Bedroom at Restored Path Detox where our patients can safely withdrawal from substance use disorders.

How to Identify the Need for Medical Detoxification

By: Rick Hubbard, Executive Vice President of Professional Relations

Substance use disorders often begin when someone uses a substance to cope with stress, loss, trauma, or other difficult life events. Continued use of the substances can lead to physical dependence, which means the body becomes used to having the substance in its system and starts to experience withdrawal symptoms without it. Many of the individuals who become physically dependent upon a substance are seeking a way to reverse course and eliminate the chemicals from their bodies without the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. 

Restored Path Detox was created to provide a means to safely manage symptoms of withdrawal in a comfortable and dignified manner.

Unfortunately, there is often the misconception that this process can be undertaken alone, without the assistance of medical professionals trained to treat the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. While that might be the case with certain drugs, withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines, for example, can be fatal if not properly managed by highly trained specialists.

Oftentimes family members don’t understand why their loved one would continue consuming addictive substances despite the problems associated with continued use.

Challenges with school, employment, relationships, and overall health and wellness are frequently associated with chronic use of and dependence upon substances. For the chemically dependent individual, seeking help can be a challenging task. Many are terrified of the withdrawal process because they have tried to detox themselves and experienced severe withdrawal symptoms, or they have had a negative experience with facilities that lack the expertise necessary to adequately mitigate the effects of substance withdrawal. For them, seeking ways to continue consumption of the substance seems to be the only solution.

The public perception of those who become chemically dependent also can be a barrier to getting help.

 Shame and guilt frequently prevent individuals from seeking professional assistance, causing them to suffer in silence. Families can also suffer from denial of the truth about a loved one’s condition, preventing them from addressing the problem in a straightforward and effective manner.

Restored Path Detox was opened to help break down the barriers individuals face to seeking help.

Detox is the first of many steps on the road to recovery, and it has been shown that having a supportive detox experience can lead to a life of long-term recovery. Breaking the silence around substance use disorders and addiction is essential to reduce the stigma for those seeking help. When more people are open about their struggles, it helps to normalize the experience and shows that substance use disorders can happen to anyone. It also allows for a more open dialogue about addiction and recovery, which can lead to better understanding and more effective treatments. Our team at Restored Path Detox provides supportive counseling services alongside sophisticated withdrawal management to help guide individuals toward sustained recovery. We help people see that they are not alone, that help is available, and that withdrawal doesn’t have to be a painful or dangerous experience.

 

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s board-certified medical professionals and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Patient with Wernicke’s Encephalopathy meeting with nurse at medically supervised detox

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy: The Importance of Medically Supervised Detox

By: Leslie Carlos, MHA, BSN, RN| Director of Nursing

Wernicke’s encephalopathy, also known in the past as wet brain, is a neurological disorder that is caused by a lack of vitamin B1. This can happen when someone is addicted to alcohol and stops drinking abruptly. Without proper medical supervision, this can lead to serious health complications. This blog post will discuss the symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy and the importance of medically supervised detox.

When someone with an alcohol addiction stops drinking abruptly, they can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These can include anxiety, tremors, and hallucinations. In some cases, people may also experience Wernicke’s encephalopathy. This is a neurological disorder that is caused by a lack of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine.

What are the Symptoms of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy?

Wernicke’s encephalopathy can cause a range of symptoms, including confusion, memory loss, and problems with coordination. People with Wernicke’s encephalopathy may also have difficulty speaking and understanding language.

Additional Symptoms include:

  • Vision changes such as abnormal eye movements, double vision, eyelid drooping
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • A faster heartbeat than normal
  • Low blood pressure when you stand up
  • A lack of energy

The condition can progress rapidly and be fatal if not treated immediately. Therefore, if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical help immediately.

Why is Medically Supervised Detox Important?

Medically supervised detox is the best way to ensure that someone with an alcohol addiction can safely and effectively detox from alcohol. During medically supervised detox, a team of medical professionals will monitor the person’s vital signs and provide them with any necessary medications. This ensures that the person can detox from alcohol without experiencing serious health complications.

Because Wernicke’s encephalopathy is a serious condition that can have permanent consequences if left untreated, medically supervised detox is an essential step for those addicted to alcohol. At a medically supervised detox center, patients will have around-the-clock care from nurses and doctors who know how to treat Wernicke’s encephalopathy.

Additionally, when a person receives treatment in a medically supervised setting, they can be provided resources to make decisions about the next steps on their recovery journey. At Restored Path, we provide all our patients with a continuing care plan that outlines options for the next steps on their path to wellness.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many people who care and want to help you recover. With treatment, it is possible to improve your symptoms and quality of life.

 

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s board-certified medical professionals and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Couple with addiction counselor for admission to detox

12 Signs You Need Detox

Evaluating your need for recovery help from drugs or alcohol shouldn’t be a complicated task. It’s possible to look at evidence in your life right now that suggests you would benefit from detox. We’ve compiled a list of twelve signs you or someone you love needs detox today.

Signs You Need Detox

1. Abusing alcohol or drugs is your priority every day.

You think about your next drug dose or drink a great deal of the day. Your preoccupation with substance use drives your daily decision-making. From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, nothing seems more important than drinking or using drugs.

2. You’re experiencing health problems related to substance use.

Chronic issues or new health issues made worse by substance use don’t seem to slow you down. You continue drinking or using drugs even when you know it’s hurting you. The issues may be physical, such as heart or lung issues. Also, they may be related to mental health, including depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress.

3. You’re experiencing financial instability related to substance use.

Constantly needing to borrow money, stealing money, or taking out payday loans with high interest rates may be routine options to cover the cost of your substance use. It may leave you unable to pay rent and bills or even hold down a job. You may have become increasingly dependent on a family member for housing, food, and transportation needs.

4. You’re facing legal consequences due to drug or alcohol use.

An arrest for driving under the influence is a clear sign of a substance use problem. Continuing to drink or do drugs while facing jail time or fines for your behavior should be a red flag that you’re in need of immediate detox.

5. Your family and friends always seem concerned about your drinking or drug use.

Your substance use has become a frequent topic of conversation whenever you’re with people who know and care about you. They may have offered support in your recovery needs already. You may have started avoiding these people to dodge the questions about your choices.

6. Your tolerance for a substance has increased.

You have noticed a need to take a drug in higher amounts or shortened the time in between doses to avoid withdrawal symptoms. You may realize your tolerance has increased and feel unable to quit using.

7. You suffered an injury while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or injured someone else.

Risky or careless behavior during substance use may have led to medical treatment or hospitalization. If you’ve injured someone else, the inability to take responsibility is a sign of your need for medical detox. If you’ve injured yourself while drinking, the doctor treating you would advise you to seek help for substance abuse immediately.

8. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit using.

Any time you have attempted to quit, withdrawal symptoms make it hard to avoid using again. You notice changes start to increase in severity the longer your body is eliminating drugs or alcohol. It feels unbearable on you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

9. Your appearance has changed drastically.

You may have stopped bathing, brushing teeth, and doing other routine hygiene activities. Your clothes may be unclean. You may look unkempt to others. Your skin condition may worsen.

10. Your sleep is never consistent or adequate.

You have trouble with sleep on a regular basis. It may be sleeping too little, too much, or not being able to stay asleep. Drowsiness may be part of your normal waking hours. The lack of adequate and quality sleep may be worsening your mental health.

11. You openly lie about your substance use.

When asked about your drinking or drug use, you avoid answering honestly. You might change the subject or minimize how much you’re using. Even when there’s no direct consequences from the question, you might lie out of habit to keep people from having a true sense of the depth of your addiction.

12. You keep a hidden stash of substances to abuse.

If you live with others, you have found secret places to store bottles of alcohol, pills, or illegal substances. You feel anyone coming into your space might discover your stash and remove it. You might constantly check it when you get home to see if anyone has found it yet.

 

Restored Path’s Solution

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Patient with substance use disorder talking to doctor about how long it will take to detox.

Withdrawal Timelines: How Long Does It Take to Detox…

There is no one answer to the question of how does long it take to detox from different substances. The length of time required for detox will vary depending on a person’s individual physiology and history of substance abuse. There are, however, some general timelines that can give you an idea of what to expect during detox. In this blog post, we will take a look at the withdrawal timelines for several common drugs, the symptoms you may experience during each, and outline the importance of medically supervised detox services.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal typically begins within eight hours of the last drink and can peak within 24-48 hours. Most people will begin to feel better after a few days. However, some may experience delirium tremens (DTs), a more severe form of withdrawal that can include hallucinations and seizures. DTs usually occur three to five days after the last drink and can be life-threatening if not treated properly. At Restored Path Detox, we provide 24/7 patient monitoring so that we are able to intervene quickly to keep patients safe. We can prescribe targeted medications to alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal while simultaneously preventing dangerous symptoms.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Racing pulse
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Stimulant Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal from stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine generally starts within 24 hours of the last use. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. These symptoms can last for several weeks or even months in some cases if not treated medically.

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal Include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Ongoing tiredness or lethargy
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Problems with concentration
  • Slowed thoughts and movements
  • Intense drug cravings

Because the psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are typically more severe and disruptive, we offer psychiatric services and antipsychotic medications whenever necessary. In addition, behavioral therapy is an essential part of stimulant detox, so we offer individual and group therapy sessions facilitated by a licensed therapist.

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

Opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers generally produce withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours of the last dose. These symptoms can sometimes last several days to a week or more. To help keep patients comfortable and safe, we provide 24-hour medical supervision and professional care. If needed, we will administer and carefully monitor FDA-approved medications to reduce the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Opioids Withdrawal Include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent yawning
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Muscle cramps/body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Goosebumps

Why is Medical Detox Important?

There are many benefits to medically supervised drug detox. First and foremost, it will allow a person to safely and effectively detox from drugs. This is a crucial first step in recovery, as it will help to break the physical dependence on drugs. Medically supervised drug detox will also provide the opportunity to receive counseling and other forms of support. This will help a patient be able to understand addiction and begin to develop a plan for recovery. 

Since no two patients have the same use history, our team of medical professionals complete a full assessment to determine the right approach to detoxification. As a result, we can immediately identify and treat symptoms and create a tailored treatment plan unique to each person’s needs and recovery goals.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long it takes to detox from different substances. Instead, the timeline will vary depending on the individual and the substances used. For most people, drug use doesn’t begin with addiction. For many, it may start as a way to unwind, relieve stress, or in the form of a doctor’s prescription. But over time, drug use can lead to drug tolerance, paving the way for dependence and addiction. 

Restored Path’s Solution

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Patient talking to doctor about what to expect during medical detox

What to Expect During Medical Detox

Detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be a difficult physical and emotional process. Therefore, knowing what to expect during medical detox is essential to prepare you for the challenges ahead. In this blog post, we will discuss the different phases of medical detoxification (detox) and what you can expect during each one. We will also talk about the importance of seeking professional help during detox to keep you or your loved one safe and comfortable.

What is Detox?

Medical detox is the first step in treating a substance use disorder. This process usually occurs in hospitals, detox facilities, or residential treatment facilities. At Restored Path Detox, we provide the option of detoxing in a standalone, state-of-the-art facility to maximize the comfort of our patients. 

Drug detox is a process that helps your body rid itself of the toxins associated with drug use. When you stop using drugs, your body is suddenly bombarded with various chemicals that it has to eliminate. This can lead to uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification that is medically supervised can help ease these symptoms and make the process of quitting drugs less difficult and painful.

The detox process can result in a range of physical and psychological symptoms. Because of this, we monitor patients 24/7 so that we can make in-the-moment adjustments to a patient’s detox plan.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Physical weakness
  • Shaking or tremors

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms may include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Tension or worry
  • Dysphoria
  • Serious Withdrawal Symptoms

Potentially Life-Threatening Withdrawal Symptoms may include:

  • Dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Delirium tremens, or DTs (a cluster of intense withdrawal symptoms, including seizures)
  • Severe depression or anxiety leading to suicidal ideation
  • Increased heart rate or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe trembling

What are the Phases of Detox?

The first phase of detox is the withdrawal phase. This is when your body begins to adjust to the absence of drugs or alcohol. During this phase, you will likely experience a variety of symptoms as your body adjusts to being without drugs or alcohol. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. The severity of your symptoms will depend on the substance you are detoxing from and how long you have been using it. It is important to remember that withdrawal symptoms are temporary and will eventually subside.

The second phase of detox is the stabilization phase. During this phase, your body will begin to adjust to being without drugs or alcohol, and your symptoms will start to improve. You may still experience some physical and emotional discomfort during this time, but it should be less severe than during the withdrawal phase. You may also start to see some improvement in your physical health during this phase. This is a good time to start thinking about your next steps in treatment, such as entering a rehabilitation program. During this phase, we encourage you to begin attending our supportive counseling, both individually and in groups.

The third and final phase of detox is the recovery phase. During this phase, your body has fully adjusted to being without drugs or alcohol, and you will begin to feel better physically and emotionally. This is when you will start to feel like yourself again. You will have more energy, and your mood will improve. You may also start to see some changes in your physical appearance, such as weight loss or an increase in muscle mass.

This is a necessary time to focus on your recovery and begin making plans for your future. If you have not already done so, this is a good time to seek professional help from a treatment center or therapist. Recovery is a lifelong process, but it starts with taking the first step of seeking help.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Detox typically takes between 4 and 10 days on average. Different people experience this differently, and it depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Amount of alcohol/drugs consumed
  • Length of time alcohol/drugs have been used
  • The state of their physical and mental well-being

At Restored Path Detox, we do a complete assessment of our patients at admission so that we can customize their detox experience and make sure to provide the exact care each patient requires.

Why is Medical Detox Important?

Medical detox is an important step for those struggling with drug addiction. We provide a safe and comfortable detoxification environment, which helps reduce the risk of relapse. When someone detoxes from drugs or alcohol on their own, they experience uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Having medical professionals on hand 24/7 ensures that these symptoms are monitored and managed safely and comfortably. This can make all the difference in a successful detox.

Detox is just the first step in treating a substance use disorder. After you have detoxed from the drugs, you will need to address the underlying causes of alcohol or other drug use. This may mean a combination of therapy, medication, and support groups. You may also begin or continue working with a therapist during this time. We provide all of our patients with a continuing care plan to make an easy transition to their next phase of recovery. Referring professionals are a critical component of this process.

The Solution at Restored Path Detox

Recovery is possible with the right help and support. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, please seek help. Our compassionate medical team and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. There are resources available to you, and there is hope for a better future.

 

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Woman struggling with alcohol addiction

Can I Detox from Alcohol by Myself?

For someone with an alcohol use disorder, the choice to quit drinking is always a good one. The next step isn’t always so clear, though. For some people, a belief that getting sober is a solo effort ends up leading to greater risks.

Before beginning to detox, it’s essential to understand the alcohol withdrawal process and its effect on your body. You can learn about what physical symptoms may appear and get a sense of the timeline of different withdrawal stages. With this understanding, you can begin to evaluate your options for finding safe and effective detox resources.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome refers to the symptoms that appear when a person with an alcohol use disorder reduces their daily drinking or quits drinking altogether. The spectrum of symptoms can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear in a matter of hours after a person’s last drink.

Can I detox at home?

Alcohol is one of several substances that present heightened risks when detoxing at home. Even people with strong family support cannot avoid the medical risks associated with alcohol detox. As the process can be life-threatening, alcohol detox should only be done in a medical detox facility.

Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

The greatest danger during alcohol withdrawal is the risk of a fatal outcome. One factor in death from alcohol withdrawal comes from the onset of delirium tremens (DTs). DTs can lead to confusion and hyperactivity and result in a cardiovascular emergency.

Severe, non-life-threatening symptoms can appear in heavy drinkers going through withdrawal. Some existing conditions can be used to predict the severity of these kinds of symptoms.

  • Abnormal liver function
  • Aging
  • Brain lesions
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Heavy daily alcohol use
  • History of DTs or alcohol withdrawal seizures

Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal

Signs of alcohol withdrawal can vary from person to person. Even within the same person, symptoms can intensify from one withdrawal time to the next and new symptoms can appear. As these symptoms overlap with other conditions, it may be hard to recognize them as a sign of alcohol withdrawal specifically.

  • Anxiety
  • Autonomic hyperactivity (e.g., sweating or pulse rate greater than 100 beats per minute)
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Increased hand tremor
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations or illusions

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline, Stages, & Severity

The timeline for alcohol withdrawal is divided into three stages: Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. New symptoms may appear in each stage. If left untreated, the third stage can last the longest.

Stage 1 begins only hours after the last drink. For example, a last drink with dinner could result in withdrawal beginning by bedtime. During this stage, a person may feel anxious or nauseated. They may experience abdominal pain. A headache may begin and falling asleep or staying asleep may become difficult. These mild symptoms tend to seem easy to manage.

Stage 2 begins a day after the last drink is consumed. It can last several days, too. During this period, a person may experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations. Withdrawal delirium known as DTs creates a risk for mortality. Their blood pressure and body temperature may rise. As symptoms grow more severe, they can have an impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being, too.

Stage 3 begins a week after a final drink and severity of symptoms is typically lower. A person still may experience hallucinations, seizures, fever, and agitation. If left untreated, they may continue to experience this stage of withdrawal symptoms for weeks.

The Safest Alcohol Withdrawal Is Medically-Supervised

Medically-supervised detox allows a patient to receive round-the-clock care as they move through the stages of withdrawal. It’s a safe and far more comfortable process for the individual. It also increases their chances of successfully transitioning to an inpatient or outpatient program once detox is complete.

Co-occurring physical and mental health needs can be addressed and treated during a medical detox. Physical needs may stem from chronic conditions, and mental health concerns may include anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress. A patient whose mental health and physical wellness are prioritized during this period is more likely to be prepared for the comprehensive recovery work ahead.

Medically-supervised detox also provides an opportunity for undiagnosed mental health disorders to be discovered. The treatment team may uncover a co-occurring disorder that has been a factor in a patient’s struggle to get sober.  Before completing the detox process, a patient can get a personalized care plan for making decisions about moving on to an inpatient or outpatient program.

 

Restored Path’s Solution

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Person passed out at desk from binge drinking alcohol.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Even without the diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder, excessive drinking can lead to long-term issues. The outcomes can range from chronic diseases to early death. Recognizing the potential long-term effects of alcohol abuse before they occur can help you make a choice to start recovery quickly and safely with medical detox. 

 

Heavy drinking for a long period of time can have devastating consequences on the body’s vital organs. Heart, liver, kidney, and brain function can be negatively impacted from a man’s 15 drinks per week or a woman’s 8 drinks per week. Heart-related issues from long-term drinking include high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. Liver and kidney damage are a potential outcome, too. Quitting drinking alone can present serious risks to a person as withdrawal symptoms can be severe and deadly. The safest form of alcohol withdrawal is under the supervision of medical personnel in a detox facility with round-the-clock care. 

 

What Is Heavy Drinking?

Heavy drinking is defined differently for men and women. In men, heavy drinkers consume 15 drinks or more in a single week on average. In women, heavy drinkers consume 8 drinks or more per week. Heavy drinking may be done daily or a person may binge drink. Five drinks for men and four drinks for women on one occasion is considered binge drinking. 

 

Heavy Drinking and the Heart

Long-term effects of drinking can negatively impact the heart in multiple ways. Arrhythmias may develop, whether occasional or lasting more than seven days. A disease of the heart muscle known as cardiomyopathy is another possible outcome of long-term drinking. High blood pressure can be a consequence, and it can lead to other heart-related issues, such as stroke and heart failure. 

 

Heavy Drinking and the Brain

Long-term alcohol use also affects brain function. From short-term effects like blackouts and memory loss, the results can grow in severity over the years to encompass muscle coordination issues, nerve paralysis, and the inability to form new memories. In addition, chronic use of alcohol is often a cause of thiamine deficiencies, which can lead to brain damage and death if left untreated. 

 

Heavy Drinking and the Liver

The liver’s ability to break down alcohol gets disrupted when alcohol use damages the organ. Over time, long-term drinking can result in a variety of stages of liver disease. They include a fatty liver that develops as fat deposits in the liver tissue and can start liver enlargement. Alcoholic hepatitis is the progression of liver disease with liver inflammation, liver cell death, scarring, and fibrosis. The third stage, liver cirrhosis, is marked by scar tissue and the loss of liver function. If a person stops drinking, some of this third-stage damage may be reversible. 

 

Cirrhosis Symptoms 

● Scarred, shrunken liver

● Enlarged spleen

● Portal hypertension

● Intestinal bleeding

● Worsening jaundice

● Fluid retention in the abdomen

● Confusion (i.e., hepatic encephalopathy)

● Pain

● Weakness

● Fever

● Nausea

● Loss of appetite/weight loss

● Abdominal distension as a result of fluid buildup

 

Heavy Drinking and the Kidneys

Long-term effects of alcohol abuse can damage the kidneys and disrupt their ability to filter waste and regulate water in the body. The damage to the kidneys can be a result of untreated high blood pressure from heavy drinking. Long-term drinking also can cause muscle tissue to break down and enter the bloodstream. Muscle proteins in the bloodstream can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure. 

 

Heavy Drinking and the GI System

Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Left untreated, it can lead to a higher risk of swelling and irritation in the esophagus, resulting in symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, and trouble swallowing. A heavy drinker may experience nausea, belching, heartburn, a sensation of fullness, and bloating as the lining of their stomach becomes inflamed. Inflammation of a part of the small intestine may cause gas, pain, burning/cramping in the stomach, nausea, and vomiting.

 

Heavy Drinking and Cancer

Long-term effects of drinking can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Just three drinks per day can increase the risk of head and neck cancers by 2-3 times. Heavy drinking has also been linked to esophageal cancer, especially in people with lower amounts of key metabolic enzymes. Liver, colorectal, and breast cancer risks rise with long-term drinking as well. Alcohol’s interference with the body’s ability to absorb and utilize many vitamins is partly to blame. 

 

Medical Detox Is a Safe Solution to Start Recovery

The risks of medical complications from alcohol withdrawal are serious. It’s why this kind of withdrawal should be facilitated by medical personnel only. In a supervised setting with round-the-clock care, a person can safely experience withdrawal symptoms and prepare for their ongoing recovery needs. 

 

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Business man who is a high functioning alcoholic drinking in a bar. in bar

Am I a High Functioning Alcoholic?

A high functioning alcoholic can be self-diagnosed. Using some standard criteria can help you determine if you or someone you know fits the definition. The awareness of that diagnosis can be the foundation to begin recovery efforts with a medically-supervised detox.

What is a high-functioning alcoholic?

A high-functioning alcoholic can drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol routinely, yet still appear successful in their professional life and stable and satisfied in their personal life. They may excel in their industries and be considered leaders in their communities. The public perception of their heavy drinking may be colored by their ability to remain productive and reliable.

How much drinking makes me a high-functioning alcoholic?

The answer comes from how heavy drinking is defined. It differs among genders. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines it as the following:

For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week

For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week

Binge drinking is a part of heavy drinking activity. NIAAA defines it as “a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours.”

Seven Signs of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

1. They hide the severity of alcohol abuse from friends and loved ones

The high-functioning alcoholic may drink alone frequently, avoid making alcohol purchases visible, or hide empty containers in an effort to lessen others’ awareness of how much and how often they’re actually drinking.

 2. They need alcohol to relax or feel confident.

The high-functioning alcoholic may drink the moment the workday ends, have a drink before dinner, or have several drinks before meeting friends as a way to calm themselves or prepare for social interactions.

3. They forget what they did while drinking.

The high-functioning alcoholic may have lapses in their memory from drinking episodes. They may not be able to recall what they did or said or where they went.

4. They project their drinking problem onto others.

The high-functioning alcoholic may mention people in their work or social circles who drink “too much” to keep the focus on other people.

5. They become defensive when confronted about drinking.

The high-functioning alcoholic may vehemently deny they have a problem or make an aggressive joke about it. They may attempt to back up their claim that they have their drinking under control by recalling times they were able to take care of themselves after a night of binging.

6. They lose close friends due to drinking.

The high-functioning alcoholic may suddenly stop spending time with close friends with no explanation of what happened. Those relationships may be ended by the drinker’s risky choices, aggressive behavior, or hurtful words in the presence of their friends.

7. Legal problems related to drinking (DUI arrest, etc.) emerge.

The high-functioning alcoholic may be able to successfully hide their drinking problem until they are arrested for driving under the influence or face some other legal problems connected to their behavior while intoxicated.

Reasons to Use Medical Detox for Alcohol Abuse

The process of alcohol withdrawal can present serious risks to a person’s health. Medical detox eliminates those risks. While under the care of medical professionals, a person in detox may experience a less intense version of symptoms with minimal discomfort. The medical team also may prescribe medications as part of treating certain withdrawal symptoms.

Medically-supervised detox provides round-the-clock monitoring for a patient as they experience each withdrawal stage. The medical team can manage these symptoms in real time as they appear, day or night. The team also can address co-occurring physical and mental health conditions. Mental health concerns can include anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress.

Underlying physical and mental health conditions can be diagnosed during medical detox. These previously undiagnosed disorders may be inhibiting a patient’s work to start recovery. In doing so, a patient can be set up for a better chance for success when transitioning from detox to an inpatient or outpatient facility.

 

Restored Path’s Solution

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Doctor evaluating a patient who suffers from addiction for detox admission.

Benefits of Short-Term Detox for Addiction

Detox comes in multiple forms, including one attached to an inpatient treatment program. However, short-term, stand-alone detox offers its own set of benefits to move a person in the direction of recovery. As you learn these benefits, you can make informed decisions about starting a medical detox and knowing how to identify the aftercare that’s suited to your needs.

What Is Short-Term, Stand-Alone Detox?

A short-term detox at a stand-alone facility only focuses on the most urgent needs for a person to quit using drugs or alcohol. The time spent at the facility is much shorter than a stay at a residential program. A medical team ensures withdrawal is complete and a person is medically stable before the detox is complete.

Commitment to recovery is a lifelong journey, but its start can vary for lots of reasons. One of them is the inflexibility of jobs and personal responsibilities. Unlike inpatient programs, going to short-term detox requires less time. The stay may last from several days to a couple of weeks. This faster entry point to recovery is appealing to people who want to get sober without the timeline of a longer initial treatment arrangement. In addition, short-term detox offers many more benefits.

Six Benefits of Short-Term Detox

1. In short-term detox, patients have no access to the drug they’ve been abusing.

Unlike a detox at home, a medical detox provides a place where a patient’s comfort during withdrawal is a priority. It enables them to focus on ways to respond to the cravings and avoid seeking out their drug of choice.

2. Patients receive appropriate treatment for withdrawal symptoms. 

Withdrawal symptoms differ depending on the type of substance use, length of the abuse, and other factors. Individual symptoms, such as muscle pain or nausea, can be treated safely with prescription medications.

3. Short-term detox is a relatively quick first step towards a longer recovery journey.

Detox doesn’t replace more time-consuming forms of treatment for substance use. It does, however, provide a place to begin recovery work in a short period of time and create awareness of the nature of a person’s addiction.

4. Potential harm to the body from suddenly stopping substance use can be averted. 

Certain substances, even legally prescribed ones, can have a significant impact on a person when use is ended abruptly. Alcohol is one of those substances whose sudden absence from the body can lead to medical complications, including fatal outcomes. Short-term detox in a medical facility allows a patient to avoid the risk of those complications while under the care of a team of professionals.

5. Physical impacts on the body from substance use can be addressed in short-term detox. 

In addition to withdrawal symptoms, consistent misuse of substances can create other issues in the body. They may include a disruption of normal organ function. These physical outcomes are important to bring to the attention of a patient who will need medical care to restore their health and well-being beyond the stay in detox.

6. Mental health is an essential part of a short-term detox.

The body and the mind respond to withdrawal uniquely. While attention to physiological results of detox is critical, a patient’s mental health cannot be overlooked. Mania, hallucinations, and other withdrawal symptoms affecting a person’s mental health status are equally important to address. They can be factors in whether or not a patient completes a voluntary detox program and looks for treatment options to follow.

Intensive Outpatient Programs at Origins Counseling in Dallas

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) are one option for aftercare following short-term detox, and Origins Counseling offers adult IOP at its facility in Dallas. These programs are customized for the needs of men and women and provide treatment for substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Treatment consists of individual therapy as well as group therapy, the latter in small numbers with a focus on respect and safety.

Techniques at the Origins Counseling IOP include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Trauma Therapies. The latter is critical to providing care for anyone living with depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

An evening IOP with flexibility is available for men and women. This program provides therapeutic groups three nights a week and weekly individual sessions. The evening IOP also features groups focused on Relapse Prevention and Recovery Protection.

An IOP exclusively for women is available at Origins Counseling Dallas. Beyond learning the tools to stay in recovery,  these women get introduced to skills to help them in all areas of their lives. Sustaining sobriety is aided by recognizing codependency, building healthy relationships, using strategies to manage stress, and learning other life and career skills.

Restored Path’s Solution

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

Family planning an intervention practicing role playing.

Planning an Intervention

Before a loved one is ready to accept the need for detox, a need for an intervention may be apparent to you. This kind of action can have a potentially beneficial outcome if it’s carefully planned and executed. If handled poorly, it can negate any chance of motivating your loved one to get to detox anytime soon. So let’s look at some effective ways to plan an intervention with the highest probability of success. 

 

Planning an intervention for a loved one who needs drug or alcohol detox is a valuable endeavor. While you may take a lead role, it’s helpful to enlist others who can be present and participate in a loving, supportive way. Look to people who are already close to your loved one and ready to invest the time and energy into an intervention. One way to prepare for the intervention is to gather everyone together for a role-playing session. This session can be a way to let intervention team members practice what they will say and fine-tune their messages with feedback from the group. Keep in mind, that one intervention experience may not be enough to convince your loved one to go to detox. 

 

Create an Intervention Team. 

A good leader creates a good team around them to accomplish the mission together. Look to the people in your loved one’s life right now to see who might best serve in this kind of role. These should be people who have first-hand experience with your loved one’s drinking or drug use. They may have witnessed the substance use or been directly affected by it. Consider friends, family members, coworkers, and anyone in the community whose path they’ve crossed. Make it clear that these people are welcome to join but don’t feel the need to coerce anyone to participate. You want your team to be only people who are willing to show support during the intervention and beyond. 

 

Try Roleplaying the Intervention First.

Practicing what you and your team want to say to your loved one is a terrific way to evaluate how each person approaches the experience. You may need to remind guests to be constructive, candid, and only speak to their own experiences and perspectives. During this practice session, give others a chance to stand in for the loved one and let them respond authentically to the comments. Remember, your loved one won’t necessarily sit quietly and listen. Preparing for their strong negative reactions can be helpful. 

 

Set the Tone for Comments and Give Feedback while Roleplaying. 

Your feedback can address word choice of the intervention guests as well as non-verbal communication. Facial expressions and body language can be influential in shaping the experience for the person who’s receiving the intervention. When planning an intervention remind people to use kind and respectful words, make eye contact, and look relaxed as they speak and listen to others. 

 

Develop an Outline from Roleplaying. 

Roleplaying also may inspire ways to shape the intervention, including the order of who is speaking. Keeping the message on topics related to the intervention is essential, and an outline can help you avoid drifting off-topic. You may want to instruct your guests to write their comments down so they can read them or share bullet points. Notes can help each person stay on track during a highly emotional intervention. 

 

When Planning an Intervention Set Realistic Goals.

The ultimate goal may be to get your loved one to go to detox. That doesn’t have to be your first intervention goal. Your first intervention may play out in a very different way. Think about realistic goals for this act of support. It may be as simple as getting your loved one to talk openly about their drinking. Another goal could be giving them a chance to hear directly how their use impacts others. These smaller goals are more easily attainable and demonstrate that your support isn’t conditional and based only on your loved one immediately accepting the need for detox. 

 

Make the Intervention a Private Event. 

The only people who need to know about the intervention plans are people who willingly participate and can be trusted to keep the plans confidential. No one else in the family or your loved one’s social circles needs to be informed at this point. This focus on privacy can extend to conversations about when and where the intervention should take place. However, before the intervention commences, it’s also important to remind attendees about the privacy element, so they refrain from sharing it with anyone outside of the conversation. 

 

Professional Help is Available

Professional interventionists can be hired to help your family during this time. Professional interventionists are usually master-level clinicians who understand the disease of addiction and have knowledge of treatment center options and approaches. They can help families understand their loved one’s behavior and help to support your family. 

 

 

Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.

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If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of a drug or alcohol use disorder, Restored Path Detox can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive and individualized medically-monitored detox program available.

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