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Every Alcohol Detox Affects the Next One

Drug and alcohol treatment centers are not one-stop-shops for instant sobriety. Recovery takes a lot of work and it’s quite possible that you may need to go through treatment numerous times due to backsliding and relapses. But don’t ever think that a relapse signals failure. Alcoholism is a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease. If a heart disease sufferer has an elevated blood pressure, people don’t assume the patient failed. They make appropriate changes to the treatment. The same is true for alcoholics. You may need to revisit your treatment center many times to find a program that works for you and this may involve numerous detox situations. You should be aware of a process called kindling that contributes to alcohol detox periods becoming more and more dangerous.

Because of kindling, it is very important that you engage in structured, professional detox and don’t attempt to go “cold turkey” at home. If you do so, you run the risk of kindling increasing relapse risk and the possibility of alcohol-related brain damage and cognitive impairment.

Because of the dangers posed by the kindling process, it is very important to engage in an actual detox program, run by experts. But, how do you find them? Detox.com can help.

Contact Detox.com now to find alcohol recovery programs near you!

Drug and Alcohol Detox

What is detox? You have certainly heard the term, but you may not know many specifics. People on a fast or engaging in a new diet program might say they are detoxing, or removing toxins from their body. Drug detox is a little like that, but you won’t be doing yoga and living on juice.

Drug and/or alcohol detox works to shift you from a state of acute intoxication to a drug- and alcohol-free state. Traditionally, detox has “emphasized symptom reduction and prevention of complications,” newer approaches are working on slowing the clinical severity of kindling, or multiple withdrawals.

This transition can be helped along in many ways; two of the most popular methods are medical and social detox. Doctors, nurses, and medications are general used in a medical detox, while social supports from a qualified staff are used in the social method.

Detox lasts for different lengths, depending upon your situation. It also has a range of costs.

Withdrawal

The majority of detox is spent attempting to deal with or eliminate withdrawal symptoms triggered by the absence of alcohol in your system. Between 6 and 12 hours after you last drink (even if you still have alcohol in your system), the first withdrawal should arrive.

The US National Library of Medicine identifies the following withdrawal symptoms:

Alcohol Detox

Depression and nausea are common alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

  • Worry or uneasiness
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Touchiness
  • Jumpiness
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares and vivid dreams
  • Unclear thinking
  • Damp skin
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Headache
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Paleness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Perspiring
  • Tremor (shaking) of the hands or other body parts
  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Hallucinations, especially auditory and visual ones
  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion

Delirium tremens (DTs) are the most dangerous withdrawal symptom. Even though they only affect 5 to 20 percent of all detoxing alcoholics, they kill 5 percent of those people.

Kindling

The withdrawal symptoms are scary to consider, and that scariness is increased when you take into account that each alcohol withdrawal episode may increase in harshness.

Alcoholism typically involves periods of binge drinking and periods of abstaining. Experts note that the body adjusts to accommodate increased alcohol intake by activating the central nervous system (CNS). When the alcohol is removed from the system (as in detox), the CNS is still actively compensating. This leaves the central nervous system more excitable than normal and that manifests as alcohol withdrawal.

A history of withdrawal episodes is judged to be a critical factor in the severity of withdrawal symptoms. More severe symptoms show up after years of alcohol abuse and period of abstaining from alcohol.

This process is referred to as kindling.” Both clinical and experimental evidence support the existence of a kindling mechanism during alcohol withdrawal.”

To manage the cumulative effects of multiple withdrawal periods, you should undergo professional detox. For help locating a program that can help, call us at 800-483-2193.