Residential alcohol detox probably sounds like a big commitment. And guess what? It is! But it also comes with some pretty amazing benefits that anyone wanting to get sober will appreciate. Before I get into the benefits, here’s a brief overview of what it is.
*Today we have a special guest post from Kelsey Brown, a copywriter at Nova Recovery Center. For more about Kelsey, check her full bio at the end of the article.
What Is Residential Alcohol Detox?
Residential alcohol detox is an inpatient alcohol detox program that helps people stop drinking safely and comfortably. If you’re addicted to alcohol, quitting drinking suddenly can cause some seriously uncomfortable and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Residential detox provides a supportive sober environment and medication-assisted treatment to help you quit alcohol and prepare for rehab, if you plan on continuing your addiction treatment.
How Long Does Residential Alcohol Detox Take?
Residential clients stay at the detox center throughout the duration of their program, which may last anywhere from three to 14 days. The duration of treatment varies a lot because programs are designed to address the unique needs of each person. For example, someone who has been drinking heavily for 10 years while also abusing cocaine and heroin may need to detox longer than someone who has only been drinking heavily for one year without using any other drugs.
Other factors to consider are:
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- If the person abused any other drugs or addictive substances
- The person’s overall physical health
- If the person has a mental illness
- The person’s current physical state
If an inpatient detox program offers rapid detox or guarantees you’ll be sober in a certain amount of time, you should be wary of the methods being used there and seriously consider looking elsewhere.
Will Residential Alcohol Detox Cure Me?
Although detox on its own is not a “cure” for alcohol addiction, it is an important first step in achieving lasting sobriety. That said, residential alcohol detox isn’t for everyone, and the list of benefits below aren’t a catch-all.
Any type of addiction treatment, whether it’s detox, rehab, or a sober living program, is highly dependent on what you put into it. You can’t expect results if you don’t work for them, right? Many things in life are this way and addiction treatment is no different. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for addiction but there are effective detox and rehab programs out there for people who need help and are ready to receive it.
If you have been heavily abusing alcohol for several months or years, residential alcohol detox may be right for you, but it’s always best to talk with your doctor about treatment options first. If you do decide to enroll in an inpatient alcohol detox program, here are seven surprising benefits you’ll be happy to discover!
7 Surprising Benefits of Residential Alcohol Detox
1. You become open to the possibilities of a life in sobriety.
When you’re trapped in alcohol addiction and feel like there’s no way out, it becomes difficult to imagine life any other way. You wake up, drink, sleep, and do it all over again until you can’t even remember what it was like to be sober. If you’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” an alcohol detox program is a chance to experience sobriety again and break out of that cycle of hopelessness.
2. You recognize areas for improvement.
Let’s be honest here — sometimes it’s really hard to admit to yourself (and others) that you’re messed up. A lot of us like to pretend that we have it all together, even when we don’t. So, whether you’re the type of alcoholic that manages to get to work each day and be productive or you’re the one who blows off bosses and coworkers on the regular and drinks the day away, there’s definitely room for improvement.
When you’re enrolled in inpatient detox with nowhere else to go, you’re forced to face the reality of the situation: you need help. No matter who you are, there is always room to grow and become a better person. By removing yourself from your normal environment and routine, and purging the alcohol from your life, you’ll finally have a clear mind and an opportunity to recognize the many ways in which you can improve your behavior, your mindset, and your relationships with others.
3. You realize the physical damage alcohol can really do.
When you’re deep in addiction, you may not necessarily see how much the alcohol is affecting your health, livelihood, and overall physical well-being. Alcohol abuse damages just about every organ in the body, including the brain, the lungs, the heart, the pancreas, the intestines, the liver, and the reproductive system. Long-term alcohol abuse can even damage your body permanently.
The detox experience is an eye-opening one that truly makes you realize how much you were harming your body by ingesting so much alcohol. When you detox, withdrawal is the evidence that your body is finally returning to its normal state of functioning. You are re-balancing, clearing away all the junk, and essentially, taking a giant breath of fresh air.
4. The truth about your drug abuse is revealed.
We all have our reasons for isolating, for hiding the truth, and for masking our true selves with a bottle of booze. It’s not always clear why we do the things we do, but during alcohol detox, you are forced to face the truth about yourself and your actions. You did this to your body, your mind, and your soul. But why? Maybe it was an attempt at coping with the trauma in your life. Or perhaps you were trying to mask feelings of social anxiety and inferiority. Whatever the reason is behind your alcohol abuse, as your mind and body finally clear in detox, you may also gain a new, fresh understanding of yourself that will help you overcome your addiction.
5. You are less likely to relapse.
People who try to detox on their own at home usually end up relapsing to relieve the discomfort that comes with withdrawal symptoms. That’s why inpatient alcohol detox is so effective. You’re surrounded by medical and clinical professionals who are trained to recognize, understand, and treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal so you can have the most comfortable and safe alcohol detox experience possible.
Detox doesn’t have to be what it is in the movies (sweaty, shaky, and scream-y.) You can actually have a comfortable alcohol detox experience in a facility that’s designed to feel like home, instead of a cold, lifeless hospital.
6. You can finally rest.
Detox is by no means a relaxing vacation, but it is an opportunity to heal and recover from a damaging lifestyle filled with alcohol abuse. Inpatient alcohol detox is a place where you can step away from your everyday life, take a deep breath, and rest as your body takes the time it needs to recover. Detox is the beginning of the rest of your healthy life, and although it is a difficult, complex process, it is an essential step toward a life of sobriety.
7. You realize that being sober feels better than being drunk.
After you enroll in detox and your medical treatment team helps you through the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal (which is literally your body craving alcohol), you’ll finally experience the sensation of clear-headed sobriety. It may take several days or weeks for the fog to clear, but once it does, you’ll get a glimpse of what your life could be without alcohol.
If you’d like to investigate a residential alcohol detox program for yourself, talking to your doctor or a trusted loved one about treatment options. Alcohol doesn’t have to define your life anymore. Detox can be the start of a new beginning.
Kelsey Brown received her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Missouri State University. Since then, she has become an active member of the substance abuse treatment industry, writing articles on a variety of subjects related to substance abuse, including detox, rehab, sober living, and mental health issues geared toward individuals who are seeking treatment or are in recovery. Kelsey is currently a copywriter at Nova Recovery Center. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys outdoor activities, like hiking, camping, and kayaking.