The dreaded alcohol come down. Anyone who has experienced symptoms of withdrawals has an idea of what lies ahead when deciding to get sober, once and for all. It may have taken months, or years, to finally arrive at this important fork in the road, but no matter, you are here and have chosen the right path.

Deciding to get sober is one thing, but following through can be another story altogether. You are psyched up and mentally prepared for this first step in seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder, but the idea of coming down from alcoholism is a daunting one.

The best way to approach the goal of achieving sobriety is with the support of a trained team of detox experts. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become erratic and intense, so it is never wise to take on the challenge alone. A medical detox program will provide the safety and comfort to get you through the detox and withdrawal process and prepare you for the treatment phase of recovery.

What is a Medical Detox?

When coming down from alcoholism there are is a diverse range of symptoms, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms dictated by the length of history engaged in alcohol abuse, the level of daily alcohol consumption, general health status, and whether there is more than one substance involved. All of these factors will determine the severity of the detox process.

To help ease the detoxification process, while the body is purging the alcohol and toxins, detox specialists provide clients with medications. Because each person’s detox experience will vary, these interventions are determined based on the observable symptoms, vital signs, and psychological status throughout the process. Benzodiazepine is commonly administer to help minimize the risk of seizure, anxiety symptoms, and to aid sleep. Over-the-counter medications provide relief for gastrointestinal distress, headache, and fever.

What Are the Symptoms of Coming Down From Alcoholism?

Coming down from alcoholism happens gradually over a period of days, with the peak withdrawal symptoms occurring on days 2-3, before beginning to subside. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms emerge between 6-12 hours after the last alcoholic beverage, and the detox usually lasts for 5-7 days.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Where Should I Get Treatment for the Alcohol Problem?

Getting treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) may be somewhat confusing at first glance. There are different types of treatment programs, most falling into two camps: outpatient or residential treatment. The outpatient option is appropriate for a recently acquired AUD, one that is mild to moderate in severity. Outpatient programs offer far less structure and oversight, so for someone with a more entrenched AUD, this format will probably not be advisable.

The residential treatment option is appropriate for moderate to severe AUD, as these rehabs offer structure, 24-hour oversight and support, and have a physician on staff. A residential program will likely feature a full daily schedule of various therapy sessions, classes, and groups, which are all designed to promote success in recovery. A residential program lasts from one to nine months, depending on the needs of the client. In general, the longer someone can remain in treatment, the better their recovery outcome.

What to Expect in Treatment

An effective alcohol recovery program will utilize a variety of treatment elements that are designed to work together in helping clients overcome the AUD and transition to a new sober lifestyle. Each rehab has its own “personality” and philosophy, but most will offer most of the following treatment modalities:

Evidence-based therapies: These are scientifically studied therapies that resulted in statistically significant results. Clients will engage in the therapy best suited to their own specific needs and underlying factors. All of these therapies work toward assisting the client to change their behaviors by guiding them toward recognizing disorder thinking that fueled the AUD. Some examples of evidence-base therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and contingency management.

Group sessions. Peer interaction in group therapy sessions is essential while in treatment. These sessions offer the participants a supportive space where they can share their stories, their fears, their disappointments, and their hopes.

Recovery classes. Learning about how addiction happens, how the brain is affected by alcohol, and how to avoid relapse, is helpful in teaching clients how the disease of addiction develops. Recovery tools are taught, equipping clients with new coping skills and better communication techniques that will benefit them when encountering challenges in recovery.

Holistic activities. The mind-body connection is important to address in recovery. Learning techniques that help to regulate stress and anxiety are essential coping tools to be incorporated into life after rehab. These activities might include mindfulness meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and art therapy.

After Treatment, Then What?

Leaving rehab after an extended stay can be very stressful. After a prolonged stay in a highly structured environment, clients may leave rehab feeling vulnerable and lonely. Attention should be paid to aftercare planning from the outset of treatment. Such services as sober living housing, continuing outpatient therapy, and locating a recovery community for social support are critical in maintaining sobriety for the long term.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcoholism

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based rehab, located in a private home setting. This family-type environment provides a comfortable, secure setting for obtaining a medically supervised detox, and then transitioning into treatment. The treatment program is customized to align with each client’s unique recovery needs and goals, and is based on a comprehensive plan that combines several treatment methods for best results. At Quest 2 Recovery, clients find a caring, compassionate staff that is highly supportive throughout the early recovery process. For more information about our program, please reach out to the team at (888) 453-9396.

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