If you are addicted to alcohol, it will mean that you are going to suffer withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. The severity of these symptoms will depend on a number of factors including the length of time you have been abusing alcohol and the daily amount you consume. If you have decided to quit drinking, you are likely to experience withdrawals, so it is important that you consider entering an alcohol detox centre.
Difference between Alcohol Detox Centre and Rehab
In the media, they will sometimes use the terms ‘alcohol detox’ and ‘alcohol rehab’ interchangeably. Many rehabs do also have detox facilities, but it is also possible to enter a detox that is not part of a rehab – for example, some private hospitals will have units for people who needed to detox.
One way to understand the difference between detox and rehab is to view them as stages. The initial detox stage is the part of the recovery process where the focus is on managing withdrawal symptoms. The rehab stage comes after this when the focus moves to the individual developing tools and strategies for living the sober life. Of course, there is a good deal of overlap between the two, and people who are staying in a detox can become involved in the rehab programme from day one.
Who Needs an Alcohol Detox Centre?
Anyone who is likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms can benefit from a stay in detox. The reason for this is that most attempts to quit alcohol fail because the person relapses as they feel unable to deal with their withdrawals. By entering detox, there will be medications to make the process easier and there will be plenty of support available. If individuals are serious about breaking away from addiction, they will want to give themselves the best possible chance of success and entering this type of facility can be part of this.
Those alcoholics who are at risk of delirium tremens (DTs) will almost certainly need to enter detox so they can withdraw from the drug safely. This is a severe type of withdrawals that can involve seizures, intense hallucinations, and dangerous changes to blood pressure and pulse. People can die while going through the DTs, so it is vital that they are medically supervised until they make it through their withdrawals. It can be very hard to tell exactly who is going to experience DTs, but it is usually those people who have been drinking heavily for many years. Anyone who has ever had a seizure due to alcohol will be at high risk of developing delirium tremens.
Where to Go for Alcohol Detox?
It is possible to go through a supervised alcohol detox before attending rehab or as part of the rehab process. There are pros and cons to both of these options. Some excellent rehab programmes will only accept clients after they have safely passed through detox. This means that by the time the person enters the community they will be in a better position to absorb what is being offered. The benefit of going to a rehab that also offers detox is that it can mean a seamless treatment progression – there will be no need to change facilities after the withdrawal stage is complete. It means that the individual can commence on the programme from day one, meaning that they should be able to progress at a faster pace. The other benefit is that by beginning the programme right away, the person will have something to distract them from their withdrawal symptoms.