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Alcohol Detox in Encinitas, CA

Alcohol Detox in San Diego, CA

Immersive Recovery in San Diego, CA is a premier rehabilitation facility in San Diego, California. We provide an authentic and humanistic experience for those seeking therapeutic treatment for alcohol and co-occurring disorders.

Our alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego incorporates a unique approach that recognizes each client’s unique and complex background. This allows us to create an effective and efficient treatment plan that identifies the problems at their roots and lays the foundation for long-lasting recovery.

Each program is co-created with each resident after the initial consultation. This personalized addiction treatment approach in San Diego is designed to meet the specific needs and goals that are unique to each individual and ensures the client is fully supported to achieve their desired outcomes during and after rehabilitation.

What is Alcohol Detoxification?

Alcohol detoxification (detox) is defined as the natural process that occurs in the body as it attempts to rid the system of waste products and toxins from excessive, long-term alcohol consumption. Alcohol detox in a treatment setting is usually accompanied by medication, medical observation, and counseling.

Detoxification is a period of medical treatment, usually including counseling, during which a person is helped to overcome physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

National Institute of Health

People who have been drinking heavily for a long time are more likely to experience negative side effects during detox, some of which can be dangerous and require medical supervision.

Prolonged alcohol abuse can lead to tolerance and biological changes that create a false homeostasis. Disrupting this balance and restoring the user to a healthy state is a process that is as essential as it is delicate.

The Process of Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detoxification is the preparatory step before a longer treatment program. Detoxification can be safely performed at both inpatient and outpatient facilities, but round-the-clock medical monitoring is recommended for heavy users. In most cases, the detox process involves 3 steps:

  1. Intake. The medical team will do a comprehensive review of drug, medical, and psychiatric histories of incoming patients to fully understand each situation.
  2. Medication. Many detoxification programs include medications that mimic the effects of alcohol to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Medications may also target co-occurring disorders or general discomfort.
  3. Stabilization. The patient undergoes medical and psychological therapies to help them reach a balance of mind and body.

Side Effects of Alcohol Detox

Although medically-assisted detox limits some of the negative side effects the user experiences, some are unavoidable. Different side effects will appear during the 2 phases of alcohol detox.

Phase 1: During Acute Alcohol Withdrawal

Phase 1 occurs within hours of an alcoholic ceasing consumption of alcohol and continues for days or weeks. This is generally when the most severe side effects occur, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Whole body tremor
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Profuse sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure

Phase 2: During Early Abstinence

The second and longer phase of alcohol detox occurs over months as the brain slowly begins to regulate and get back to normal functioning. This is called Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptom and includes symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Diminished appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Depression

Drugs Used in Alcohol Detox

Part of the detox process includes keeping the patient’s system in balance and avoiding major physiological upsets. Sometimes medications are necessary to do this. Benzodiazepines are commonly used for alcohol treatment because they reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms and also prevent alcohol withdrawal seizures. Seizures are among the most common causes of fatality in alcohol withdrawal, so additional anti-convulsant drugs such as Keppra are often used as well.

While Benzodiazepines have been proven effective in treating or preventing certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it is imperative that a recovering alcoholic only use medically recommended amounts of the drugs. Benzodiazepines are addictive substances in their own right, and use should be closely monitored.

Life After Alcohol Detox

Detox is the first step of treatment for people trying to overcome their alcohol addiction. Ridding the body of alcohol will not cure alcoholism; it clears the mind and heals the body so that a person suffering from alcohol addiction may pursue full treatment. To find out more about alcohol detox and treatment options in San Diego, contact us at Immersive Recovery.

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