Is Inpatient Alcohol Detox Really Necessary?

Published: 11/26/2014 | Author:

In many ways, inpatient alcohol detox can be necessary. If you have been abusing alcohol for a long period of time, you could experience extreme withdrawal symptoms when you stop, some of which can even be deadly. In addition, those who are alcoholics attempting to recover may need to attend inpatient detox in order to transition into alcohol addiction treatment.

Alcohol Withdrawal

The withdrawal syndrome that follows extreme alcohol abuse is actually more dangerous than those which follow the abuse of other substances (such as opioids and sometimes even illegal street drugs). “Symptoms usually peak by 24 – 72 hours [after the last drink], but may persist for weeks.”

Some of the more intense symptoms caused by alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • The inability to think clearly
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

“A severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens” exists and can be deadly. It can be identified by these symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Agitation

The NLM states, “People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal.” These symptoms can often be so intense that people exhibit dangerous behavior, become hurt, or even die. Inpatient detox is extremely necessary for someone who is exhibiting severe symptoms caused by alcohol withdrawal.

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Alcohol Abuse and Other Psychological Issues

Inpatient Alcohol Detox

Inpatient alcohol detox may be the key to your recovery.

Many times, alcohol abuse is concurrent with other psychological issues. People who abuse alcohol sometimes do so to cope with other mental disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. If the individual does not know that this is the case, it can be very beneficial to them to have this disorder treated as well as their dependence on alcohol.

However, this can mean the necessity for inpatient treatment, as a study from the NCBI states, “Patients with high psychiatric severity” actually do better in inpatient treatment than in outpatient.

Is Inpatient Detox for Alcohol Abuse Really Necessary?

In many cases, yes. If you are an individual who is not experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms from the absence of alcohol and you do not have any other co-occurring disorders, you may not need inpatient detox. But for many individuals, it is necessary.

Alcohol detox can be risky, especially if you:

  • Drink heavily
  • Drink every day
  • Have been drinking in this manner for several years or more

These symptoms of abuse can lead to a severe withdrawal syndrome that could include issues like hallucinations, seizures, and confusion. If you believe you might experience symptoms like these, you should go to an inpatient clinic before you begin alcohol detox.

Alcohol detox is one of the more dangerous detox syndromes and may even require “sedation using medication called benzodiazepines until withdrawal is complete.” This is not something you can achieve at home, and your successful detox may depend on your need for 24-hour care. Inpatient alcohol detox really can be necessary if you are likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, if you are struggling with other mental disorders, or if you have no one to stay with you during this difficult time.

Are you ready to begin alcohol detox treatment? We can help you find inpatient centers that meet your needs; call 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) today!

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