For alcohol addicts the detoxification process can be the most intimidating part of the recovery process. That’s why some of them grasp at treatments such as rapid alcohol detox, or the other name it goes by, anesthesia-facilitated alcohol detox. It should be remembered though, that alcohol detoxification can be very dangerous if not performed in a professional medical detox center.
As the alcoholic continues to drink, certain chemicals and toxins build up in the bloodstream and ultimately cause severe and lasting damage to the vital organs. Those individuals who opt for rapid alcohol detox, or anesthesia-facilitated alcohol detox have a very high risk of suffering a relapse and continuing their alcohol dependency.
In instances where the alcoholic has been abusing alcohol for an excessive period of time, detox and withdrawal can be fatal. Extended alcoholism causes the body to become physically dependent on alcohol to the point where it actually changes the body’s metabolism and damages the central nervous system. This state is called “homeostasis.” What detox does is to force the body to once again arrive at a toxin-free equilibrium — which is essentially a healthier homeostasis — which makes it adapt itself to the lack of the chemicals it now believes are “normal.”
Once an individual has made the decision to detoxify from alcohol, professionally-managed medical detox is the safest way to go. While there’s no denying that the withdrawal can be horrible, at least a professional facility is able to help patients to manage their symptoms, and staff is trained in and will know how to manage any medical emergencies which may arise. Besides the immediate physical symptoms which may occur like hypertension, increased heart rate, hyperventilation, there’s also the potential for liver failure, heart complications, and seizures. A person caught up in a seizure may choke on their food or even suffer deadly head trauma due to a seizure-induced fall.
Rapid alcohol detox, or anesthesia-facilitated alcohol detox is much faster than regular detox, however, it is also much more traumatic for the body. The patient is kept under anesthesia while all traces of alcohol-related toxins are expunged from the body by the administration of several medications. While it has been proven through various studies that rapid detox has some real dangers associated with it, and clearly stated that these risks are far too great to merit continued use of this practice, many patients still opt for it.
Yes, it’s great for patients to imagine that they can remain asleep right through the worst of their withdrawal, that’s not the reality of the situation. First of all, when the patients awaken from their treatment, they find themselves ensnared in the same pain and discomfort as the individuals who chose the traditional way. Not only is rapid alcohol detox not very effective, it has also been known to have caused at least eight fatalities since it was first tried.
Another negative pertaining to anesthesia-facilitated alcohol detox is that out of a desire to save time and money, there are clinics which will perform this treatment on an outpatient basis or only require that a patient stay a few hours at a hospital once the procedure is completed. Many clinics will also eliminate pre-testing for unknown conditions.
By choosing to use these shortcuts, clinics and healthcare professionals chance raising the risk for complications, and reduce the successfulness of treatment.
It makes a huge difference regarding the safety and effectiveness of rapid alcohol detox if a patient is given a private room in a hospital for at least a day ahead of the detoxification procedure. This way the physician has the opportunity to identify and act on any previous undetected medical conditions that could negatively affect the results of the rapid detox.
Spending this extra time in the hospital is good for the patients too. They feel safer and more confident about the procedure, and are a great deal less nervous when they have everything thoroughly explained to them. It’s also a great help for them to know that there are healthcare professionals right on hand should there be an emergency. This enables them to enter the anesthesia-facilitated alcohol detox in a much better frame of mind than they would be in otherwise, and because they are calmer their bodies are less stressed and able to tolerate the procedure much better.