What You Need to Know About Alcohol Detox in Bellevue
We think of toxic things as poison, things that kill you instantly. Some people might think of "detox" as something you do on some exotic diet where you only drink juice for a week.
We don't generally think of alcohol as "toxic." We generally view alcohol positively. You see commercials and movies where people are drinking, and they're having a great time. But too much alcohol can often become a problem very quickly.
Consuming alcohol in moderation can be just fine. But the real face of irresponsible drinking is addictive drinking - also known as alcoholism.
Alcoholism doesn't feel like a problem to the alcoholic themselves. To them, the state of being sober is the one that hurts, and the state of drunkenness is the normal one. So the body and mind draw the logical conclusion to solve the problem of feeling bad with more alcohol. This is a chemical impulse your body has learned, and the point of alcohol detox is to help you get rid of it.
The initial period of withdrawal symptoms can be potentially dangerous without proper medical attention, so detox isn't just about making things easy - it's about making them safe.
But what is detox? Do you need it for alcohol rehab? How bad can withdrawal symptoms really be? Let's get into answering those questions first.
Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Really That Bad?
Let's go ahead and put this out front: Withdrawal symptoms for alcohol are a big deal because they're potentially fatal.
But what actually are withdrawal symptoms? Simply put, withdrawal symptoms are the physical reactions your body has to not getting the substance it's addicted to. They vary from person to person, but there are some common ones to look out for, like nausea, tremors, and even severe seizures.
The most severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are called delirium tremens, or DTs. DTs usually appear about three days into the withdrawal process, and bring confusion, rapid heartbeat, and fever to their victim. These symptoms are severe, can last several days, and are frequently fatal when left untreated. DTs are a big part of the reason why alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to have withdrawals.
About 50% of people who suffer from alcoholism will experience withdrawal symptoms of varying intensity if they try to quit. And of that 50%, about 3 to 5% will experience severe convulsions and/or DTs.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start popping up just a couple of hours after you quit drinking, and can persist for as long as two weeks. Detoxification helps lessen those symptoms.
What is Detox and How Does it Help Alcoholics?
Medicine is a big part of most detox programs, and some medications are absolutely necessary for preventing the most severe of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But holistic detox programs are on the rise in popularity, and most of the best detox programs now use a blend of the two styles.
Holistic alcohol detox programs address basic needs for addicted people. You might not think things like eating and drinking water are things you need treatment for, but they extremely important parts of your recovery, and are often overlooked in the daily life of an alcoholic.
Many alcoholics have a tendency to forgo a proper diet, choosing instead to binge of junk food or simply "drink their meals." One of the signs of addiction is that the body's need for a drink overrides the desire to eat healthy food. Basically, any sort of "basic need" impulse your body gives you turns into a desire for alcohol.
Exercise is also a major component of detox, because the focus is on kick-starting your body's natural ability to handle toxins. This helps reduce the chances you'll become dependent on detox medications. Once your body starts getting healthier in general, your body's normal detox functions kick back in and start processing things more efficiently.
There isn't any medicine that can help you detox better than your own healthy body. Your body knows how to heal itself. You just have to give it the fuel it needs to do it.
Why You Shouldn't Quit Drinking Before Detox
Believe it or not, there are things you can do to make the detox process easier on yourself that have nothing to do with your alcohol use. Mostly, these are steps geared toward jump-starting the sort of holistic treatment you'll get in detox, like eating right and drinking water.
However, if you plan to go to detox, it is not a good idea to try and quit drinking first. If you do want to try to quit on your own, be very aware of any nausea or tremors you may have after a few hours. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms advance quickly, so seek immediate medical attention before your symptoms have a chance to advance to potentially severe levels.
Your detox clinic will most likely offer you a heavy dose of medication on your first day without alcohol, because the whole point of detox is to help you navigate the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism. If you try to quit cold turkey a day or two before you go to detox, you're going to put yourself right in the middle of your withdrawals before you get that help, and as we've discussed, that's potentially dangerous.
If you're already suffering from withdrawals when you get to detox, you're at least partially defeating the purpose.
If you want to start backing down your consumption, that's fine. Try to drink as little alcohol as possible to stave off withdrawal symptoms. But the shock of going cold turkey - especially if you're a heavy drinker - is something that's best handled when you have the medical attention around you to handle it.
Finding the Right Alcohol Detox in Bellevue
We're happy to inform you about the need for detox, but Evergreen is an outpatient facility and we don't handle detox at our facility. However, we are proud to work with some of the best alcohol detox clinics in King County and beyond. We work with clinics that utilize the most modern, holistic methods for alcohol detox, and we make sure to incorporate detox into our treatment plan.
Our goal is to help you successfully stop using alcohol without worrying about relapsing. And we want to get you the exact treatment you need for your own personal recovery journey. It doesn't matter if we're the ones to help you beat addiction. We just care that you beat it. We're here to help if we can.