When it comes to detoxing from alcohol, it is important to understand that it is actually one of the most dangerous substances to detox from. In some instances, it can even be fatal. However, there are more dangers than just the immediate physical ones. These include the greater likelihood of relapse and the potential trauma that can manifest from detoxing alone. This trauma can also stop an individual from trying to detox again in the future, thus spoiling any chances for recovery.
Understanding the Basics of Detoxing From Alcohol
The concept of detoxing from alcohol is relatively simple. Detoxing is when the chemical components of ethyl alcohol dissipate from the body. The body is getting rid of the foreign substance.
While the basics may be simple, the process can be more complex. This is because detoxing from alcohol is rarely done on a casual basis. When we think of detoxing from alcohol, it is because an individual is having a serious problem with it. In most instances, the individual is struggling with issues related to alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol dependence.
Because alcohol dependence is so great in the body, the body can react in ways that can cause some serious pain and discomfort. Also, AUD manifests itself mentally. Thus, there can be very intense “cravings” when an individual is detoxing from alcohol.
Understanding the Dangers of Home Alcohol Detox
The journal titled Alcohol Health and Research World gives insight into the symptoms of detoxing from alcohol. It explains that “Initial symptoms include tremor, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and nausea… Seizures may occur in more than 5 percent of untreated patients in acute alcohol withdrawal,” and “another severe complication is delirium tremens (DTs), which is characterized by hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation.” As the journal also highlights, “The mortality rate among patients exhibiting DT’s is 5 to 25 percent.”
Now, while it is rare for fatalities to happen during alcohol detox, it is much more likely that these fatalities will happen when people try to do it in their own homes. This is why going to a professional to detox from alcohol can be vital.
Understanding the Benefits of Detoxing From Alcohol With Professional Help
The primary reason for going to a professional to detox from alcohol is that they will be there to monitor the individual. They will be able to make adjustments if any negative issues begin to happen during the detox process.
One important component that a professional detox will address is the lack of necessary nutrients that people often have when they are struggling with AUD. As stated in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A… Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins.”
A professional detox can ensure that these essential nutrients are replenished safely, and as soon as possible. Also, a professional detox can set an individual up for success post-detox by setting in place an effective recovery plan.
Understanding the Benefits of Having a Recovery Plan Once the Detox Has Concluded
As previously mentioned, many people who try a home alcohol detox either do not complete the process or relapse soon after. Also, more people relapse than many people may realize. According to the journal titled Current Psychiatry Reports, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.”
These statistics are emblematic of why it is so crucial to have a plan set in place for when the detox process has concluded. Going through a professional detox, rather than trying a home alcohol detox, puts the individual in the right place to connect to the next steps of recovery. Often, the detox takes place at the treatment center the individual can then enter to start their recovery journey. If not, detox professionals will have the proper connections to get the individual to where they need to be.
Healing at the Cellular Level With The Phoenix Recovery Center
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand that detoxing from alcohol can be scary. However, we also know that a home alcohol detox is not the answer. It is dangerous and, ultimately, it is just a lot harder to do alone.
While choosing to get help is a personal decision, recovery is a journey that is best shared with those who care. We can be those people for you. Yes, we will be the people who “love you until you learn to love yourself.” That is our promise.
It is critically important to understand the dangers of detoxing from alcohol without professional help. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to detox from as withdrawals can be fatal (in certain serious instances). Getting professional help while detoxing can greatly reduce the potential for DTs and seizures, as well as replenish much-needed hydration and nutrients. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of mental illness, addiction, or both, we can help get you on the road to long-term recovery. For more information regarding the potential dangers of unsupervised alcohol detox and professional treatment options, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.