MAKING THE STEP FORWARD
Most of the people with alcohol problems that we see have been told to “just stop drinking” or asked “why can’t you cut down”. If only it was as easy as that there would be no need for a medically supervised alcohol detox. The sudden withdrawal of alcohol from a person who has become dependent on it can be physically dangerous in many cases and is, almost always, uncomfortable and difficult to handle. At our initial pre-admission assessment we assure the individual concerned that our approach to their problem is far more professional, scientific and sympathetic.
An attempt to stop drinking suddenly and without medical help, “going cold turkey”, can cause physical problems such as shaking, sweating, feelings of anxiety or depression and insomnia. In more serious cases the withdrawal can cause seizures or fits with varying levels of severity. At the same time the poor individual going through this stress and discomfort is craving for alcohol and is well aware that once that alcoholic drink is taken, he or she will begin to feel more comfortable.
At the Providence Projects we have developed a detoxification programme overseen by Dr. Peter Turnbull, an acknowledged leader in the field, which enables us to eliminate these symptoms in many cases and alleviate them in the others. The primary medication we use is Librium which reduces the anxiety that often accompanies withdrawal and other medication is prescribed after Dr. Turnbull has thoroughly assessed the individual based on his or her requirements. One of our counselling staff is available at all times to go through more detail with you about the medical details of an alcohol detox.
It is important to realise that although the person undertaking the detox may start feeling good about themselves we see our role as not merely helping someone to stop drinking but showing them that there is a way they can stay stopped. While the alcohol detox is being administered they are being assimilated into our primary treatment programme where the good work that has been started is carried to the next level.