September 22, 2007
What Is a Good Alcohol Detox Protocol?
An alcohol detox, or detoxification protocol simply means a plan for ridding the body of the toxic effects of alcohol. It is generally the first step in a recovery program, especially when the patient is a chronic alcoholic.
Detoxification of the body usually involves withdrawal symptoms. These can range from only mildly bothersome, like sweating, dry mouth, or minor shakiness to full-fledged tremors, vomiting, or seizures. Medical intervention is often the first step of the detox protocol.
Campral may be prescribed to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Whether or not drugs are prescribed, close monitoring of the patient going through detox is required. And it should be pointed out that the detox program itself does not "cure" the patient of alcoholism. It does, however, prepare him or her to accept more readily the therapeutic treatment that follows.
The detox protocol has clearly defined stages, but each stage is personalized according to the patient’s needs. The first stage is stabilization. Many patients finally seek treatment when they feel they’ve hit "rock bottom". Once at the physician’s office or treatment center, personnel may identify multiple dependencies or issues that must be dealt with.
Alcohol, like many other drugs, provides a quick "high" or feeling of well-being. That feeling is always followed by a "downer" or depression. The alcoholic at that point will begin drinking again, trying to feel good again. As the body adjusts to the alcohol consumption it takes more and more alcohol to reach the artificial happiness that the patient seeks.
The second stage in the detox protocol is getting the patient through withdrawal symptoms. Drugs such as Valium or Klonopin can help ease the symptoms. Without these treatments, most patients would just give up when the discomfort level got too high. With drug treatment and monitoring by trained personnel, many patients make it through this phase. The second day of sobriety is generally considered to be the day with the worst withdrawal symptoms.
Because of the high sugar content of most alcoholic drinks, hypoglycemia can be a significant threat. The detox protocol must include close monitoring by trained personnel so that carbohydrate-heavy fluids like orange juice can be given as needed. Drug therapy may once again come into play here.