Alcoholism & Alcohol Detox
Alcohol is a legal intoxicant for anyone over the age of 21 to purchase in the US. It can often seem like alcohol is everywhere you turn, from TV to nights out with friends. Unfortunately, all of these factors combine to make alcohol addiction, also called alcoholism, a serious issue for society. Roughly 14.5 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol, and many do not seek help because they do not know where to turn. Alcoholism treatment centers, like Brentwood Springs in Nashville, Tennessee can help people to overcome alcohol addiction in a safe and effective way.
How Can Alcoholism Affect Your Health?
One of the reasons those with alcoholism seek treatment at an alcohol detox center is that drinking can negatively affect a person’s overall health. Repeated alcohol abuse can cause a number of different problems with many different parts of your body. For one, alcoholism can cause problems with your heart, including heart disease, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Alcoholism can also cause a range of serious liver issues, including cirrhosis, fibrosis, fatty liver disease, and even alcoholic hepatitis. Other risks include permanent brain damage and increased risk of certain types of cancer. In addition, alcohol use disorder increases the risk of dying from an injury, homicide, or suicide.
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcohol detox centers see clients with alcohol use disorders that range from mild to severe. Even the mildest forms of alcoholism pose a risk to your health and carry the risk of developing an even worse addiction. Signs of alcoholism include:
- Inability to control alcohol intake
- Lying about alcohol consumption
- Spending a lot of time drinking, thinking about drinking
- Recovering from hangovers
- Having issues performing at work or school
- Conflict within your relationships, due to your drinking
- Continuing to drink despite issues with your health or quality of life
- Giving up hobbies or social activities in order to drink
- Drinking more alcohol to feel its effects
- Participating in risky activities while drinking
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking alcohol
While not every person with a drinking problem will have all of the same symptoms, the more of these issues you have, the worse your alcohol addiction likely is.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is the process of your body getting rid of all of the alcohol in your system to become alcohol-free once again. Addiction creates a physical dependence and it is not uncommon to experience withdrawal symptoms during detox. Alcohol detox centers are specialized facilities that help to treat withdrawal symptoms with medications that make them less severe.
The 3 medications most commonly used at alcohol detox centers to help with withdrawal symptoms include:
Naltrexone reduces cravings for alcohol. It prevents relapse by keeping you from getting intoxicated if you drink.
Acamprosate is best for people with very serious and long-term alcohol addictions. This medication helps to treat and reverse some of the damage that alcoholism can cause to your brain. This helps your brain to relearn how to function without alcohol in your system. It also helps reduce cravings, along with some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
While this medication does not treat withdrawal symptoms, it can be a great asset to people with alcohol addiction. Drinking alcohol while taking disulfiram causes a number of unpleasant side effects, including nausea, headache, facial flushing, and weakness. Disulfiram can be very helpful in preventing relapse after you have completed an alcohol detox program.
What to Expect During Alcohol Detox
During alcohol detox, you can expect medical care and mental health support from professionals. Detox is different for everyone. You might have a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be mild to severe. Alcohol detox involves managing your withdrawal symptoms in a safe and supportive environment. Your symptoms can vary based on your overall health and the severity of your addiction.
Common withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep issues
- Sweating and clammy skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Shakiness and tremors
- Increased heart rate
Alcohol detox is the first step on the road to recovery from alcoholism. At Brentwood Springs, we provide the care you need during the first step of recovery. We can also help connect you to aftercare services to continue your treatment after detox.
Detox Timeline During Alcoholism Treatment
Although detox varies from person to person, you can expect the following stages of a detox timeline during alcoholism treatment:
- 6 to 12 hours after your last drink, you might begin to have mild withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms might include a headache, restlessness, nausea, and a loss of appetite.
- Over the first 2 days of detox, withdrawal symptoms will continue to worsen and become more intense.
- Within about 3 days after you stop drinking, withdrawal symptoms will peak in intensity. Your symptoms could become dangerous or life-threatening and include confusion, hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs).
- After your symptoms peak, they will taper throughout the remainder of detox. Most inpatient detox services take about 7 to 10 days before you are ready to enter the next phase of alcoholism treatment.
You might have lingering mental health symptoms after your detox program is complete. These symptoms could be underlying mental health issues masked by alcohol abuse. Aftercare at either a residential treatment center or through an outpatient clinic can help you learn to stay sober for the long term.
Alcoholism Detox Treatment in Nashville, TN
A team of highly-trained addiction specialists staffs our alcoholism treatment center, Brentwood Springs Detox in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to providing empathy and quality care, our staff monitors you 24 hours a day. We provide supervision, support, and medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms so you can get through alcohol detox comfortably and safely. We also offer support to those in the Murfreesboro area. Visit our admissions page or fill out the contact form below to learn more.