The detox process for someone who suffers from chronic alcohol abuse can be a very dangerous one. Alcohol interacts with the body by engendering an increased stimulation of the GABA receptor. This results in a depression of the central nervous system. Over time, continued heavy use can and will result in a reduction and desensitization of these receptors. This is referred to as tolerance and the subsequent physical dependence. Once this has occurred, the abrupt removal of alcohol from the system can result in an uncontrolled firing of synapses in the central nervous system. These are symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. If the detox process is not handled properly and overseen by medical professionals there can be severe repercussions from seizure, tremens, hallucinations, shakes, and is some cases it can result in brain failure and death.
The Alcohol Detox Process
The most common and effective method of detoxification from chronic alcohol abuse is the use of benzodiazepines to be a substitute for the alcohol in an effort to minimize the shock to the body from the removal of substances. This is why the term detoxification can be a misleading one for the process that actually takes place. It is, in most cases, not the sudden elimination of toxins from the body but is actually a process of introducing toxins in a different form that can be controlled and monitored. Over time the dosage of the benzodiazepines will be gradually taken down until it is safe to eliminate the use of the drugs. Because it is such a delicate process, if someone is seeking help for chronic alcohol use and is willing to go through the detox process, it is highly advisable to do so under the supervision of medical professionals who have the experience and know how to safely go through the detox process.
It usually takes about three weeks for the body to repair itself to the point that risk of withdrawal and the various symptoms of withdrawal are minimized. There are multiple different options or methods for handling the detox process. It is unwise to continue to put substances in your body if it is unnecessary. A doctor may administer the drugs for a short period of time and keep a close monitor on the individual’s physical state and adjust the dosage as necessary. Another option is to wait until symptoms begin and if withdrawal begins then administer the benzodiazepine. Some individuals try to manage the detox process on their own, through diet and herbal substances among other things. While this method has been effective in some cases it is not advisable because of the dangers that go along with the detox process. While some detox facilities can be very expensive, there are multiple price-points and facilities available. If you have an insurance policy, your insurance company may cover the detox process at a qualified medical facility.