Alcohol detox is a very individualized process, and no two alcohol withdrawals and recovery processes are identical. For this reason, it’s essential to consider several factors that define one alcohol detox over another.
These requirements include:
How Medically Supervised Is The Entire Process?
Generally speaking, alcohol detox is only medically supervised to some degree. Detox can be completed in a facility or at home, but it’s essential to know that those who meet withdrawal without medical supervision have a significantly increased chance of relapse.
Because alcohol detox is not like other kinds of withdrawal, the proper level of support must be available to help ease the patient into recovery once they get through withdrawal. Additionally, because there are serious medical complications associated with alcohol withdrawals (seizures, hallucinations, etc.), patients should ensure their detox includes access to 24-hour medical care.
What Type Of Therapy Is Included As Part Of Alcohol Detox?
The kind of therapy included in the comprehensive treatment plan significantly impacts one alcohol detox over another. Several varieties of treatment are used, including group counseling sessions, family counseling sessions, psychoanalysis, and specialized therapies, such as trauma therapy or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
How Integrated The Process Is With The Rest Of The Treatment Offered?
If your facility offers three different types of therapy, then it’s less likely that you can have all three occur in one setting.
What medical staff qualifications are required to oversee alcohol withdrawal (i.e., nurse practitioners, physician assistants, etc.)?
The qualifications of the medical staff overseeing your withdrawal make a difference in how well it’s managed. A nurse practitioner doesn’t have the same schooling as an attending physician and may not manage certain complications that could arise during detox.
How long is the typical stay at residential treatment?
Length of stay at residential treatment is one of the largest areas in which alcohol detox centers vary. Some facilities have average stays between two days and three weeks, while others have averages of up to 40 days. It’s essential to know how long your stay will be ahead of time so that you can prepare for it.
What types of complications are managed during withdrawal?
It’s important to know what complications may arise during your withdrawal so that you can prepare for them. While most alcohol detox centers are equipped to manage seizures and hallucinations, some can’t treat more severe or prolonged symptoms such as delirium tremens. A facility must have resources available if any of these symptoms present themselves.
What medical detox options are offered in addition to medications?
Medications can be beneficial when used correctly, but they often have side effects that are unsuitable for some patients. For example, benzodiazepines like Librium and Valium should not be used by people with borderline personality disorder because they exacerbate the condition. Some medical detox programs offer additional services like chiropractic and meditation that can help reduce the severity of some withdrawal symptoms. Finally, once you settle on an alcohol detox center, it’s essential to choose one that uses evidence-based treatment practices. Many treatment centers promote the latest, cutting-edge treatments to attract new patients – but these practices are often not necessarily proven effective. Make sure that any treatment you choose is supported by research and has a track record for success before you sign up for it.