Detoxing from alcohol is hard enough without also trying to detox from an addictive drug such as opiates. Nevertheless, some addicts are struggling with combination addictions such as these. For this reason, many rehab facilities are now equipped and skilled in treating people with multiple addictions. This level of care requires specialized care to ensure the ultimate safety of the individual involved with these dangerous drugs.
Being addicted to two substances simultaneously wreaks havoc on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Essentially, all drugs are poisonous to the system in one way or another. Combining two or more toxic chemical compounds such as alcohol and opiates is a recipe for disastrous consequences.
Detoxing from Alcohol and Opiates at the Same Time is Possible
According to information obtained from various treatment facilities, treating these two addictions simultaneously requires careful planning. Many things are taken into consideration such as the various withdrawal symptoms that occur with each drug and how these might affect the patient.
As a rule, alcohol detox is potentially more dangerous than opiate detox. For this reason, more emphasis will likely be placed on treating the alcohol addiction first or with more attention given to the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. To better understand the reasoning behind this method of treatment, the withdrawal symptoms of each substance are listed here for comparison:
- Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
- nausea, vomiting
- sweating, dehydration
- shaky hands
- impaired liver function
- Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
- excessive sweating
- sleeplessness, yawning
- abdominal cramps
- goose bumps
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- dilated pupils, blurred vision
- rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure
- muscle aches
During alcohol detox, the severe symptoms of hallucinations, seizures, and DTs are the primary focus. These symptoms can be life-threatening, requiring skilled medical attention. This level of care is available in an inpatient facility.
Of course, the withdrawal symptoms from opiates are also worthy of professional monitoring. However, in most cases, they are not as life-threatening as those experienced during alcohol withdrawal.
Why is Alcohol Withdrawal so Dangerous?
Alcohol withdrawal becomes dangerous because most alcoholics have been in denial for years about their problem. In fact, only 1.7 percent of chronic alcoholics admit they have a problem that needs treatment. It is also important to note that more than 15 percent of alcohol fatalities are related to Delirium Tremens (DTs). DTs usually involve seizures, delirium, and hallucinations.
Furthermore, many long-time alcoholics have some degree of liver disease. Liver disease, or cirrhosis, prevents the liver from effectively cleansing the blood of dangerous toxins. Therefore, as the toxins continue to build up in the person’s body her or she becomes sickly and prone to other illnesses. In severe cases, the liver can fail to function altogether, leading to death.
Seeking Help for Alcohol and Opiate Addiction
If you have determined that your alcohol consumption is heading toward addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help right away. Or, if you have a friend or loved one who is in denial about their drinking problem, learn how you can conduct an intervention and help them seek treatment. Remember, you are not the only one facing this issue. In fact, SAMHSA reports that nearly 19,000 people who entered alcohol rehab also abused opiates. Likewise, nearly 28,000 people in opiate rehab also abused alcohol.
More information about your options in alcohol and opiate detox can be obtained by calling our toll-free number now. Detoxing from alcohol and opiates is not something you should attempt alone. We are ready to help. Call now.