Updated on January 4th, 2021
The Dangers of Alcohol Detox and Addiction
Alcohol abuse and addiction are common in the United States. According to the most recent information from SAMHSA’s 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than half of current alcohol users in America misuse it.1
- 136.7 million people in the U.S. currently use alcohol.
- 65.3 million people in the U.S. (or 47.8 percent of alcohol users) binge drink.
- 16.3 million people in the U.S. (or about 25 percent of binge drinkers) are considered heavy alcohol users.
- Of the 20.1 million people who had a substance use disorder in 2016, 15.1 million of them suffered from alcohol use disorder.
Table of contents
Overcoming alcohol addiction is a courageous endeavor but it’s important to be aware of the dangers of alcohol detox, especially if you plan to quit cold turkey. Quitting alcohol abruptly can lead to several health problems, such as:2
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Cardiac complications
- Alcoholic ketoacidosis
Despite the prevalence of alcohol abuse in America, recovery from alcohol addiction is possible. Many people go on to fully recover from their addiction by enrolling in inpatient alcohol detox and rehab programs. Although the discomfort and dangers of alcohol detox and withdrawal can keep people from recovering, it can be made easier with professional assistance.
Alcohol Detox Information: What Are the Different Types of Alcohol Detox?
The first step in the treatment process for addiction is alcohol detox. However, there are several different types of detox for alcohol addiction, including outpatient detox, inpatient detox, and home detox programs. Each method of detoxing from alcohol has its pros and cons but inpatient alcohol detox (also referred to as residential alcohol detox) is ultimately the safest and most effective way to detox from alcohol.
If you’re searching for the best alcohol detox options, here’s some additional information about the different types of alcohol detox programs, as well as the great benefits of alcohol detox at a specialized detox center.
- Outpatient alcohol detox: An outpatient detox program allows individuals to take control of their recovery by detoxing while they live at home and continue with their daily life. Their detox program is maintained and monitored by a medical professional. However, outpatient detox also allows for more temptation and less structure, which isn’t ideal for people with severe addictions or those who live with other people who abuse drugs or alcohol. Outpatient detox programs typically work best for people who have a stable and supportive home life. They are not recommended for people who are detoxing from alcohol, as alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe or life-threatening. As such, outpatient alcohol detox is not ideal.
- Inpatient alcohol detox: An inpatient alcohol detox program provides a structured and individualized detox program for people who are recovering from alcohol addiction. Clients must stay at the detox center while they receive treatment, which consists of 24/7 medical monitoring and management of withdrawal symptoms, clinical counseling, and group therapy. Inpatient alcohol detox ensures that individuals are safe and comfortable while they detox and it also reduces the severity and duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Home detox programs: A home alcohol detox program or kit will typically promise to help you comfortably detox from alcohol, but these methods are not always effective or safe. If you’re trying to detox from alcohol, using an at-home detox program may seem convenient but it may actually be very dangerous. In many instances, someone who is addicted to alcohol will need medical treatment and monitoring to comfortably manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms and prevent medical emergencies during withdrawal. Some psychological withdrawal symptoms can also be intensely powerful, which can make home alcohol detox very difficult. On the other hand, being in an inpatient detox facility during alcohol withdrawal will reduce opportunities for relapse.
What Is the Most Effective Alcohol Detox Method?
Alcohol addiction is a very challenging addiction to overcome. Maybe you’ve tried to stop drinking alcohol before but have been unsuccessful. Or maybe you’ve been drinking for years and can’t imagine how you could possibly quit. If you’re ready to get sober, you’re likely wondering how to best detox from alcohol or what’s the most effective alcohol detox method that will help you stay sober for good.
Although everyone’s experience with alcohol addiction and withdrawal is different, alcohol detox facilities provide the safest and most effective alcohol detox treatment. Inpatient alcohol detox programs offer medical management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, 24/7 medical monitoring, and individualized alcohol detox programs that are catered to each patient’s treatment needs.
Medical treatment staff may also use various types of prescription drugs for detoxing from alcohol that make it easier and more comfortable to get through withdrawal, such as anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, clonidine, or antipsychotics.
In addition, individual and group counseling during inpatient detox provide guidance and support through difficult psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. This can also help prepare patients for entry into a rehab program to continue with their addiction treatment after detox.
There are several important benefits of completing a residential alcohol detox program instead of trying an outpatient detox program or attempting to detox at home. If you’re suffering from alcohol addiction, here are five key benefits of inpatient alcohol detox programs to consider.
5 Important Benefits of Inpatient Alcohol Detox
- Inpatient alcohol detox is safe.
Detoxing from certain drugs can be especially dangerous. Alcohol detox is particularly risky if it takes place in an environment that is not medically monitored. If you have been drinking heavily for a long period of time, you may experience serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or hallucinations, which could be potentially life-threatening. Additionally, some people who have a history of alcohol withdrawal or heavy alcohol abuse may experience a more severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens (DTs). DTs can cause severe mental or nervous system changes such as seizures, hallucinations, delirium (extreme confusion), muscle tremors, or rapid heart rate.3 An inpatient alcohol detox program will provide 24/7 medical care which will ensure that you are properly cared for if alcohol withdrawal symptoms are severe or an unexpected medical emergency occurs.
- Inpatient alcohol detox is private and comfortable.
It’s no secret that alcohol withdrawal can be physically uncomfortable. Although the withdrawal experience is different for everyone, many people experience physical symptoms like anxiety, shakiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and sweating.4 Medical treatment for these withdrawal symptoms can make them much more tolerable and in turn, increase the likelihood that you’ll actually get through detox and withdrawal without giving in to cravings or drinking alcohol to get rid of the discomfort.
- Inpatient alcohol detox provides better results.
Alcohol detox is much more effective when it takes place in a medically monitored environment like a detox center. Not only is it easier to give in to cravings when you’re detoxing alone at home, but you’re also more likely to relapse quickly if you have family members who drink or store alcoholic beverages in the household. At a residential alcohol detox center, you’ll be temporarily housed in an alcohol-free environment with a full staff of professionals supporting you. A medical team will treat any symptoms of alcohol withdrawal so you can comfortably complete the process instead of giving up.
- Inpatient alcohol detox providesa healing, distraction-free environment.
If you are going to successfully withdrawal from alcohol without giving in to cravings or temptation, it’s important for you to be in an environment that fosters healing and provides lots of support. In an ideal situation, you won’t have to worry about work, children, bills, or alcohol-abusing friends. You won’t even have to worry about cooking your own meals, as Briarwood’s residential alcohol detox program provides clients with delicious and nutritious chef-prepared meals. Inpatient alcohol detox programs are designed to provide clients with adequate time to heal and rest, which is a huge factor in the successful completion of alcohol detox.
- You are less likely to overdose or relapse when you complete alcohol detox at a specialized detox center.
One of the biggest risks after detox is overdose. In detox, your physical tolerance to alcohol is diminished, so suddenly returning to your old drinking habits afterward is especially dangerous because your body can’t handle large amounts of alcohol anymore. By enrolling in an inpatient alcohol detox program like Briarwood, you are not only deciding to get sober, but you’re also investing in your long-term recovery and relapse prevention by laying the necessary foundation for sustained sobriety. Residential alcohol detox programs like Briarwood provide medical detox programs that are enriched with individual and group counseling to address the psychological, social, and behavioral problems associated with your addiction, instead of just focusing on the physical aspects. Our staff also provides referrals for ongoing drug addiction treatment to help you locate the best treatment option for your individual circumstances and to prevent relapse or overdose after detox is complete.
Enroll in an Inpatient Alcohol Detox Program at Briarwood
Inpatient alcohol detox provides many benefits for those who want to get sober for good. If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction, don’t wait to get help. Briarwood Detox Center provides high-quality residential alcohol detox programs in Austin, TX and Houston, TX. Our Joint Commission-accredited detox facilities are designed with your comfort and safety in mind and our caring staff specializes in detox treatment and care.
After detox, our treatment team will also provide recommendations for inpatient alcohol rehab in Austin, TX or Houston, TX. That way, you can continue your addiction treatment and recovery by addressing the underlying causes of your addiction and working to make positive life changes that will contribute to lasting sobriety.
There’s no reason to continue living a life of addiction when you can start on the road to recovery today. By completing an alcohol detox program and inpatient alcohol rehab in Austin, TX, you can start a new sober life. Call Briarwood Detox Center for more information on our inpatient alcohol detox programs for men and women.