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Inpatient Programs for Alcohol Detox

Inpatient Programs for Alcohol Detox. The great German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once wrote, “No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.” This is as true in recovery as it is in life. Yes, there are people along the way who will try to help us on our journey, but ultimately it is we who have to “walk the bridge” to wellness. This includes if alcohol detox will require an inpatient program.

“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

What Does Effective Alcohol Detox Look Like?

The most important aspect of an effective alcohol detox is the people who are administering and monitoring it. If those people are not professional clinicians and addiction specialists, but rather the individual themself, then there may be serious complications and consequences.

Alcohol withdrawal is nothing to minimize. It can be very damaging and, in some instances, even deadly. According to the clinical write-up titled Alcohol Withdrawal by Doctors Newman, Stobart Gallagher, and Gomez, “Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually appear when the individual discontinues or reduces alcohol intake after a period of prolonged consumption. However, healthcare workers should be aware that alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe and lead to death.” Moreover, “In all cases, the management of alcohol withdrawal is monitored and managed by an interprofessional team to ensure good outcomes.”

Essentially, an effective detox is safe and controlled. This can best be accomplished in a clinical setting with medical professionals. These professionals can also help determine the next steps after detox, such as if an individual may require an inpatient program.

Does Alcohol Detox Also Require an Inpatient Program?

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While not every alcohol detox may require an inpatient program, this path is generally the most common. The reason an inpatient program is often the next right choice is that going through a detox is a very serious situation and it requires close monitoring after.

Intense alcohol detox also may require medication to avoid seizures. According to the previously mentioned write-up, “Withdrawal seizures can typically be managed with benzodiazepines but may require adjunct therapy with phenytoin, barbiturates, and may even require intubation and sedation with propofol, ketamine, or in the most severe cases, dexmedetomidine.” When a detox is this intense, monitoring the recovery process after is also very important.

Alcohol detox may also require an inpatient program if the individual is struggling with any other co-occurring mental health disorders. This way, intensive dual treatment for both issues can begin right away. Also, an inpatient program is a great way to meaningfully connect to a recovery path right away, and starting off on the right foot can mean the difference between relapse and long-term recovery.

Understanding Other Options After Alcohol Detox

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Of course, there are other options after alcohol detox. These options are generally recommended only for those individuals who experienced less severe symptoms during alcohol detox.

The other potential treatment options after alcohol detox include partial hospitalization programs (PHP), intensive and general outpatient programs (IOP and GOP), and sober living facilities. Now, the key to choosing one of these programs is listening to the professionals and following their advice on what they think the next right step should be.

A Partial Hospitalization Program After Alcohol Detox

Now, a PHP can be a great option for individuals who need close monitoring but have the ability to still function comfortably in their day-to-day lives. However, it should be noted that this is still an intensive program, and usually requires 30 to 40 hours a week and outside recovery meetings. 

Intensive and General Outpatient Programs After Alcohol Detox

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IOPs and GOPs are for individuals who were in the less severe stages of alcohol addiction when they went to detox. Generally, these are programs for people who did not require medication during detox and feel comfortable in a recovery program that offers them more freedom. It is important to note that since these programs are less intense, individuals who have any concerns about relapse should possibly consider a PHP or inpatient program. After all, no one wants to go through another alcohol detox if it can be avoided.

Sober Living Programs After Alcohol Detox

Now, sober living programs are usually reserved for individuals who are transitioning from either an inpatient program or PHP. However, there are times when sober living facilities fit the needs of certain individuals. These are generally individuals who don’t need close monitoring but do need to stay connected to other people in recovery as they start or restart their journey.