Most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur in the first three to four days after stopping drinking. Detoxification involves taking a short course of medication to help reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Medications such as Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), or Ativan (lorazepam), members of the benzodiazepine family, are usually used for detox.
Before entering a rehab facility, patients may have to undergo detox treatment. Detox is the process in which a patient rids his or her body of the addictive substance. From start to finish, this process varies in length, but often takes about a week. As part of a medical detox program, recovering patients will be monitored by doctors and nurses and given medications to manage withdrawal, when appropriate. Once a patient completes detox, he or she is ready for rehab.
The definition of recovery remains divided and subjective in drug rehabilitation, as there are no set standards for measuring recovery. The Betty Ford Institute defined recovery as achieving complete abstinence as well as personal well-being while other studies have considered "near abstinence" as a definition. The wide range of meanings has complicated the process of choosing rehabilitation programs.
Substance abuse has plagued the nation for decades. This has prompted the need for rehab centers, but these facilities must first consider the dynamics of drug and alcohol abuse to effectively treat it. For example, a man who’s been struggling with severe alcoholism for five years will likely need a different form of treatment than a woman who’s been abusing alcohol for only a few months. This is why drug rehab centers like The Recovery Village offer individualized inpatient and outpatient rehab programs — including inpatient detox — to allow them to accommodate the varying needs of patients.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1