Detox is the first step in helping your brain and body heal from substance abuse. The detox process begins with evaluations by medical doctors and nurses to determine which, if any, medical interventions are needed. Detox is primarily a time to flush the chemicals from your body, which can be an uncomfortable experience without the right medical care to help ease discomfort and/or drug cravings. Hazelden Betty Ford medical staff will work with you to evaluate your level of discomfort and provide you with medications, if needed, to address any discomfort or cravings.
If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.
If the patient has an antisocial personality (ie, severe problems with family, peers, school, and police before age 15 y and before the onset of alcohol problems), recovery is less likely. If the patient has primary depression, anxiety disorder, or another potentially contributory disorder (the other disorder must antedate the problems with alcohol or it must be a significant problem during long periods of sobriety), treat this primary problem aggressively.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1