help you forge your long term recovery path. Once your drug detox is complete you can enroll for in-patient or out-patient rehab in a familiar setting as you learn the tools and coping skills required to address the underlying triggers that resulted in your drug dependency. Aftercare, support groups and sober living homes provide you with extended care programs that facilitate long term sobriety in an understanding community.

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Is a Detox Enough to Tackle Addiction?

Going through a medicated alcohol detox is the first step on your recovery journey and it is a significant milestone to achieve. Detox breaks your physiological dependence on alcohol and puts you in a stronger and more empowered state to tackle the root cause of your addiction in a rehab program. It’s important to realize that addiction is a relapsing and complex disease and you will work through the reasons why you developed it through therapeutic processes that are designed to help you turn inwards and reflect on your life experiences.

It is not advisable to end your journey with detox because you will not yet have learnt the important coping skills and self development techniques you need to maintain long term sobriety. Relapsing after detox is potentially dangerous because your tolerance to alcohol will have dropped and in order to heal completely, you must complete a full rehab program.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I am addicted to my prescribed medication?

Each patient is assessed on intake to determine the best way forward. If it is necessary, we may recommend switching your prescription medication or putting you on a tapering schedule to reduce your dose. If you have a prescription medication addiction as well as a dependence on alcohol, it is very important to follow a formal detox program in a medical environment to manage your risks.

Can we switch substitute medications if I don’t feel right?

Some discomfort is to be expected during an alcohol detox however, there are usually options available should the medication you are given initially not work well enough for your symptoms. One of the advantages of 24-hour monitoring is that decisions can be made quickly in your best interests and our team of detox specialists will be able to help you straight away.

What is replacement therapy?

Replacement therapy is the use of substituting other substances that mimic the effects of alcohol to trick your brain into thinking it has alcohol, without the negative consequences. Benzodiazepines are commonly used in replacement therapy as they also have a depressant effect on the brain. Replacement therapy is usually a temporary intervention to make withdrawal safer, and the medication is then tapered off slowly until you reach the point where your withdrawal symptoms are manageable.

Can my GP come with me so they can observe?

When you enroll in our detox program you are under the guidance and supervision of our medical team, which includes doctors, specialists and addiction professionals. Our clinical team will oversee your progress and can report any feedback to your GP, with your consent. We will request your health records from your doctor on admission so we can make informed decisions for your health and wellbeing.

What are some meds you use during detox?

Benzodiazepines can be used for the treatment of debilitating anxiety, which is a common side effect when withdrawing from alcohol use. Patients who have been abusing alcohol for a long time may benefit from the use of antidepressants to regulate their brain chemistry during and after detox. Clonidine is commonly prescribed for relief from distressing withdrawal symptoms like cramps, sweating, muscle ache and anxiety. It can also be used to manage tremors and seizures.

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