Approximately 17.6 million Americans currently have some type of alcohol use disorder. Of these people suffering from this disorder, only a fraction will seek professional help. An alcohol disorder can become very severe to the point where a person needs medical attention.
The very first step in alcohol recovery will be detox. This is the process of getting all of the alcohol out of the body. Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have about the Arizona alcohol detox process.
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Statistics in Arizona
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism have been problems in the State of Arizona for a very long time. Most people view alcohol as a fairly harmless drug, and they think they can stop drinking anytime they choose. The problem is that it is highly addictive, and quitting can result in dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
The Arizona Statewide Substance Abuse Prevention Needs Assessment states that in 2018:
- Alcohol was the most commonly abused substance among both young people and adults.
- 50.9% of people in Arizona who are aged 12 or older have abused alcohol within the last month.
- That means that about 2.9 million Arizonans are drinking excessively; and some on a regular basis.
- 44.3% of current alcohol users report that they have participated in binge drinking within the last month.
- 22.6% of the population of Arizona meets the criteria for binge drinking.
- That works out to about 1.29 million people in the state.
- Among young people aged 12 to 20, 16.7% of them report having used alcohol at least once.
- 10.4% state that they have participated in binge drinking within the last month.
What to Expect During Alcohol Detox in Arizona
A lot of people are nervous about going to Arizona alcohol detox programs. They usually have never had any type of substance abuse treatment before, so it can help them to know what to expect.
Detoxing is the process of removing toxins from the body that are related to the addiction. In this case, going through detox allows time for the body and mind to adjust to the absence of alcohol. During this period, the patient receives various types of treatment, depending on their individual needs.
The detoxification process can offer recovering alcoholics:
- Medications that can help with their withdrawal symptoms.
- Other forms of treatment, such as dietary changes and exercise, to help with withdrawal.
- Therapy, which can help people work through the issues that led to their excessive drinking patterns.
- Peer support, which reinforces the fact that they are not alone as they recover.
- New coping skills which help by laying the foundation for relapse prevention.
Is Medical Detox Offered for Alcohol Addiction in Arizona?
Today, we know more than ever about the importance of medically supervised alcohol detox. It is so important for people to avoid trying to stop drinking on their own because of the risk of complications from withdrawal. A medical setting offers patients the reassurance that their needs will be met, even if they experience an emergency as they recover.
Medical detox means being able to take medications to help with withdrawal symptoms. There are several that can be used, and doctors often recommend Vivitrol because they have seen such great success with it.
Vivitrol is a medication that is given once a month by injection. It is not addictive at all, which sets it apart from other detox medications. When it is used in conjunction with a quality therapy program, it can be very effective.
Doctors may also prescribe medications to people based on their individual withdrawal symptoms. For example, Gabapentin may be recommended for someone who is at risk for seizures. An antidepressant or benzodiazepine medication may be prescribed to someone who struggles with depression and anxiety during withdrawal.
How Long Does Arizona Alcohol Detox Take?
We live in a world of instant gratification, which is one of the reasons that people want to know upfront how long the detox process will take. It is quite normal for a person who is ready to take on recovery to be anxious about what they can expect and how long it might take to complete the alcohol detox.
It is important to remember that detox is just the first step on the road to recovering from alcohol abuse. Detox is the abrupt ending of alcohol use, and the body must clean itself from the traces of alcohol. Typically, the detox process will take between 7 to 10 days.
While the initial detox process takes a little over a week, a rehab program often will last for at least 30 to 45 days. Some people benefit from longer sixty or ninety-day programs of treatment. The length of time a person may stay will depend on several factors, including:
- Addiction history
- Specific addiction
- Addiction severity
- Presence of other mental, behavioral health, or medical conditions
- The mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of a patient
Alcohol Detox Symptoms
The symptoms of alcohol detox can be as mild as nausea and a headache. However, some people experience more severe symptoms such as delirium tremens that are marked by hallucinations and/or seizures.
If there is not a co-occurring condition or use of other drugs or treatment methods, alcohol withdrawal will typically consist of 3 phases. These phases are:
The acute withdrawal time frame will be dominated by the autonomic nervous system hyperactivity and tremors. It is during this time that a person is most at risk for seizures and tremors. Tremors and seizures often happen during the first two days after discontinuing the consumption of alcohol and will peak at about 24 hours of not using.
Some of the physiological symptoms that are commonly experienced during acute withdrawal include an increase in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate, profuse sweating, dysregulation of body temperature, and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea and vomiting.
Early abstinence is the second phase of detox. During early abstinence, a person may experience low mood, anxiety, and a disturbance in sleep patterns. Elevated levels of anxiety typically resolve within three to six weeks after last using alcohol. Women often take longer than men to move through this second phase of detox.
Protracted abstinence is the third and final phase and includes dysphoria and elevated anxiety that may not be obvious, but normal insignificant challenges may provoke feelings of negativity, alcohol cravings, and relapse.
How Alcohol Affects the Body Long Term
Long term alcohol addiction can take a toll on the entire body. Alcohol can affect the heart and cause irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, and increase the risk of a stroke.
Alcohol takes a toll on the liver with repercussions, including alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, and fibrosis.
In addition, alcohol can weaken a person’s immune system, which makes them more prone to disease.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
SpringBoard Recovery offers treatment for those suffering from alcohol abuse. After initial alcohol detox, our staff at SpringBoard Recovery will work with you to come up with a plan of recovery.
To overcome an addiction to alcohol, a person needs to heal emotionally. This will require therapy, along with education. Our program will address all of the aspects of excessive drinking as well as the residual psychological and physical effects of substance abuse.
It is essential to learn about what triggers you so that you understand why you want to drink and how to come up with healthier ways of dealing with these triggers.
One of the common side effects of quitting drinking is emotional repercussions. Depression, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, and nightmares can all be experienced while a patient is learning methods of how to deal with stress. Using the 12 steps to address your spiritual needs can help a person find the inner emotional peace that they need.
At SpringBoard Recovery, we believe in treating the body, mind, and spirit. In addition, a person needs to change their social habits. During their time working with SpringBoard Recovery, patients work on developing social interactions that are healthy to replace the time they spent in drinking establishments or drinking in general. If a person has burned bridges with family and friends, they will learn how to start the process of rebuilding these relationships. During this process, a person will learn the practical strategies that are necessary to avoid relapse.
SpringBoard Recovery offers the patient care and services that are necessary for long term recovery of alcohol addiction.
How Much Does it Cost to go Through Alcohol Detox in Arizona?
When a person needs to go through the alcohol detoxification process in Arizona, it can be rather expensive. Some inpatient programs may cost as much as $5,000 for a 7-10 day stay, depending on the types of treatment that are needed.
Please note that it is possible to find outpatient alcohol detox centers as well. But they each carry their own risks. We will talk about them more in just a moment.
Does Health Insurance Cover Arizona Alcohol Detoxification Programs?
If you have health insurance, that means that you automatically have coverage to help pay for alcohol detox. This is because of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010. The ACA not only requires Americans to have health insurance, but it also requires insurance providers to offer addiction treatment benefits.
Now more than ever, the medical community has a much better understanding of the dangers of alcohol withdrawal. Whereas detoxing was once not as common, today we know that it is a requirement for anyone with an alcohol addiction in recovery. Health insurance providers understand this, and they offer benefits to help cover the costs.
We cannot say with certainty how much health insurance will pay for addiction treatment until we verify the benefits. Although because of the necessity of alcohol detox, many insurance providers will offer coverage in full. Others might only require a small copay.
Are There Alternatives to Inpatient Alcohol Detox in Arizona?
It is possible to find outpatient alcohol detox programs in Arizona. But we want to offer a word of caution. Inpatient detox is much safer than outpatient options because of the risk of complications. It is very easy for people to relapse when they detox on an outpatient basis. For these reasons, it is best to choose an inpatient program that offers medical detoxification services.
Two additional options people in Arizona have available to them are rapid and ultra-rapid detox. With rapid detox, the patient is given medications to bring on the symptoms of withdrawal quickly. Once they start experiencing symptoms, they are given medications to help manage them. This can be dangerous because of the severity of withdrawal, which means it is usually a very difficult process.
Ultra-rapid detox is similar, but the patient is put to sleep with general anesthesia as they go through the process of withdrawal. They are given medications to help make recovery more comfortable for them, but like other medical procedures, there is always the risk of complications. In fact, those risks are increased further because of the need to use anesthesia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes People to go Through Alcohol Withdrawal?
A person whose body is used to experiencing higher levels of alcohol will go through withdrawal when those levels drop. When you drink, certain parts of your brain are suppressed. This is what helps to make you feel happy and relaxed when you consume alcohol. As you drink, your liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol, and any that cannot be metabolized gets absorbed in your brain.
When you stop drinking, your brain still continues to crave the alcohol because it has gotten used to it. Those feelings that you experience when you have been drinking excessively are quite addictive. But you experience adverse effects because your brain’s inability to immediately adjust to the absence of alcohol.
Regular drinking is very irritating to your body’s central nervous system. It may not take long before your body becomes dependent upon alcohol. It can be difficult to adjust when it is no longer available.
How is Alcohol Withdrawal Treated?
Alcohol withdrawal should always be treated in a medical setting with qualified professionals who have experience in this type of care. It is common for people to think that they can just quit drinking on their own without any repercussions or consequences, but that is not true at all. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.
The main goal of treating alcohol withdrawal is to manage the symptoms. This can be done in a number of different ways, including taking medications, therapy, and holistic treatment methods. Every person is an individual and what works for them might not work for someone else. Personalized treatment is key.
What are the Most Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
When a person stops drinking, they may begin having alcohol withdrawal symptoms within 8-12 hours after their last drink. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may change as it progresses. Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- A rapid heart rate
- Hand tremors
- Anxiety or feelings of nervousness
- Feeling fatigued
- Dilated pupils
- Mood swings
- Problems thinking clearly
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Withdrawal tends to be different for everyone. Some people may have everything on the above list and others might only experience a few of these symptoms.
The right treatment can help to manage alcohol withdrawal and cause symptoms to be less severe. That is just one reason alcoholics should consider going through detox as the first step in the recovery process.
What is Delirium Tremens and Who is Most at Risk?
Delirium tremens is a type of alcohol withdrawal that involves severe and sudden changes in the brain and central nervous system. It is often referred to as DTs, and it can be caused when a person stops drinking abruptly after a period of heavy drinking. It is more common in people who:
- Do not eat enough food when they quit drinking.
- Have a long history of alcohol use.
- Have gone through alcohol withdrawal in the past.
- Drink heavily every day for several months.
- Have been drinking excessively for ten years or more.
Delirium tremens is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical treatment and attention. When a person does not get help right away, they put themselves at risk for a potentially fatal outcome.
Some of the most common symptoms of DTs include:
- Changes in the way you think
- Feelings of restlessness
- Feeling sensitive to light, sound, and touch
- Stupor or fatigue
- A deep sleep that can last 24 hours or more
- Body tremors
- Delirium, or sudden confusion
- Agitation, anger, and irritability
- Mood swings
DTs are most common within 48 hours of the last drink. But this condition has been known to happen as long as 10 days after the last drink was consumed.
Is Medical Detox the Best Approach for Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcoholics are often recommended for medical detox because it allows them to take medications to help with their symptoms. This is the safest way for people to stop using, although other methods may be used as well.
There are several medications that people can take to treat their alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They include:
- Vivitrol – Vivitrol is a medication that can be given by injection once a month. It can help to control symptoms and reduce cravings.
- Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines like Valium and Ativan may be used for people who experience severe anxiety during alcohol withdrawal.
- Clonidine – This is a medication that can help keep blood pressure and body temperature in check.
- Antipsychotics – These medications may be used to help people who are at risk for delusions and/or hallucinations.
- Anticonvulsants – Medications like Gabapentin are often prescribed off label for alcohol withdrawal because they can help people avoid having seizures.
What Type of Treatment is Needed After Detoxing?
Once detox is over, a lot of people assume that they are ready to move on with their lives. But there is still so much more work that needs to be done. It is not enough to only address the physical side of the addiction. It is also important to address the psychological side as well. This is done during alcohol rehab.
Rehabilitation involves various types of therapy to help people understand the reasons behind their addictions. There are many reasons why a person might start drinking and eventually become an alcoholic. Some people become alcoholics because they drink to manage stress. Others can point to a triggering event such as the loss of a job or a divorce.
About 50% of people who have alcoholism are also suffering from a co-occurring disorder or a mental health condition. In the majority of these cases, those mental health conditions go undiagnosed; sometimes for years. Depression, anxiety, and other co-occurring disorders can make it nearly impossible to stop drinking. Rehab can help people understand their own behaviors and begin the process of making changes for the better.