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San Antonio Alcohol Detox: What to Expect


San Antonio Alcohol Detox: What to Expect

There are more than a dozen detox centers in San Antonio. You can’t drive down I-10 without spotting at least a handful. And it’s no wonder—with a population of over 1.5 million to serve and 460 square miles of land within the city’s borders, that’s a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of people to help.

But just knowing you have options may bring you only limited peace of mind if you’ve never had to undergo alcohol detox before. For you, the question isn’t whether you can find a good San Antonio alcohol detox facility, but rather, what will happen to you—or your loved one—once you’re there? Do you even need to go to a specialized facility in order to get sober?

Detoxing from Alcohol Safely

It’s all too easy to talk yourself out of seeking help at an alcohol detox center in favor of quitting on your own. But detoxing at home, even from a substance as commonly used (and abused) as alcohol, is not a very safe or effective option for recovery.

If you’re at the point where you believe you (or your loved one) needs to detox, achieving sobriety on your own won’t just be difficult—it’ll be risky. Nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaking, anxiety, and insomnia—these are only the milder symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. In more serious cases, hallucinations may occur. In very rare cases, delirium tremens (DTs) may set in, accompanied by severe symptoms like a racing heart and high fever.

A hospital setting may be what comes to mind once you’ve discarded the notion of detoxing at home. However, while one of San Antonio’s many general hospitals may certainly be the best choice in an emergency situation, a specialized addiction facility offers the best option in most cases. In the right detox facility, you or your loved one will have access to:

  • Medical care from trained experts with years of experience helping clients detox from alcohol and other substances safely.
  • A safe, clean, comfortable clinical environment in which to begin recovery.
  • Clinicians who can help you establish a clear path to recovery following detox.

This last point is especially important, as detox is only the first step of healing from alcohol abuse and addiction. The best treatment facility will be one that understands that nuance and is equipped to continue helping you heal after detox—even if you do not opt to enroll in a treatment program.

But for now, let’s take things one step at a time and take a closer look at what, exactly, medically supervised detox will entail.

What to Expect from a Medically Supervised Detox Program

When facing the unknown, our minds have a terrible habit of immediately gravitating towards worst-case scenarios. Bumps in the night tend to conjure thoughts of intruders, although more often than not they are simply effects of the house settling around us. When we imagine detox centers and addiction treatment facilities, the uninitiated among us all too often picture something like a cold, white room, empty of empathy and smelling faintly of ammonia. It’s a scary, lonely place, colored more by our fears than actual facts. Real addiction treatment isn’t like that at all.

The right detox facility will be staffed by experienced, empathetic specialists dedicated to one thing above all: helping you or your loved one get well.

While the particulars will vary from program to program, below is an outline of what you can generally expect from a typical San Antonio alcohol detox program.

evaluation icon Stage I: EvaluationTypical Duration: Less than a day

Typically, your first experience upon arriving will be an intake exam. This may include a medical examination, including blood work, as well as a clinical interview discussing your alcohol use, co-occurring conditions (if any), and more. This step will help your clinical team determine how best to support you during (and, ideally, after) detox.

first aid icon Stage II: DetoxTypical Duration: About a week

Once a path forward has been established, the actual detox process begins.

The results of your initial evaluation will determine whether you will be housed onsite for inpatient care or continue living at home while receiving outpatient care during the day. Medical support will focus on minimizing the effects of withdrawal and maximizing your comfort during this stage. Your vitals will be checked regularly to ensure your safety throughout the process.

office icon Stage III: TreatmentTypical Duration: Varies

After detox has successfully been completed, entering an alcohol addiction treatment program is highly recommended. Again, residential or outpatient treatment will be prescribed based on your or your loved one’s unique circumstances and history with addiction; such programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The right detox facility should either offer these programs or, at the very least, be willing to connect you with other facilities that do.

Unless you are attending addiction treatment for legal reasons, you will not be forced to enter into a treatment program following detox. However, addiction treatment programs offer more than just extended support in dealing with your past alcohol abuse. They also provide the tools and training necessary to prevent you or your loved one from slipping back into those same patterns in the future. Aftercare services such as an alumni program offer further peace of mind, as you’ll know you or your loved one always has somewhere to go for extra support when you need it.

As important as it is to know what you can expect from a detox program, knowing what you should expect from a treatment facility in terms of quality can be equally valuable.

Selecting a San Antonio Alcohol Detox Facility

When evaluating your options for alcohol detox in San Antonio, your first priority is to ensure it is fully equipped to meet your, or your loved one’s, unique needs—particularly if the detox program you choose is residential. In addition to basic care considerations, make sure details like accessibility, diet, and special medical care are evaluated.

Other important considerations include whether the facility seems to provide compassionate and comprehensive care. The staff should not only be knowledgeable, but caring and willing to treat clients with respect and dignity even under less than desirable circumstances. Detox—and, by extension, any treatment program they offer—should address healing holistically. Mental and physical aspects of recovery should both be taken into account.

Finally, because large cities like San Antonio are largely diverse, inclusivity is yet another important piece of the puzzle. Finding a facility that recognizes the right of people of all faiths and backgrounds to heal and recover will ensure that you or your loved one will be treated fairly and equally as well as any other client. 

Searching for alcohol detox—in San Antonio or any other major city—can be a bit nerve-wracking, even overwhelming at first. But once you know what to look for and what to expect, you can take a breath and focus on the most important thing of all—forging your own personal path to real, lasting recovery.

New Choices Treatment Centers is a quality San Antonio alcohol detox facility offering detox and addiction treatment programs that combine innovation and personalization to deliver the best possible experience and results. If you or your loved one are ready to begin healing, don’t hesitate—reach out or call us today at (726) 888-7003 to learn more or to set up a consultation.