Alcohol Withdrawal

When an individual afflicted by the disease of addiction takes the big step of entering treatment, he or she has laid a solid foundation on which to build recovery.

With diligence, they can be free from the bondage of addiction and begin to take control of their life!

By entering treatment, most likely in the detoxification level of care, they have not only availed themselves of medication-assisted treatment to address their physical discomfort – withdrawal symptoms and cravings – but also therapy in order to effect lifestyle changes needed to achieve sobriety.

It is in this environment that the individual will learn skills to cope with their stressors and avoid triggers that may cause a relapse. These individuals will accumulate a tool kit and arm themselves with tools that they can utilize at times of crisis or cravings.
If an individual is diligent, they will regain complete control of their life over time.

Dependence on alcohol has ruined millions of lives all over the globe. Thankfully, there are many different kinds of treatment and therapy available that individuals afflicted by an addiction to alcohol can access in order to regain control of their lives.

If you live in vicinity of the state of New Jersey and have a friend or family member suffering from an addiction to alcohol, you may want to get them the best help that will be instrumental in turning their life around, check out facilities that offer outpatient alcohol treatment in NJ. When an individual who has become dependent on alcohol tries to quit, he or she goes through highly uncomfortable withdrawal. And withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous, as it can lead to seizures or even stroke. Additionally, there is a psychological aspect of addiction that needs to be addressed as well. Only the right kind of treatment will ensure that all these needs are met.

Detoxification and rehabilitation treatment for the victim of alcohol dependence should empower the afflicted individual in multiple ways as alcohol withdrawal is not easy: medication to address withdrawal and cravings, group therapy to learn coping and relapse prevention skills, individual therapy to address personal issues that cannot be discussed in group, family interventions in order to resolve conflicts and elevate the level of support the individual afflicted by addiction receives at home and integration with self-help groups, such as AA.

Making AA a part of treatment as early as possible is critical. Medication to address symptoms, and therapy to effect needed lifestyle changes are important, but, it is important to realize that all treatment ends at some point. The only support system that will be a part of a person in recovery for the rest of their lives is self-helps such as AA. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held every day and they are so widespread that they are local to pretty much every individual in America.

AA is a 12-step program that is run by individuals who were victims of addiction in the past but are now deep into their recovery. They are free and they are ubiquitous. A person just entering recovery can leverage the “sponsorship” program within AA. A sponsor is a member of AA who has been sober for a period of time. Sponsors make themselves available to their protégés 24 hours a day and help them through difficult periods by enabling them to make the best decisions. Thus, they help prevent relapse to the best of their ability. While AA does not provide therapy, it does provide a constant support system an individual in recovery can lean on in tough times.

Another important aspect of recovery is the individual’s family. The support of the family is crucial to the individual staying sober in his or her home environment. It is important that the family understands the disease of addiction: that it is a chronic illness that can be treated but there is no cure for it. Also, the family has likely become dysfunctional because of one member’s addiction. They need to be brought back together and it is time for healing to begin and trust to return. This strengthens the level of support the individual afflicted by addiction receives at home and helps prevent relapse. Many families have watched their loved one deteriorate, because they did not fully understand addiction and have no clue what their loved one is going through.


Related Articles

Nine Unexpected Physical and Mental Benefits of Reducing Alcohol Intake

4 Ways Detox Centers Can Help You With Alcohol Addiction

Common Misconceptions About Addiction

Recovery @ CNT: Brian’s Story of Addiction Treatment

Brian’s childhood was no different from a million other kids – he grew up in a quiet suburban town; he played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. In his teenage years, he found he had a talent for music and became adept at the guitar, the bass and the piano.

He first tried alcohol at 13 from a friend’s parent’s minibar. After avoiding pot for a while, he did try it finally, at a party and started drinking to the point of blacking out. Brian kept his grades up and he was smart, smart enough to get a full college scholarship.

He got his first pain pills as tips after he delivered pizza delivery job and he fell in love with the high it gave him- it made him feel more confident, and more creative, even though he would forget half of the songs he wrote when he was high. His frequency of use increased to the point where he was snorting pills before class in school bathrooms.

But soon he found out that it cost a lot of money to get high and someone told him there was a cheaper alternative, heroin. At first he started borrowing money, then started to steal. His parents kicked him out the house and he slept in motels and on strangers’ sofas. He was shooting 20-30 bags of heroin a day, smoking crack and snorting cocaine.

That’s when his mother and girlfriend at the time suggested the Center for Network Therapy, an addiction treatment center on Cedar Avenue in Middlesex, NJ to get a grip on his opiate addiction and get over his fear of withdrawal from opiates. He told them he would give it a shot, but he had no faith it was going to work. Brian was stoned for his first therapy session with Dr. Indra Cidambi and several other individuals with substance use disorder. And then Dr. Cidambi said goodnight, and everyone left. What was going on? No other treatment program let participants leave in the evening. Brian was terrified; he didn’t trust himself. Would he use the minute he walked out the door?

“That night I went to the movies with my girlfriend. I went to the bathroom and shot up. And I remember thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? This s–t is getting so old. I walked in the next day and announced to everyone, ‘I used last night. I’m ready to get clean.'”

A different kind of addiction therapy

“The thing is, we don’t view relapses as setbacks here,” said Dr. Cidambi, MD, who is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine. “I try to make every relapse a learning experience: How did you relapse? What made you do this? We talk about it, and the patient often says, ‘I see how I could have stopped myself, I see that this was the trigger.’ If they learn from a relapse, they’ve achieved a step forward.” The Center, or CNT as its called, is also unique because it is not an overnight in-patient facility. At the end of each day, patients leave and are expected to return in the morning for more talk therapy. “You go back and sleep in your own bed. It gives you autonomy. That way, you make the decision every single day whether you want to come back again, whether you want to continue treatment or not,” Dr. Cidambi said. Brian called it “the ultimate test.”

“It made me realize if you’re serious about getting clean, you can go home and stay away from temptation. That’s when I finally realized I was really ready to get sober this time,” he said.

“These people really do not know how to be sober. Nobody recognizes this. I tell them they learned how to shoot drugs and they are smart enough to unlearn that behavior. They recognize, ‘I am not a bad person. I am just an addict. I can overcome this,” says Dr. Cidambi.

It worked for Brian. He’s been clean more than a year. You can hear the pride in his voice when he says the date he became sober. “CNT taught me you can’t get clean for your kids, your parents or your wife,” he said. “You have to do it for you. You have to get clean for yourself.”

Now 28, he works as a cable technician. He still takes 1 milligram of Suboxone a day, a drug that is supposed to control cravings and block opiate receptors in his brain. But he is trying to get off it completely. He attends twelve-step meetings several times a week, which he said really helps.

“I’ve built up a network of people who are staying clean,” he said. “I got back into writing music. I’m rebuilding relationships with people I hurt. I’m going on hikes. Little by little, I’m learning how to enjoy things in life that used to make me happy, and still make me happy.”

But the specter of heroin is never far away. Often, it’s right down the block.

“I would guess there are 5-6 heroin dealers in Middlesex right now. You don’t have to go to Newark or Bloomfield to get it anymore, because there are people who have it five minutes away. It’s getting more accessible and the kids are getting younger who try it,” he said. “It’s a virus.” Ambulatory Detox gives an individual an opportunity to learn to remain sober in their home environment rather than being isolated from it.

About CNT: The Center for Network Therapy (CNT), a seven-year-old substance abuse treatment program and ambulatory (outpatient) detox facility in Middlesex, NJ and it employs unique approaches to treat addiction and offers drug and alcohol detoxification – CNT offers alcohol detoxification, benzodiazepines (“benzos”) detoxification, opiate (pain pills, heroin, methadone) detoxification, as well as detoxification from buprenorphine. CNT offers a safe environment to deal with opiate withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal and benzo withdrawal. The program utilizes medication-assisted treatment, such as suboxone (buprenorphine), to help ease withdrawal symptoms.


Related Articles

Common Misconceptions About Addiction

11 Advantages to Quit Alcohol

Why Treating alcohol dependence in Outpatient Setting Preferred

Why Treating Alcohol Dependence in an Outpatient Setting is Preferred

Why Treating Alcohol Dependence in an Outpatient Setting is Preferred


Most addiction treatment providers treat dependence on alcohol in an inpatient setting.

This may be the right setting for individuals who do not have a modicum of support at home, have an acute co-occurring medical condition, or actively suffering from delirium tremens or seizures.

However, acute withdrawal from alcohol can be safely treated in an outpatient setting. The Center For Network Therapy has detoxed hundreds of patients suffering from alcohol use disorders safely through the use of individualized treatment plans that is tailor-made based on the patient’s individual variables.


Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Detoxification

There are two main ways to treat an addiction to alcohol during the most acute, detox phase: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient detoxification and rehab is the old way of treating dependence on alcohol. This was necessitated because there was a need to monitor patients 24 hours a day due to the risk of seizures and stroke during withdrawal.

However, with the advent of new medications, such risk has been sufficiently mitigated and it is more effective to detox and treat individuals suffering from a dependence on alcohol in an outpatient setting.

Outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation programs deliver better outcomes because they incorporate the patient’s living environment into treatment from day one of treatment. On the other hand, inpatient detoxification and rehab isolate the patient from their living environment and, instead, artificially creates an ideal environment for them to stay compliant with treatment and, therefore, sober. However, the patient’s home environment is not an “ideal” environment and is filled with stressors.

Obviously, inpatient treatment cannot incorporate the home environment into treatment. So all the therapeutic gains happen in a bubble and are usually out-of-touch with the real environment. When patients return home after treatment many find that they do not have the skills to cope with real life stressors and relapse.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient treatment models have failed to deliver optimal results. The outpatient treatment model for alcohol is preferable for these key reasons:

• Integrating Living Environment into Treatment – Therapy focuses on coping and relapse prevention skills, DBT, CBT, and MI are part of the therapeutic milieu. Such skills cannot be mastered if they are not practiced every day. Also, the patient goes back to the home environment every day and skills learned to work. So, they are able to bring back the issues they had while applying those skills and work through the barriers with the support of therapists. The continual process hones their skills and enables to apply learned relapse prevention and coping mechanisms in their real-life environment seamlessly. This leads to better sobriety rates post-treatment.

• Family Involvement – Oftentimes, family members drop-off and pick-up patients from the facility. Consequently, family members have greater interaction with the clinical staff and come to understand the detoxification and treatment process much better. Family sessions are also provided in order for the family to understand addiction and treatment better. This elevates the level of support the patient receives at home, helping them stay on the path to sobriety.

• Longer Length of Stay – Since outpatient or ambulatory detox and other lower levels of treatment are far less expensive than inpatient treatment, health insurance providers usually approve longer lengths of treatment – detoxification as well as other lower levels of treatment. The benefit to the patient is that longer lengths of stay in detoxification lead to minimization or total elimination of withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings. For example, health insurance providers usually approve no more than 6 days of stay in an inpatient setting for detoxification but allow 12-14 days of detoxification in an outpatient setting.

What Levels of Care can be Provided In an Outpatient Setting?

All levels of addiction treatment can be provided in an outpatient setting. Although a relatively new modality of care, outpatient detoxification is catching on among the treatment community because it delivers outstanding results at a lower cost. Lower, outpatient levels of care include Partial Care and IOP.

Why is Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous?

Although alcohol appears to be a more benign substance relative to heroin or fentanyl, withdrawal from alcohol is far more dangerous than withdrawal from opiates. This is because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can lead to seizures, stroke or even death. Although the physical discomfort from opiate withdrawal is far worse, it is not as dangerous.

When Does Alcohol Become a Problem?

Alcohol is a commonly consumed beverage. However, for some people, it becomes a problem, and there is a genetic component to this. They are unable to stop consumption despite negative consequences. Alcohol use disrupts their work, home, and social life.

If you are looking for a safe alcohol treatment program, please contact us to ease your road to recovery. Call a treatment expert today if you or a loved one is experiencing issues with alcohol.


Related Articles

Set Yourself free from Alcohol Addiction

6 Reasons to Quit Harmful Substances Such as Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco

How to Choose Right Drug Treatment Center in New Jersey


When is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment an Ideal Option?

When is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment an Ideal Option?

alcohol treatment

Outpatient alcohol treatment has generally proven to be more effective than inpatient treatment, but some support at home is needed.

There are similarities between inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment: both offer detoxification from all substances (alcohol, anesthetics, benzos and opiates); both utilize medication assisted treatment to detox individuals off their substance of choice; both offer group and individual therapy and teach coping and relapse prevention skills. However, the key difference is in outcomes; Outpatient detoxification and treatment deliver much better results relative to inpatient treatment.

Benefits of Outpatient alcohol treatment

Outpatient detoxification, alcohol and drug treatment offer multiple advantages for the patient. Firstly, health insurance companies authorize longer length of treatment, and outcomes improve with longer treatment.

In outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment, the patient is able to go back home at the end of each day and apply coping and relapse prevention skills learnt in treatment in a real life environment – they come back to treatment the next day and process it and make adjustments. Family can be more involved in treatment and family interventions bring the patient and their loved ones closer by dissolving conflicts – this also helps to elevate the support the patient receives at home permanently.

Outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment also allows the patient to be in touch with family and work, which lowers the stress for the patient, However, for outpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment to be fully effective, the patient would need some level of support at home from family of other loved ones.

While therapy to teach relapse prevention and coping skills happen in an inpatient setting also, the patient gets no real time experience applying these skills. The patient is isolated from their home/living environment and the skills they learn are on a theoretical level and have never been tested in the real world. When patients return home after alcohol treatment, they have lost access to their treatment providers and receive no guidance when they are unable to apply the skills learnt while in treatment.

Consequently, relapses are more common after inpatient detoxification/ alcohol treatment.

Outpatient alcohol treatment in NJ helps patients overcome their addiction to alcohol and they also learn how to identify and avoid triggers. Ambulatory (outpatient) alcohol and drug treatment/rehab programs include detoxification, partial care and intensive outpatient (IOP) services. Detoxification and partial care programs run during the day, while IOP programs typically run in the evening.

Given the above facts, it is easy to see why Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification and other outpatient programs are becoming more common.


Related Articles

4 Ways to overcome Addiction Alcohol Drugs

Dangers an alcohol body need to be aware of

The Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment


In-network with:

Anthem BCBS
Beacon Health Options
Emblem BCBS
Empire BCBS
Horizon BCBS (EPO, HMO, PPO)
United Health/Optum/Oxford
Emblem GHI*


* If the QualCare logo is on the
insurance card