“If you don’t take care of this, the most
magnificent machine that you will ever be given…
Where are you going to live?”
– Karyn Calabrese, U.S. raw foodist and restaurateur
For someone suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) or alcoholism, as it is more generally known, the very first step in getting sober is making the actual choice to do so. For many alcoholics, years of their addiction will have restructured their brain to the point where seeking help doesn’t appear the obvious, rational choice – to continue to drink at the level they currently do so seems the only choice open to them.
That is the insanity and the power of alcoholism.
If you are a heavy drinker, even an alcoholic, you may be considering stopping drinking. If that is the case, know this:
- If you think you can’t live without alcohol, you’re 100% wrong.
- If you think you can’t function without alcohol, you’re 100% wrong.
- If you think your life devoid of alcohol will also be devoid of fun, laughter and good times, you’re 100% wrong.
- If you think you don’t deserve help, you’re also 100% wrong.
If you have actually decided enough is enough, your life is completely unmanageable as it is now, and that you need help, you have begun your recovery. The first practical step you need to now take is to undergo an alcohol detox – a professional detoxification from the dangerous toxins that are now present in your body.
A detox is the start of becoming clean and sober, and being clean and sober for an alcoholic is the difference between a life without alcohol or no life at all.
One last thing before we discuss these 3 Great Tips for a Successful Alcohol Detox. Remember, alcoholism is a serious, chronic disease, often fatal and with no cure other than complete abstinence. If it was any other disease, therefore, you would be seeking medical advice from your family physician or doctor. Please do this, as detoxing from alcohol alone is exceptionally dangerous.
Tip #1: Professional Medical Support
For the very reason just stated, your detox preparations and the detox itself need to be guided by professional medically-qualified support. Not only is detoxing at home and/or alone a dangerous experience, it is a physically challenging one – and many alcoholics who foolishly choose this route simply drink again to alleviate the severe withdrawal symptoms they undergo.
Detox is challenging, so why make the process more difficult to accomplish than it needs to be? A professional detox is safer, more effective and more successful, especially within a professional treatment program.
Furthermore, a recovery from alcoholism doesn’t start and end with the alcohol detox. You will need to learn how you are going to live your live without alcohol, and you will require therapy to resolve the issues that led to your addiction in the first place. All of this can be achieved during a residence (Inpatient Program) at an alcohol rehabilitation center, or by attending one as a patient within an Intensive Outpatient program.
Tip #2: What to Expect from Alcohol Withdrawal
You are going to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms during your detox, and these will certainly be uncomfortable and painful for many. However, if you undergo a professional alcohol detox, you will be be given medications to ease the effect of the symptoms and to ease your way through the entire process. Additionally, you will have medically-qualified staff present to ensure that should you experience any major health issues, you can be immediately attended to.
Everyone is different, as the saying goes, and people will respond differently during the detox process. However, everyone will experience the withdrawal. Possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms, depending primarily on your level of alcohol consumption, include:
- Alcohol cravings
- Chills and fever
- Shakiness or seizures
- Increase blood pressure
- Delirium tremens
Tip #3: Positive Mental Attitude
Being in the most positive frame of mind when undergoing the alcohol detox process is a good start to your long road to recovery. If you are struggling with doubts or concerns, the staff around you will help and encourage you. Additionally, there are behavioral treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), that provide the skills and tools you need to stay focused. By changing how you respond and react to perceived challenges in the future, such as cravings and triggers (prompts to drinking), will be incredibly helpful during detox and the treatment that follows afterwards.
These 3 Great Tips for a Successful Alcohol Detox – professional medical support, what to expect from alcohol withdrawal, and positive mental attitude – will ensure you remain completely safe during the process, feeling comfortable both physically and mentally, and you are fully prepared for what will happen during this part of your recovery.
Do you have any previous experiences of alcohol detox that you would like to share with other readers? Please feel free to leave a comment below. Lastly, if you are seriously considering an alcohol detox for yourself, take heart. Millions and millions of alcoholics have been detoxed, attended treatment afterwards, and have gone on to live rich and rewarding lives – completely clean and sober, 100% alcohol-free. Good luck to you.