What to Expect From Alcohol Rehab

Aug 4, 2020
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The first step to overcoming your alcohol addiction is admitting you have a problem. Then you will need to go through the process of detoxification, or more well known as a detox. This is where you stop drinking and go through a withdrawal phase to remove the alcohol toxins from your body. Detox alone is not enough to stop being an addict. You need to go to alcohol rehab to overcome the psychological factors for long-term recovery. 


What happens when you withdraw from alcohol?

When you consume alcohol, it actually acts almost like a sedative on our central nervous system. The brain adapts to cope with this by creating a chemical which stimulates the body. When you stop drinking alcohol, your body won’t stop producing this chemical straightaway, so it goes into a form of shockThe symptoms can range from being very mild to extreme. You will need to gradually ease off alcohol as sudden withdrawal can be dangerous. 

Physical symptoms that come with alcohol withdrawal include having a mild fever, experiencing tremors and cold sweats, feeling nauseous, vomiting and diarrhoea, and even sometimes seizures. 

Psychological symptoms of alcohol addiction withdrawal include not being able to sleep (insomnia), anxiety, feeling restless, mood swings, confusion and in some cases hallucinations. 


Is it possible to detox from alcohol without any special help?

Withdrawing from alcohol suddenly and without any help can be life-threatening. Symptoms can be very intense and hard to control. In a lot of cases, this will turn people back to consuming alcohol. 

It can be extremely hard for a family member to look after someone experiencing a detox. It would require a lot of emotional strength to stick at it. Professional expertise would be needed to carry out a detox safely and successfully. 

Detox from alcohol can last from around 7-10 days, and sometimes longer. 


What does rehab treatment involve for alcohol addiction?

Going to a residential detox followed by a rehabilitation treatment will give you the best possible chance of getting off alcohol for life. It will treat not only the physical addiction to alcohol but also the psychological addiction. 

When you are admitted to a rehab you will be given the appropriate medication to minimise the symptoms whilst you are undergoing the detox. This will be a benzodiazepine which dosage will lower as you gradually rid your body of the alcohol. 

You will have a physical examination which will show the levels of alcohol in your system. This will help the doctors to monitor your progress and provide any additional medication if needed.

You will be appointed someone who can look at your history, and with this develop a programme for therapy. It will analyse your alcohol use, behaviour and also your physical, psychological and social requirements. 


Treatment at a rehab will include counselling and therapy to help you get to the bottom of why you have this addiction. You should then learn to recognise what triggers you and what affects your behaviour so that you can live a life free from alcoholism.

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