Alcohol Detox in Colorado
Alcohol detox in Colorado is short for detoxification and is the process of the body removing toxins from its system. While a completely natural process — the human body is constantly detoxifying —when the toxin is an addictive drug, or a metabolized by-product of a drug, the process can have significant side effects1.
The process of Colorado alcohol detox can be difficult. Although everybody is different, and therefore their detox experiences are different, for some people the alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe. And in a few cases alcohol detox, when not managed properly by a Colorado medical team, can be fatal.
During Colorado alcohol detox the body will first rid itself of alcohol. However, as the liver metabolizes alcohol it can create more toxins. For this reason, the worst effects of alcohol withdrawal can occur when there is no longer any alcohol left in the system, but the remaining toxins will continue to have an effect while the body deals with them. Detox in Colorado is made harder by the withdrawal symptoms many will experience. Because the brain has become habituated to the presence of alcohol it will respond when alcohol has been withdrawn, altering its production of organic chemicals which can have both physical and mental effects.
Despite being a challenging and demanding process, alcohol detox in Colorado is not a cure for an alcohol use disorder. Instead, it is a necessary first step to starting an addiction-free life.
What happens during Colorado alcohol detox?
Because it is so physically and mentally demanding, and not without risk, alcohol detox in Colorado should always be carried out with medical supervision. This will allow intervention, if necessary, with the administration of medication to manage symptoms or should the patient be in any danger from the withdrawal process.
While cold turkey is the common perception of detox, and is frequently used, in some cases tapering might be appropriate to make the transition easier to manage. It’s likely to be recommended if a patient has attempted detox before either in Colorado or elsewhere, and suffered severe withdrawal symptoms.
A cold turkey detox in Colorado will usually last between seven and ten days. Although most people will not experience the most severe symptoms, the severity of the symptoms experienced tends to increase as the withdrawal process continues. This can make Colorado alcohol detox an anxious experience for both the addict and loved ones. For some people the withdrawal and detox process is so traumatic they will prefer continued addiction.
Acute withdrawal, the first week, will start soon after the addict stops drinking. This will usually be within a few hours, although this can vary based on the physiological factors and their alcohol consumption immediately before stopping. The range of symptoms can include anxiety and depression, tremors, nausea, vomiting, sweating, sleep problems and, in extreme cases, heart failure.
The minor symptoms are the first to show. Typically minor, these symptoms would be considered easily manageable by most people and include things like headaches and slight tremors. This will be followed by moderate symptoms. Usually starting between 12-24 hours after the last drink, these symptoms can be more severe. The body will attempt to expel toxins however it can. Those who experience more severe symptoms might also suffer fever and confusion during this stage. This is also the point where the patient is likely to feel the psychological effects of withdrawal. Now alcohol has been removed dopamine production is frequently severely limited or even stopped, resulting in the patent feeling depression or anxiety.
Severe symptoms will start between two and four days after the last drink. The most severe symptoms are delirium tremens, better known as DTs. This means it’s essential alcohol detox in Colorado is medically supervised.
Alcohol detox centers in Colorado
Alcohol detox in Colorado should never be attempted without medical supervision. Ideally detox should take place in one of the may top rated residential alcohol detox centers in Colorado. While outpatient detox in Colorado is possible, for example if the addiction was not severe and the addict has a strong support system at home, the unpredictable nature of detox means that inpatient treatment is preferable, and at the very least there needs to be some way to have medical assistance on hand. Solo detoxin Colorado should never be considered or attempted under any circumstances.
A medical alcohol detox in Colorado will involve an intake or admission. Regardless of which alcohol detox center in Colorado the detox will take place, this will involve an assessment of the problem. This will consider things like the length and severity of the addiction, previous withdrawal attempts, family history, support structure, and physical and mental health. This stage will consider how the detox process might progress, considering a tapered withdrawal if it appears there is a high risk from going cold turkey.
The medical support for detox in Colorado itself is, however, largely responsive. It is there to ensure that risks or dangers are identified and managed promptly and appropriately. There is, unfortunately, little medical intervention available to assist the physical detox process. However, some medication may be used to help manage the symptoms.
The most common medications offered are benzodiazepines. These work on the central nervous system and can help manage tremors and spasms. They also have an anti-anxiety affect, so can help manage some of the psychological symptoms. If a patient has a dual diagnosis, they might also be given medication to manage the other condition. Historically, there was a reluctance to administer drugs during detox and withdrawal, but more recently the view has changed, recognizing that treating both conditions simultaneously tends to be more successful.
The final part of the medical alcohol detox process is stabilization. Stabilization, like detox, is not a cure, but instead the creation of a stable starting point to begin the process of rehabilitation and recovery in Colorado. This may involve the use of medications like naltrexone, which helps reduce cravings, or acamprosate, which can help the brain re-form pathways.
Moving to rehabilitation and recovery in Colorado
Attending one of the alcohol detox centers in Colorado is the first step and, for many people, it will be the most challenging step of their journey to a sober life. Getting the right support for detox is important, not just because of the dangers and risks it involves, but because a well-managed detox can help set up a successful period at one of the rehabs in Colorado. This is particularly important with a dual diagnosis, since treating both the addiction and a condition together ensures the effects of each are considered and the changes of success are much higher.