- What is Alcohol Dependence?
- What are alcohol withdrawal symptoms?
- What is the Outpatient Alcohol Detoxification Program?
- Does the Alcohol Detoxification Program have any risks or side effects?
- How do we help prevent relapse?
Alcohol Dependence, or alcoholism, is a distinct disease. Our bodies have a system that helps us deal with stress and calm down, but regularly drinking alcohol can suppress this system. As a result, when a person depends on alcohol, their body cannot calm itself, so they need to drink to feel “normal." They experience withdrawal symptoms as they digest the alcohol, because their body is not able to calm itself down. The only way to reduce withdrawal symptoms and feel better is to drink more.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and can be deadly. Characteristic reactions include:
- elevated pulse
- elevated blood pressure
In addition, the nervous system becomes so agitated that sometimes it short-circuits and triggers a seizure. In the worst stages of alcohol withdrawal, the brain can become very confused or delirious. When this confusion occurs along with agitation or tremors, people develop Delirium Tremens (DTs) — which can be life threatening.
TCI’s three-day outpatient program is a safe, effective alternative to an inpatient detoxification or dangerous self detox. After screening a patient to ensure they’re a good fit for our approach, we begin by replenishing all of the vitamins and minerals that alcohol has depleted from their body. We stabilize their condition and give them medicine to calm them and prevent withdrawal symptoms. We’ll monitor the patient closely and determine the optimal medicine dosing that will keep them comfortable and safe as they detox.
At the end of the first day, we discharge the patient with a family member or friend. They return to our office for monitoring over the next two days until they complete their detox and are ready to begin recovery.
Throughout the process, we closely monitor patients to prevent any withdrawal reactions. We also give appropriate medication doses to prevent any problems. Our outpatient Alcohol Detoxification is very safe, but as with any medical procedure, some risks and potential complications exist. These include:
- Discomfort: Some patients experience minor discomfort during the detox. If this occurs, we provide additional medication for comfort.
- Seizures: Patients very rarely experience seizures while detoxing.
- Implant Reaction: The Naltrexone implant occasionally causes some bruising or inflammation, and there is a very small risk of an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
We recommend that all patients use Naltrexone therapy for at least six months following their Alcohol Detox. To learn more about how this revolutionary approach helps encourage lasting recovery, check out our Naltrexone Therapy page and Naltrexone Therapy for Alcohol FAQs.