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Old 05-14-2009, 12:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Detox in hospital - what actually happens?

Hi Guys

My Alcohol specialist has recommened that I do into hospital for 5 days to detox from alcohol.

What actually happens? What do you do all day? My initial thoughts are that I would go up the wall even more as Im not in my own home with my partner, pets n things.

I know they give u drugs but I cant imagine anything worse.
Do they give u drugs to help u sleep?

How have others faired with this option?

Thanks in advance.

J
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I did detox over here in Germany a couple of weeks ago. I did not have any physical withdrawal signs, so they did not give me any meds at all.

The day arrived they took a lot of blood samples and checked them. The first three days they also came regulary (morning, noon, evening) to check my blood pressure and body temperature.

They also had regular group sessions that had to be attended in the evening. Spokespersons from support groups came in every evening to introduce their group / program.

I thought like you that it would be really hard to stay sober in a hospital, not being in your own comfort zone etc. However, for me it really wasn't. Once I was there... I did not even like drinking at all. Alcohol was so far away from me... I think it's a good start your quit!
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi LoveToday, thanks for your reply.

What did you do all day? When I have detoxed at home historically, the days / nights seem so long. Forever.

I am glad it worked for you. Take care.

J
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had been in the hospital several times for alcohol detox and every time I was pretty much medicated to where I had minimal symptoms. The staff is trained to come in about every 4 - 6 hours to access you. They look for a variety of different symptoms, check your blood pressure, pulse . . .Then they add the symptoms up that you are displaying and there is a scale called a SEWA scale where they score different symptoms and medicate accordingly.From my understanding, most hospitals use the SEWA scale. I'm not sure how to post links here, but I Gooled SEWA Scale and the results were right there. This can explain it more in detail.

Believe me, detox in the hospital is nothing like at home going cold turkey. The key to detox, as with anything in Recovery, is being honest with the doctors and nurses about how much you are drinking, what you are drinking and how often.

Believe me, it's not like the horror stories you hear about. You are medicated and to be honest, I slept quite a bit because of the meds. Also I was always given what they refer to as a banana bag, an IV filled with vitamins and minerals that made me feel a lot better pretty fast. Most times an IV is in place to give you plenty of fluids and some times your meds are given in the form of an IV.

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hiy

Thanks for your reply. So do u have to sit / sleep in bed all day? How was your anxiety during your detox?

Thanks for your reply.

J

Im still trying to get my head around it before I commit.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why not try something different as your way has not worked?
You mentioned having anxiety issues....an excellent reason to
not mess around with your de tox.

Please don't stay stuck in the same old destructive pattern.
Moving forward is the way to go....
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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LoveToday......Welcome to our SR Alcoholism Forum...

Seems as tho you are off to a good beginning
Congratulations.....
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My detox happened in the context of a 28-day rehab, although one could do just the detox, and it was not contingent on doing the whole 28-day program.

While in the detox unit (which was separate from the rehab), we were given librium, a somewhat mild benzo, which helps ease the anxiety issues that arise from your brain being accustomed to overcompensating for the continual presence of a depressant (alcohol). We were not bed-ridden, unless you were at that point, and we were given vitamins like thiamine, which alcoholics tend to be deficient in.

During the day and evenings we were kept busy with groups that included A.A. meetings that were brought in by sober members of the local community.

This was not a hospital, per se, in the usual sense of antiseptic floors and gurney beds. There was a tv room with couches where the groups were held. There was an outdoor patio where people smoked A LOT.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My detox lasted a day and a half. It was in a moderately cushy suburban hospital, not a special detox unit, so my experience might be different than others'. I brought a couple books, watched a lot of TV, slept. It was boring, not gonna lie. BUT. I had a fantastic nurse (who later became my sponsee sister) who talked to me for as long as I needed, risked her anonymity to keep me company and tell me what to expect in rehab... I don't know that I'd have kept going to meetings for as long as I did if it hadn't been for her.

My two cents: do it. Bring books, bring movies, bring whatever you need to keep you from going crazy, but do it.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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All of my in-patient detoxes have been great. You have no rules to abide by. You can sleep, watch TV, read, chat with other detoxers. It's not bad at all.

You'll probably be given Librium 4 times a day for the first 3 days, then weened off over the next 2-3 days. They give you Trazodone to help you sleep. They also give you plenty of vitamins and minerals to help your body start to heal.

Your vitals will be taken every 4 hours at a minimum.

Do it! It's not bad at all. If anything, it's just boring.

Trust me, getting sober (detoxing) is a heck of a lot easier than staying sober.

/rhn
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Detox, man...talk about dis ease....Mine was 6 days, 4 days with Librium which wasn't so mild for me. I think the only book they let in was the big book and there was a lot of down time. However we did have structured group sessions, H&I came to talk to us once or twice a week. AA or NA meetings every night. We had a couple of therapy sessions and my assigned therapist took me on a walk when I was climbing the walls. They had also given us step work worksheets to do, and we had some visiting hours. That sounds like a lot but I do remember climbing the walls a few times. For me detox is what I had to do, I wasn't able to quit on my own. Good luck
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think they're all different

I've detoxed at several different places; it really depends on where you go. If your paying out of pocket or thru insurance I'm sure it will be a much better facility. But sometimes even state funded clinics are very nice. The reason she is probably suggesting that you do medical detox is because of the withdrawl effects.

For alchohol the librium is very helpfull for the shakes. Which if you drink a lot the shaking alone can drive you nuts but can also cause you to have a sezior.

If you have insurance, I would go on-line and research different facilities in your area; they usually have websites which give you the basic information.

Even if you don't, most of the detox/rehab facilities in my area have websites with all this information. I would just ask her to give you a list of places that she would recomend and look them up to see their program.

Good Luck!!
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Im sorry too say this but Ive had a nightmare de-tox once I couldnt walk properly was seeing things shaking, panics attacks racing heart constantly but it all disappeared after 3 days. Then comes the hard bit staying sober, alot harder than de-toxing as have found out. Things get better though so dont take what I said as what yours is gonna be like that was just me I was drinking bout 2 litres of vodka a day. All depends on how much you drink the few days just before you go in there keep it too a minimum will make the de-tox so much easier on yourself.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Smile

Thanks for all your replies.

I am still unsure for me. All the drugs they give u sounds good. But it sounds that the boredum / down time (for me) would give me time to think and drive myself even more mad. Where as if I was at home I could distract myself.

Also, it sounds like there are alot of meetings. I am very shy in groups, so that puts me off.

Many people have mentioned reducing the amount u drink before any detox, this is useful for me and when I do I def think this will be my strategy.

One idea I had was eg:
Monday - drink as usual (when I wake up)
Tue - do not drink til 12pm
Wed - do not drink til 3pm
Thur - no drink til 6pm
Fri- no drink til 9pm (if I have got to that time I might not have a drink any way)
Sat - detox
Do you think this is a good way of reducing my intake to make things easier?

I am so glad I found this forum, it is really helping me.

Thanks again

J
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I went cold turkey at home, was really tough 5 days. I would not recommend it. If you have the choice put up with the boredom of hospital. Much better than the terror of doing it at home alone.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm going to be blunt here, so Carol will yell at me. But Here goes. I think your strategy is wishful thinking. It won't work.

There have been a whole bunch or recommendations as to why hospital de-tox works. Your main objection is the dire fear of boredom, and I don't think you've really read what others have said. All I hear from you is "Yeah, but..." You're not afraid of being bored, you're afraid of de-toxing. Hey, if you don't want to do it, then don't. But don't ask us to endorse your decision.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi

Thanks for all your replies. Very helpful.

Yes I am fearful of detoxing.

If you do a home detox, what are the bad things that can happen, I understand the shakes, depression, anxiety, sickness, diarreah (spelling), carvings, what else can happen or people have know to happen to anyone.

Thanks in advance and for all your support.

J
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The best thing about detox is being able to fall asleep (with help).
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As far as being afraid

I think that you know what you need to do and it is scary. Trust me I was 13 or 14 the first time I went to any kind of detox and it was a different experience (I'm 27 now); being away from my family as a kid was kind of hard.

It is the best thing depending on how addicted you are. I really can't even tell you and no one else here can. If you can detox yourself with out heavy withdrawls, than I wish I was you. Especially if your not really used to withdrawl symptoms; it will shock you.
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