Alcohol detox, despite its name, does not involve drinking alcohol to cleanse the body. Rather, it is a process through which alcoholics commit to stopping themselves from being addicted to alcohol. Many countries round the world have specific alcohol detoxification centres that help alcoholics to recover and teach them to learn how to wean themselves from alcohol.
So what is exactly alcohol detox? This program can be a period of time where a person undergoes medical treatment, a special diet and counselling at a detox centre, where he or she is encouraged to conquer the physical and psychological reliance on alcohol. Such a person may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as sweats, nausea, anxiety and seizures while undergoing the alcohol detox.
A large part of an excellent program will thus concentrate on treating these symptoms as well as any other medical or psychiatric conditions.
Owing to the medical treatment and counselling, it is advisable to enroll in a detox centre. At the centre, trained staff and counsellors can devise a specific program tailored to his or her needs, taking into consideration various factors such as age, amount and frequency of alcohol as well as medical issues. There, you can be medically monitored under 24-hour nursing care and usually an in-house physician who will be aware of his or her medical concerns. However, people who enter into alcohol detox centres should recognise that each centre has its own method and way of approaching alcohol detoxification.
Doctors at alcohol detox centres may prescribe popular benzodiazepines such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan) or oxazepam (Serax) to lessen the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Every half hour, the person is administered a standard dose of the benzodiazepine until he or she becomes lightly sedated. For the next three to seven or even ten days (a standard duration for an alcohol detox program), the doctor will gradually reduce the amount of the medicine. Alternatively, the doctor may just recommend a standard measure of benzodiazepine according to the person’s history and level of withdrawal symptoms. Another choice is to postpone the treatment until the symptoms happen but this should not be used on people with alcohol-related seizures (this method has been medically proven to be very effective).
That said, after all the medicine, counseling and controlling the dependence on alcohol, the job is not done yet. A person who truly wants to succeed in his or her treatment should view the alcohol detox program as part of an alcohol rehabilitation program.
As for those with medium (non-heavy) alcohol consumption, they can do a detoxification process at home for five to six weeks, following a protein-rich diet that includes much fibre and fluids. He or she also needs to drink a lot of water in addition to parsley and chamomile teas which can improve the kidney purging process.
Altogether, an alcohol detox program is most effective with lots of support, dedicated medical care, self-will and a desire to make it to the end.