What to Look For in a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
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Research suggests that more than 6% of U.S. adults have an alcohol use disorder. If you believe that you’re one of them, then completing an alcohol detox in Irvine could be the first step toward beating the condition and getting your life back.

But detox can feel daunting if you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we’ve created this guide. It covers everything you need to know about completing detox in Irvine. Keep reading to learn more.

What is alcohol detox?

Alcohol detox is the first step in a broader treatment plan for alcoholism. It’s when the body first starts adjusting to no longer receiving regular doses of alcohol.

You need to get through this process before you can be successful in rehab. That’s because detox is typically when cravings and withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. And it’s impossible to fully focus on the rehab process while you’re experiencing those.

Detoxing at home vs. detoxing in a clinic

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when pursuing alcohol detox in Irvine is whether to complete the process on your own or in a clinic. But if you ask any expert, they’ll tell you that detoxing in a clinic is a vastly superior option. That’s true for a few reasons.

First, detoxing from alcohol can lead to several painful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Fevers and headaches
  • Poor coordination
  • Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Physical tremors
  • Seizures
  • Delirium
  • And others

Experiencing these symptoms on your own, without access to medical attention, can be dangerous.

But even if that wasn’t the case, you’ll be much more comfortable throughout the detox process in a clinic. Facilities like Zoe Behavioral Health take care of all of your daily living tasks for you so that you can relax, make yourself as comfortable as possible, and complete this critical step in your healing journey safely.

Alcohol detox timeline

Now that we’ve covered why alcohol detox is and why it’s safer to complete it in a clinic let’s take a look at how it progresses. In this section, we’ll tell you what to expect throughout your detox experience.

But before we do, it’s worth mentioning that the length of your detox will vary based on a number of factors, including genetics, body weight, amount of alcohol typically consumed, and family history.

That being said, the average detox length is one week. Here’s how it progresses.

Early Stage

The early stage of the detox process typically begins about 6 to 24 hours after you’ve consumed your last drink. At this point, symptoms are relatively minor, and you may experience them as a slight discomfort.

Peak Stage

As the name suggests, the peak stage is when your symptoms will typically be their worst. Most people enter this stage about 24-48 hours after their last drink.

Because withdrawal symptoms are at their worst during this time, it’s also when relapse is the most likely. Having access to professional support at this time will help you get through it successfully.

Weakening Stage

The peak of your detox symptoms should be over by about 72 hours after your last drink. At that point, you’ll enter into the weakening stage when symptoms begin to subside.

However, it is important to note that in rare circumstances, this can be when the most severe symptoms set in. That’s why it’s important to remain under professional supervision for a while, even after your peak symptoms have gone away.

Final Stage

The final stage of detox typically takes place from around 5 days after your last drink to 14 days after your last drink. At this point, patients are ready to enter into residential treatment.

What happens during detox?

When you first enter alcohol detox in Irvine, you’ll typically begin by receiving a medical evaluation. This is an opportunity for doctors to assess your condition and learn what forms of care may be necessary during the detox process.

After that, you’ll typically be given a private room where you can go relax. There may also be common areas where you can do things like watch TV and hang out with other patients.

Treatment can vary from facility to facility, but you typically won’t receive much therapy or intensive alcoholism treatment at this time. Instead, the focus of detox is to get you ready for those forms of care.

This means that you’ll likely have a lot of free time as you go through detox. It’s a good opportunity to think about what brought you here and to prepare your mind to rehabilitate from alcoholism.

What types of care are available after detox?

Alcohol detox in Irvine is just the first step in a longer strategy for defeating your alcohol addiction. Once you finish detox, you’ll typically move directly into the next phase of care. That can include each of the following options.

Inpatient rehab

Inpatient rehab may be the most popular form of treatment for alcohol addiction. It involves moving into a treatment center and living there full-time for a period ranging from 30 to 90 days.

During inpatient rehab, you’ll get to work individually with a therapist. They’ll help you explore the root causes of your addiction and come up with healthier coping strategies for the challenges life throws at you.

You’ll also typically participate in some form of group-based healing. This can include group therapy, 12-step meetings, and non-12-step meetings, depending on the facility you choose and its treatment philosophy.

Outpatient care

If you’re unsure about living in a treatment center full-time, then outpatient care is an alternative that may be worth looking into. The main difference is that you get to go home at night and sleep in your own bed.

Outpatient alcohol rehab gives you access to the same forms of care that you’d receive from inpatient treatment, including 1-on-1 therapy sessions and group healing activities. You just don’t live in the treatment center full-time while receiving those forms of care.

There are pros and cons to this. It can be helpful to go home and see your family at night. But you’re also getting a lot of freedom, which can lead to relapse if you don’t have a solid and supportive home environment to keep you from that.

This is why it’s a good idea to consult with an expert before making the decision to pursue outpatient alcohol rehab. You really want to make sure it’s a good fit for you before committing to it.

Alternative forms of rehab

There are also some alternative forms of care that you may want to look into depending on your situation. These include:

  • Pet-friendly care: allows you to bring your pet with you to live in the treatment center
  • Couples rehab: gives you the ability to go through rehab with a partner who is also struggling with alcoholism
  • Dual-diagnosis rehab: designed specifically for patients who are experiencing co-occurring mental health disorders with alcoholism

These are just a few examples of the different kinds of specialist care that are available after alcohol detox. You can reach out to an addiction specialist at Zoe if you’d like to learn more.

How do I know if I need to detox from alcohol?

Everyone with an addiction has to go through detox. But it’s not always clear whether you need alcohol treatment in the first place. This substance is widely consumed in America, and it can be difficult to know whether you have a problem.

That being said, there are some common signs of alcohol addiction that you can look for while deciding whether treatment is right for you. These include:

  • Consuming increasingly larger amounts of alcohol
  • Feeling physical symptoms when you go too long without drinking
  • Trying to quit drinking on your own and failing
  • Forgoing responsibilities at work and home to drink
  • Hiding the full extent of your drinking from others
  • Experiencing deteriorating relationships with others because of your drinking

If you’re experiencing even one of these symptoms, it’s worth having a conversation with an expert who can provide an objective evaluation of your situation.

That’s why the addiction specialists at Zoe are always available to take your call. You can reach out to one today for a free consultation so that you can finalize your decision about whether or not to seek alcohol detox support.

Medication and alcohol detox

As you go through the detox process, your care team may be able to prescribe you different medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. These can lower the risk of serious complications and help to keep you as comfortable and safe as possible.

There is a variety of medications available for this. For example, benzodiazepines may be used to calm the central nervous system and treat conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and muscle spasms.

Or you might be prescribed Naltrexone. This helps to reduce alcohol cravings while you’re going through detox. However, it’s typically recommended that you wait around 7-10 days after your last drink to consume Naltrexone, so it may or may not be a fit for you.

There’s also acamprosate. This medication is sometimes used to help the brain function normally after years of alcohol abuse. There’s also some research suggesting that Acamprosate reduces symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness.

Finally, some doctors also like to use disulfiram. However, this medication is a bit more controversial and won’t be a fit for everyone. It’s designed to produce severe negative reactions when alcohol is consumed, such as nausea, weakness, and headaches. It’s sometimes used as a deterrent for those who need it.

Alcohol detox FAQs

Will I have to pay for detox care myself?

The answer to this question depends on the kind of insurance that you have. Most health insurance plans do pay for substance abuse treatment. But that may or may not include detoxing in a professional care facility.

The best way to figure this out is to contact the facility that you want to go to. Give them your insurance information and ask if they can verify it for you.

When you do that, they’ll call your insurance company on your behalf and ask them how much coverage you’d have. This will give you the exact amount that you would need to pay out of pocket to get the professional detox support you want.

How severe will my detox be?

Detoxing from alcohol impacts everyone differently. This is because there are so many factors that can influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

That means there’s no real way to know how severe your detox will be before you go into it. However, there are some points of reference that you can use to get a better idea.

For example, if you have a very severe drinking problem, then you should likely go into the process expecting more severe symptoms. Those symptoms may not always come, but it’s good to be prepared for them.

On the other hand, if your drinking problem is relatively less severe, detox could be easier for you. But you could still experience significant symptoms because of your genetics, age, or medical background

How does alcohol detox fit into a broader substance abuse treatment plan?

Alcohol detox is the first step in the recovery process. You need to complete it successfully before moving into rehab, which is what comes next. Rehab is when you receive the hands-on care from professionals that you need to lay the foundation for a sober life moving forward.

After rehab, your care team will recommend a personalized aftercare program. This can include continuing to work with a therapist and keeping up with group meetings. You may even want to spend some time in a sober living home. But it will vary based on your experiences during rehab.

Get the support you need to beat alcoholism from Zoe Behavioral Health

Do you think that alcohol detox in Irvine is right for you? If so, let Zoe help. We’re experts at the detox process and can get you through it as safely and comfortably as possible at one of our five-star care facilities.

We offer a variety of personalized detox options to choose from, and can transfer you directly into a long-term care program at one of our beautiful, comfortable rehab facilities once you finish detox.

Our team is full of some of the most skilled addiction specialists in California, and you’ll get to participate in a variety of holistic healing treatments alongside your core rehab treatments.

But don’t take our word for it. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.