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Will I need detox from alcohol?

So you’re giving serious consideration to treatment, and you’re wondering — will you need detox from alcohol?

Good question, and one that we’ll figure out in the first phase of your Cornerstone of Recovery journey. This process is known as Assessment and Orientation: Think of it as processing you into Cornerstone, where we’ll thoroughly go over with you what you’ve been using, how much, how often and for how long. We’ll give you a medical evaluation to determine your health status, and from those results, we’ll figure out what you need.

The short answer is usually always: Yes. You will need some form of detox, if only to separate you from the last use of your drug of choice, no matter how benign it may seem to you. (Trust us on this, we ask: We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, so we’ve learned a thing or two about detoxification and withdrawal.) If you’re dependent on alcohol, the answer is almost unequivocally yes.

If you’ve ever tried to stop drinking on your own, then you know how debilitating the withdrawal symptoms can be. They can begin as little as two hours after your last drink, and they can overwhelm you quickly; they usually peak within three days of your last drink but can last for more than a week, according to the publication Psychology Today. Some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include: severe confusion or hallucinations, nausea/vomiting, shaking of the extremities/trembling, anxiety, severe mood swings, fever, sweating, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and, in severe cases, “DT’s” — delirium tremens — and even cardiovascular collapse.

Needless to say, you should never try to detox from alcohol outside of a safe, medically supervised setting, which is exactly what we offer at Cornerstone of Recovery. Our detox regimen includes around-the-clock medical supervision, medication to shorten the process and make it more tolerable and a safe environment that will make the process as comfortable as possible. We can’t guarantee there won’t be some discomfort, but if your idea of “detox” is a straightjacket and a rubber room, banish that thought from your head and stop watching episodes of “American Horror Story: Asylum.” Our goal is to get you better, not prolong your agony, because only on the other side of detox can you begin your recovery journey.

Even then, we’ll follow you ever step of the way. After the worst of your alcohol detox is behind you, you’ll still need regular supervision by our trained therapeutic and clinical staff. You’ll need nutritional therapy — basically, a regular diet of healthy food that replaces and replenishes the vitamins and nutrients your body has been lacking during your days of heavy drinking. And more importantly, you’ll need a community of peers that are going through the same thing you are.

Trust us — you’re not alone. According to a 2017 survey by Recovery Brands, alcohol was the most treated substance at treatment facilities, and roughly 70 percent of clients at centers like Cornerstone of Recovery sought treatment for alcoholism. Your peers will understand your journey because they’re on it themselves, as are many of our counselors and staff members.

To join them on that journey, however, we need to get you to the other side of the detox process. It’s not something to fear, because the detox process is actually a relief. It a way of removing the chains that have shackled you to a killer that’s taking its time with your destruction, and on the other side of it, we’re confident you’ll find gratitude for the strength you find within yourself to undertake it.