Alcohol Detox Center: Alcoholism Treatment in Washington and Oregon
When someone who has been drinking heavily suddenly stops or drastically reduces their alcohol intake, they may experience various physical and emotional symptoms. These can range from mild anxiety, nausea, and fatigue to severe symptoms like hallucinations and seizures. This is known as alcohol withdrawal and is typically painful to go through. In rare cases, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Alcohol detox is the process of medically monitoring a recovering alcoholic when they stop drinking. It is usually the first step in recovery from alcoholism. Alcohol detox centers are staffed by clinical teams of doctors and nurses who monitor and manage a client’s withdrawal symptoms. This is essential not only to ease withdrawal symptoms but also to ensure the client’s safety. If you or a loved one is battling alcoholism, alcohol detox in Washington State can help you take the first step towards a sober life.
In this article, we talk about why alcohol detox is important, and some of the complications that can occur during withdrawal. We also outline some of the medications used at a detox center in Washington to make withdrawal easier.
What is Alcohol Detoxification?
Many people are motivated to quit drinking but are apprehensive about withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the duration and severity of the addiction to alcohol, the symptoms can vary from minor effects like fatigue and insomnia to severe consequences like delirium tremens and even death.
Alcohol detoxification is the process of safely withdrawing a person from alcohol. Medical teams at alcohol detox centers assess the patient’s health condition, including co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions. Moreover, during withdrawal, the symptoms are evaluated at regular intervals and managed until they have resolved.
The staff at Discover Recovery, one of the best-known detox centers in Oregon and Washington, is trained to anticipate health problems that occur frequently in recovering alcoholics, such as electrolyte disturbances, vitamin deficiencies, gastritis, pancreatitis, liver disease, and cardiomyopathy. We provide round-the-clock care and management to prevent complications and treat symptoms as soon as they arise.
Why is Alcohol Detox Important?
Patients who experience severe withdrawal symptoms can benefit from alcohol detox in Washington State. They can receive medications to treat their symptoms and reduce the risk of seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). Interestingly, patients with mild withdrawal effects can also benefit greatly from seeking treatment at a detox center in Washington. This is because detoxing at home is associated with a high risk of relapse. The cravings for alcohol can be difficult to manage without medical support. As a result, a recovering alcoholic may, in the long-term, experience repeated withdrawal episodes. Research shows that repeated withdrawal episodes can lead to an increased risk of complications like seizures.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the reasons people with alcohol addiction continue drinking is the appearance of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when they cut back or stop. In other words, the presence of withdrawal symptoms motivates a person to relapse to heavy drinking in order to avoid these symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that are treated at alcohol detox centers are listed below:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tremors (shakiness)
- Drenching sweats
- Itching, burning, numbness, pins and needles on the skin
- Auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t real)
- Visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t real)
- Disorientation and clouded thinking
Delirium Tremens (DTs)
Delirium tremens (DTs) is a severe, intense complication of alcohol withdrawal that is characterized by confusion, hallucinations, and disorientation which typically appear 2-4 days after the last drink. Other symptoms commonly seen in patients with DTs include agitation, tremor, and large increases in blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate.
DTs are a serious complication of alcohol addiction and must be treated by a medical team at detox centers in Oregon and Washington. This complication typically occurs in heavy drinkers who have been drinking excessively for many years. The condition is fatal in 5% of people. However, the risk of death can be reduced with medication management and medical support during alcohol detox. Risk factors for DTs include:
- Severe alcohol dependence with prior withdrawal episodes
- Heavy drinking with high BAC (blood alcohol concentration)
- Long duration of alcoholism
- Prior detoxifications
- Past episodes of seizures or DTs
- Concurrent acute illness
- Intense alcohol cravings
- Older age
- Concomitant use of other drugs with alcohol
- Severe withdrawal symptoms at the time of starting treatment at an alcohol detox in Washington State
If you or a loved one has any of these risk factors, it’s important to seek treatment at a leading detox center in Washington. Discover Recovery is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of board-certified physicians and registered nurses with extensive experience in managing complicated alcohol detox.
Medications Used at Alcohol Detox Centers
Detox centers in Oregon and Washington use many medications to manage and ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and headaches. The staff make withdrawal as comfortable as possible, and thereby reduce the risk of relapse. Also, prescription medications such as benzodiazepines (sedatives) are used to reduce the impact of withdrawal from alcohol and treat symptoms like irritability, panic, anxiety, headaches, tremors, and seizures.
Alcoholics often have electrolyte disturbances (deficiency of sodium, phosphate, magnesium). Electrolytes play a major role in metabolism, and their deficiency can lead to severe, even life-threatening metabolic abnormalities during alcohol detox. Therefore, treating electrolyte disturbances is essential to prevent complications during alcohol withdrawal.
At the time of intake at Discover Recovery detox center in Washington, we evaluate the patient’s health status and identify any medical disorders that are present along with alcoholism and that could worsen the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The medical team then provides supportive care and treatment for these disorders.
Finding and Getting Help at Alcohol Detox in Washington State
If you or a family member is struggling with alcoholism, alcohol detox centers can help you safely quit drinking. Discover Recovery is a leading detox center in Washington with an experienced, multidisciplinary clinical team. At our alcohol detox in Washington State, you’re with people who understand what you’re going through. Call us today to find out more about our alcohol detox treatments and how they can help you make the transition to a sober life.