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What does it mean to enter an alcohol detoxification? The definition of detoxification is as follows: "A treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to rid the body of the addictive substances, and the physiological and mental readjustment that accompanies the process." This definition refers to the physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse, as well as the psychological symptoms. The withdrawal is the first part of detoxification for alcoholism.
Alcoholism requires withdrawal before beginning treatment for detoxification of the body and recovery. When alcohol residuals remain in the body, cravings will continue and recovery from alcohol addiction will be very difficult to achieve. Alcohol withdrawal should be done under the care of a licensed medical centre. Attempting to withdrawal from heavy alcohol abuse without the proper professional help is extremely dangerous. It can result in serious physical, psychological, and emotional consequences which can include death. Each alcohol withdrawal programme is unique to the individual in regards to the duration of time and special care they may require.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include sweating, rapid pulse, increased hand tremors, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, physical agitation, anxiety, auditory hallucinations, and the possibility of grand mal seizures. These physical and emotional symptoms may be extremely severe depending on the individual's alcoholism abuse history. For this reason serious alcohol withdrawal for alcoholism is dangerous and should be done at an authorized medical centre.
Once a person has withdrawn fully from immediate alcohol effects they can then do a detoxification programme (see for example our sauna programme section) to clear out the lasting physical effects of alcohol in their bodies. This is the second part of an alcohol detox programme.
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What Causes Drug Addiction and Alcoholism?
The Cycle of Addiction (PDF)
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