Detox is the first step most people take in an alcohol rehab program. Alcohol detox is difficult on your own and, for some, dangerous. Medically managed detox with CeDAR means you don’t have to be alone.

As an UCHealth-affiliated program, we have the medical professionals on hand to get you through detox and on to rehab sober and ready to work towards recovery. If you or someone you love has alcohol use disorder, call us at 720.848.3000 to learn more about CeDAR and medically managed Denver detox.

alcohol detoxWhat Is Detox?

Detox starts right after that last drink. It is a natural process but uncomfortable for most people. Detox is the body’s way of eliminating waste products and toxins associated with long-term alcohol consumption.

Drinking alcohol for a long time changes the way the brain works. Alcohol can trigger the release of chemicals that make you feel good. That’s why people like to drink. Over time, though, the brain adjusts and considers alcohol consumption normal. It creates a balance that includes the effects of alcohol on brain chemistry.

That tolerance for alcohol is what makes a person need to drink more to get the same effect. It is also what causes withdrawal to start when the drinking stops. Without medically managed alcohol detox, the symptoms of withdrawal can be painful and sometimes life-threatening.

What Is a Medically Managed Alcohol Detox?

A medically managed alcohol detox program like we offer at CeDAR helps make detox safer and more comfortable. Alcohol withdrawal is hard. It comes with physical and mental side effects that are both painful and terrifying.

A medically managed detox program provides medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Patients also go to therapy. Because the CeDAR program is medically managed, those with other medical problems such as diabetes or kidney disease can get help while they detox.

Once a withdrawal is complete, the patient can move on to a primary treatment program already sober. Sobriety is a necessity for most drug and alcohol rehabs.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The initial symptoms start are early as six hours after drinking stops. They can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shaking hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia

The symptoms grow the longer the person goes without a drink. Some develop an extreme complication of alcohol detox called alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). AWS is potentially deadly.

What Is AWS?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can occur when a heavy, long-term drinker suddenly quits alcohol. AWS can lead to an increased heart rate, nightmares, and high blood pressure. Within a few hours, delirium tremens (DT) start.

Symptoms of DTs include high fever, mental confusion, and seizures. Some people experience tactile hallucinations such as itching or burning. The risks of DTs and other life-threatening symptoms that come with AWS are one reason medically managed detox is so important.

Programs at CeDAR

CeDAR, in Denver, CO, is UCHealth’s primary drug and alcohol treatment program for substance use disorders. We offer evidence-based therapies that include:

  • Medical detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Dual diagnosis care
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Family therapy

Find a Denver Detox

CeDAR is a comprehensive addiction program with a variety of treatment options for both inpatient and outpatients. Our residential treatment program provides separate living arrangements for men and women. We also offer a special program for professionals that includes one 90-minute therapy session per week for 26 weeks. CeDAR partners with different insurance companies, including Anthem, Cigna, and Aetna.

No one should go through alcohol withdrawal alone. If you or someone in your family needs alcohol detox, give us a call at 720.848.3000 or go online and fill out our contact form. CeDAR is conveniently located across the street from UCH Hospital.