Agape's Alcohol Detox Center in Port St Lucie, FL
Alcohol addiction is characterized by an inability to stop drinking without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms. When a pattern of heavy alcohol use leads to chemical dependence, people no longer have the ability to control how much they drink or abstain outright. It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of people with alcohol use disorder will experience the symptoms of withdrawal while detoxing. Withdrawal symptoms can set in within just five hours of a person’s last drink.
Moreover, unless the right interventions are received, these symptoms can increase in intensity for several days. Not only is alcohol withdrawal physically and psychologically uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Significant changes that have occurred within the brain and its chemistry make it hard for the body to function without alcohol. For these and other reasons, it’s always best to start the recovery process in a professional alcohol detox program like ours.
With the supervised alcohol detox program that we offer at Agape Detox Center in Port St. Lucie, you’ll have the benefit of around-the-clock monitoring and care. More importantly, you’ll get targeted, needs-specific interventions that can both limit the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms and prevent certain withdrawal symptoms from occurring.
For those who drink heavily or who’ve lived with alcohol use disorder for quite some time, receiving medical support during detox is essential for preventing, limiting, or mitigating delirium tremens. Delirium tremens represent the final and most taxing stage of physical alcohol withdrawal. If it’s experienced alone, delirium tremens can lead to serious and potentially permanent physiological damages and even death.
At Agape Detox Center, we’re staffed by a seasoned team of professionals who can guide you through the process in a safe, easy, and ultimately comfortable way. We take a targeted approach to promote total wellness and health. When you complete your alcohol detox with us, you’ll have the opportunity to establish a solid foundation for your recovery.
Understanding Alcohol Detox
From a physical standpoint, alcohol detox accomplishes three very important things.
- Allows the body to rid itself of alcohol
- Cleanses the body from the harmful byproducts of alcohol use
- Forces the brain and body to relearn how to function without alcohol
Drinking alcohol triggers the release of powerful, “feel good” chemicals within the reward center of the central nervous system (CNS). These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters and they are typically released in response to beneficial behaviors such as working out, socially engaging with others in positive ways, eating healthily, or solving problems. The feelings of euphoria, relaxation and general elation that they incite encourage people to repeat beneficial actions. When alcohol is used to artificially stimulate the release of these chemicals, alcohol users feel confident, relaxed, and happy. Moreover, they mentally associate these feelings with alcohol use and become more likely to drink again as a means for controlling or elevating their moods.
Heavy and prolonged alcohol abuse wears the brain’s neurotransmitters out. Some of these chemicals are produced in abundance, and some are hardly produced at all. Heavy alcohol use can also cause certain neurotransmitters to misfire. These are all indications of the progressive brain damage that alcohol abuse causes.
Unfortunately, these chemicals aren’t just for enhancing or controlling a person’s moods. Your neurotransmitters play a part in smooth muscle control, balance, coordination, memory, focus, and many other important functions and systems throughout your body. If you’ve become chemically dependent upon alcohol, many of these functions and systems are reliant upon continued alcohol use. Thus, when alcohol is suddenly taken away, your body will send out widespread distress signals. People in the late stages of alcohol withdrawal who are experiencing delirium tremens can develop especially severe symptoms of distress that include:
- Sudden and dramatic changes in vital signs
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
This is why detoxing alone or going “cold turkey” is never advised.
Do You Need Detox for Alcohol Addiction?
Detoxing with medical support is always the best choice for anyone who’s having a hard time controlling or limiting their drinking, or who cannot stop drinking without becoming physically ill. For many heavy drinkers, alcohol withdrawal symptoms start within just five to eight hours of their last drink. If you experience:
- Loss of appetite
shortly after you stop drinking or whenever you wait too long to have the next drink, these are all likely signs of alcohol dependence. Given the considerable changes that occur within a person’s brain chemistry as the result of alcohol abuse, detoxing isn’t a matter of willpower, commitment, or personal strength. Alcohol use disorder is classified as a chronic mental health issue and it’s clinically recognized as having potentially severe physical consequences if detox isn’t performed correctly.
Going to an alcohol detox center will make abstaining more comfortable and a lot safer. Surprisingly, when the right medical interventions are leveraged early on, detoxing with support can also make this process significantly shorter. In our Port St. Lucie medical detox program, many people are able to avoid the intense and potentially damaging stage of delirium tremens entirely.
Risks of Detoxing From Alcohol on Your Own
Alcohol detox is the very start of the recovery process. You cannot actively or effectively take part in other forms of addiction treatment until this critical first step is successfully taken. Given that 40 to 60 percent of adults with alcohol use disorder will relapse at some point in time, alcohol detox programs are recommended for curbing alcohol cravings and various psychological triggers early on.
When you detox on your own, you won’t have the benefit of closed, secure campus, and a totally temptation-free environment. You’ll also lack the close monitoring and support of professionals who can use therapies, medications, and other treatment tools to stabilize your vital signs, support your body in healing itself, and expedite the entire detox process.
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What Happens During Detox?
In our alcohol detox program, you’ll receive targeted support from the very moment that you walk in the door. During the check-in process, you’ll receive a medical exam and a psychological evaluation. We’ll use the information that we collect in these interviews to structure and streamline your care. This is additionally an opportunity for us to determine your anxiety levels and the amount of physical discomfort you’re experiencing so that we can start leveraging interventions right away.
You’ll receive a brief tour of our facility and then you’ll be taken to your room. Our staff will check on you regularly to make sure that you aren’t experiencing major fluctuations in your:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Blood sugar
- Blood pressure
- Pain levels
You’ll never have to face the most challenging and physically demanding stages of withdrawal alone. We’ll work hard to keep you hydrated and to provide the right nutritional support. We also provide assistance during detox for problems like mood swings, insomnia, depression, and more. In fact, many of our patients live with co-occurring disorders as well. These are undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues that they’ve been self-treating with alcohol. When co-occurring disorders are suspected, additional interventions can be applied to simultaneously limit the symptoms of disorders such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, major depressive disorder, and others.
For those who consume moderate amounts of alcohol or who’ve dealt with alcohol abuse for a limited amount of time, alcohol withdrawal and the related symptoms can peak as soon as 48 hours after the last drink. For these individuals, the advanced and highly dangerous stage of withdrawal known as delirium tremens isn’t a major risk. However, for others who drink more heavily or who’ve abused alcohol for a considerable amount of time, withdrawal can last between three to 10 days or longer. With help, even those with histories of severe alcohol abuse and other risk factors can look forward to shorter detox times, and faster returns to balanced functioning and health.
It’s important to note that physical withdrawal is only one part of the detox process. Just as the body has to heal from the ravages of heavy alcohol use, the brain and the brain’s reward center must heal as well. As such, physical withdrawal is often followed by a series of psychological withdrawal symptoms. These are commonly referred to as post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS. PAWS can last for weeks or for a year or more. When you start your recovery in our alcohol detox program in Port St. Lucie, you’ll receive therapies and interventions for these symptoms as well. You can also seamlessly transfer from detox into one of our residential programs so that you’re never without the structure and support you need.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms
If you drink regularly or heavily, suddenly stopping drinking is virtually assured to cause physiological distress. Some of the earliest symptoms of alcohol withdrawal occur within a person’s body temperature. Many of the neurotransmitters that are disrupted or worn out by alcohol addiction play a hand in the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. Thus, excessive sweating and chills are common, early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Sadly, these relatively minor, initial symptoms of alcohol withdrawal sometimes cause people to believe that they can simply “muscle through” on their own. In reality, these early symptoms can intensify for up to two days. They’re also likely to be followed by many others including:
- Digestive distress
- Sleep troubles
and more. The longer that a person waits to receive medical interventions for withdrawal, the more symptoms that this individual will likely experience. The detox process will be longer and more uncomfortable, and the risks of entering delirium tremens are heightened.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms in Treatment
At Agape Detox Center, we’re committed to helping our patients complete alcohol detox in the safest and most comfortable way, and without increasing the risk of additional dependence. When necessary, we leverage drugs like:
and others to limit or prevent nausea, dramatic fluctuations in vital signs, sleep troubles, and psychological distress. When possible, we also share a number of natural strategies and therapies that help our clients achieve relaxed, balanced, and ultimately healthful states without medication. We place a strong focus on good nutrition, healthy coping techniques, and sustainable strategies for achieving and maintaining mood balance. This way, when detox is done, our patients are already primed to take a proactive part in their ongoing addiction treatment.
Get Help From the Professionals at Agape Detox Center
Begin the recovery process with our alcohol detox program to establish a solid foundation for your recovery. In our comfortable Port St. Lucie facility, you’ll have the benefit of constant monitoring and support. You can look forward to a shorter, easier, and safer withdrawal process all-around. Call us now to speak with one of our admissions counselors to get started.