Alcohol detoxification can be safely undertaken at inpatient or outpatient facilities, but residential detox is typically recommended for more severe cases of alcohol use disorder.
When someone dependent on alcohol stops drinking, withdrawal symptoms present anywhere from 6 hours to 24 hours after the last alcoholic drink. As tolerance builds from sustained alcohol abuse, your body becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms occur as your system reacts to the absence of alcohol.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe, and possibly deadly.
Residential detox, also known as inpatient detox, is often recommended for those at risk of more severe alcohol withdrawal. Supervised medical detox will afford you the around-the-clock care crucial for streamlining the procedure and minimizing the dangers of detox.
In these severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, attempting to quit at home cold turkey is not only inadvisable but potentially lethal. The presence of any co-occurring mental health disorders or physical comorbidities can also influence the need for residential detox. For those with a history of complications during alcohol withdrawal, inpatient medical detox is often the most appropriate solution for kickstarting recovery.
What is a Residential Detox Program?
Detox programs can be broadly cleaved into two delivery methods:
- Inpatient detoxification: You remain at the detox clinic, rehab center, or hospital throughout the detox process. You have 24/7 medical support and access to medications.
- Outpatient detoxification: You receive treatment during the day at a detox clinic, rehab center, or hospital, and you return home or to a sober living home between treatment sessions.
A residential detox program is designed to support you throughout alcohol withdrawal. Medications can be prescribed for medical conditions, mental health conditions, and to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Most symptoms of alcohol withdrawal peak within around 72 hours of the last drink, with withdrawal generally complete within a week.
The overall detox process usually follows these three steps:
- Intake: During intake, the treatment team undertakes a thorough review of your drug, psychiatric, and medical histories.
- Medication: Alcohol detox programs typically offer access to a variety of medications to mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Medications can also help target generalized discomfort and co-occurring disorders.
- Stabilization: Through a combination of these pharmaceutical and psychological interventions, your body is purged of toxins and your situation stabilized. After detox, most people continue to engage with addiction treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient.
What do residential detox programs involve, then?
What to Expect at a Residential Detox
The length of the detox process depends on the amount you have been drinking, and the duration of alcohol abuse.
For most people detoxing from alcohol, mild withdrawal symptoms present within 6 to 12 hours of the last alcoholic drink in the form of nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.
Disorientation can set in after 24 hours of sobriety, with tremors and seizures potentially occurring at this stage of withdrawal. These risks can be most effectively managed in a residential detox setting.
More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal often manifest 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink. These include hallucination, insomnia, and raised blood pressure.
The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens, commonly abbreviated to DTs. Affecting roughly 5% of those who detox from alcohol, DTs can be fatal.
When you withdraw from alcohol in a residential detox center, you have access to the following FDA-approved medications:
All of these medications are most effective delivered in combination with behavioral interventions. The medications must be prescribed by a doctor. While each medication has a different mechanism of action, they can help you to abstain from alcohol and minimize the risk of relapse
In inpatient medical detox, you also have access to medications such as:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Anti-nausea medications
- Sleep aid
Benzodiazepines like Valium and Librium can be used short-term during detox to minimize withdrawal symptoms or to prevent alcohol withdrawal-induced seizures.
After spending up to ten days in a residential detox center, you’ll be ready to commit to recovery in an outpatient or inpatient rehab.
Finding a Residential Alcohol Detox Near Me
There are various levels of inpatient rehab for alcohol abuse, then, including residential detox.
You can start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and healthcare providers.
A simple online search should also yield the most reputable detox centers and rehabs in your area.
When you’re comparing treatment centers, consider any underlying medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders. Look for rehab centers or medical detox centers specializing in these areas.
If you are planning to engage with an inpatient treatment program for alcohol use disorder, you can normally undertake a medical detoxification at the treatment center. Once detoxed, you’ll segue right into the main phase of treatment before stepping down the continuum of care as appropriate.
When you’re ready to stop drinking safely, you should have no problem finding a suitable residential detox center near you.
The District Recovery and Detox
We can help you shortcut your search for a detox residential treatment center here at The District. We have connections with multiple medical detox centers throughout southern California. We’ll help you or a loved one with alcoholism to get back on track safely with minimal discomfort and a reduced risk of complications.
While detox is a crucial step on the road to recovery, purging your body of toxins represents the beginning of an ongoing journey. When you engage with our alcohol use disorder treatment programs here at TDRC, our treatment team will help you address the behavioral, social, and psychological symptoms of alcohol addiction.
We offer both men’s rehab and women’s rehab, allowing you to get the treatment you need in a setting you feel comfortable with. For those who feel a regular outpatient program does not offer enough support or structure, we also deliver more intensive forms of treatment. With an IOP (intensive outpatient program) or a PHP (partial hospitalization program), you benefit from more time commitment, but without needing to pack your bags and head to residential rehab.
Whichever program you choose, you’ll have access to the following evidence-based therapies:
- MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Talk therapies like CBT or DBT
Call the friendly District team today for more information on residential detox, treatment for alcohol use disorder, and also any co-occurring disorders. Reach out right now 844.287.8506.