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Alcohol Addiction Treatment

A warm welcome to the Providence Projects, one of the UK’s leading private alcohol rehab clinics in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’re concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking. You may be feeling as though there’s no way out of the vicious cycle of addiction, no light at the end of the tunnel. We’re here to tell you that change is possible. With the right support, guidance, and alcohol rehab treatment, recovery is possible for everyone, no matter how dire your current situation may seem.

Private alcohol rehab or residential alcohol rehab, is made up of:

  • A medically assisted alcohol detox which allows you to safely withdraw from alcohol under the supervision of our medical team.
  • An alcohol rehab programme which consists of therapy to help you or your loved ones understand the root cause of alcoholism, and implement effective strategies for maintaining sobriety (recovery).
  • Family support services to help you and your loved ones heal from the effects of alcoholism.
  • Our 28 day residential alcohol rehab programme starts from £5995 (see alcohol rehab costs).

We offer a range of alcohol rehab programmes, which have successfully helped thousands of individuals (read our rehab reviews) to recover from alcoholism since our doors opened in 1996. Our treatment model incorporates the latest, evidence-based therapies, such as group therapy, CBT, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and 12 step treatment.

Our team of medical professionals, therapists, counsellors and support workers will remain on standby to support you through the alcohol addiction treatment process. We’re here to support you or your loved ones by offering compassion, understanding and love during these challenging times. Our alcohol rehab centre is a safe environment, and provides the necessary space for physical and psychological healing to take place.

Here at the Providence Projects, we understand that each client is different. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering bespoke rehab solutions and personalised treatment in order to be one of the best rehab centres. Our alcohol rehab programmes range in duration from 4 weeks to 6 months, and are tailored to the needs of the individual, to ensure that all our clients stand the best possible chance of a lasting, fulfilled recovery. You can discuss alcohol rehab with us by clicking the button below, or call our experienced, friendly team on 0800 955 0945.

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Alcohol rehab Bournemouth UK

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, as it is commonly referred to, describes the problematic relationship between the individual and alcohol. It is a dangerous and progressive illness, which occurs when a person drinks so much alcohol that the body eventually becomes dependent on, or addicted to it. They will struggle to exert control over their drinking habits or manage the amount they consume. The impact on one’s emotional, physical and mental health can be severe, yet alcoholics will often continue to drink despite all negative consequences to their life and the lives of those around them. The effects can be devastating.

Whilst most people can drink alcohol safely, within recommended limits, and stop when they feel they have had enough, alcohol addiction is a disease, a chronic condition which manifests in a variety of symptoms. The alcoholic does not know when or how to stop drinking, cannot control how much they consume once they take the first alcoholic drink, and spends a lot of time thinking about alcohol. Alcohol abuse, on the other hand, refers to excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol, to the point where it causes problems, but where a physical dependence on alcohol doesn’t necessarily exist.

Alcohol addiction is a biopsychosocial condition, involving biological, psychological and sociocultural factors. It will often require treatment in an alcohol rehab centre. Addictions develop for a variety of complex reasons and there is rarely one simple cause. Alcohol addiction can take between a few months and several decades to develop, and there are certain risk factors which make some people more at risk than others. Whatever the reason, if you have reached a point where alcohol is more in control of you, than you are of it, you may be in need of some help to stop drinking.

In the UK alone, studies have shown that over 600,000 people meet the criteria for alcoholism. Sadly, at least 500,000 of these have never sought help. This is often due to the denial which features strongly amongst most alcoholics, and is a major obstacle to many people’s recovery. Denial is a defence mechanism the body and brain employ to protect you from the harsh reality of your situation, and which enables you to continue in the addictive behaviour. Denial often prevents the alcoholic from seeing the reality of the situation, and whilst friends and family may try to discuss the problem, the alcoholic will be unable to see things clearly.

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Alcohol rehab UK

Symptoms of alcohol addiction

Alcohol can be both physically and psychologically addictive. Below are some signs to look out for in yourself or other people, that might suggest a developing alcohol addiction:

  • Displaying concern about where your next alcoholic drink is coming from
  • Planning social and work events, or seeing family and friends around alcohol
  • Preoccupation with alcohol
  • Being unable to control the amount of alcohol you consume once you start
  • Drinking in the morning, or feeling the urge to drink in the morning
  • Drinking compulsively despite all negative consequences
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, such as shaking, sweating and nausea
  • Difficulties with family relationships and friends as a result of drinking
  • Failed attempts at controlling drinking
  • Needing to drink more and more to achieve the same pleasurable effect

Effects of alcohol addiction

The effects of alcoholism can be devastating, in both the short and the long-term. The negative consequences will impact on the individual’s mental, emotional, financial and physical health, as well as the lives of those around them. Entering a private alcohol rehab clinic can help the person to address their alcohol addiction, and to heal from the chaos and pain caused as a result.

  • Short Term Effects
  • Long Term Effects

Short term effects

  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Distorted vision & hearing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decreased coordination
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Unconsciousness
  • Anaemia
  • Coma
  • Blackouts

Long term effects

  • Memory loss
  • Loss of attention span
  • Liver damage
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Heart damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Birth defects
  • Infertility
  • Osteoporosis/ Thinning bones
  • Cancer
  • Cardiomyothapy
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

Causes of alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction is complex and multi-faceted; its cause has been a topic of debate over the years and many different schools of thought exist. It’s clear that many different factors contribute to this illness, and that every case of alcoholism is different, as each individual has their own, unique journey. Alcoholism is by no means a moral failure, a lack of willpower, or a lack of strength of character. It is an illness, with roots in both biology and behaviour. Although we cannot paint each alcoholic with the same brush, there are certain factors which commonly play a part in the development of alcohol addiction:

  • Biological Factors
  • Psychological Factors
  • Social Factors

Biological factors

Research has clearly shown that biological factors and genetics will play a part in the development of alcoholism. It has been indicated in several studies that in families where addiction exists, there is a greater chance of the child developing an addiction, and not only based on learned behaviour but also on factors influenced by heredity. The controlled studies measured outcomes of children who had been taken away from their biological parents, and those who came from alcoholic parents were considerably more predisposed to alcoholic drinking than those who had come from parents without alcohol issues.

Psychological factors

There is no doubt that the things we experience in life affect who we become as human beings. Anything from adverse childhood experiences to stress in the workplace; from relationship difficulties to grief and loss; from low self-esteem to depression, anxiety or anger-management – these all influence how we think, feel and act and our relationship with alcohol. Those with mental health difficulties may be more likely to use alcohol as a means of self-medication, a relief from the way they are feeling.

Social factors

You may have heard people say that, ‘you are a product of your environment’. To an extent, this is true. Whilst we are all individuals, our social surroundings will impact our choices and behaviour. For example, socialising with people who regularly or excessively drink will influence your drinking habits, and can result in peer pressure to drink more than you otherwise would. This can eventually lead to alcohol-related problems.

There is rarely one sole factor behind the development of alcoholism. More often than not, the disease develops over a period of time, with a combination of causing factors. Whatever the cause, what is important now is what you do to get help with your drinking problem. Alcoholism will rarely ‘go away’. It will usually require a period of alcohol detox and alcohol rehab treatment, in a safe, supportive and controlled environment. By removing yourself from triggers and old drinking environments, you can start to address your addiction, explore the underlying psychological factors which motivated it, and develop the skills to remain clean and sober long-term.

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Private alcohol rehab UK

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawals are a collection of symptoms, both physical and psychological, that occur when someone who is physically dependent on alcohol suddenly stops drinking during alcohol detox. Symptoms may occur as soon as 2 hours after the person’s last alcoholic drink, and they will range in intensity from mild to severe, to fatal. This depends on the nature and severity of the individual’s alcohol addiction.

Alcohol is arguably the most dangerous drug from which to detox, which is why it crucial to undergo alcohol detox with professional, medical support, and ideally within a safe and controlled alcohol rehab or detox facility. The appropriate detox medication will be administered by trained professionals, to limit the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms where possible. The most common withdrawal symptoms you may experience are listed below:

  • Physical Symptoms
  • Psychological Symptoms

Physical withdrawal symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • High Blood Pressure

Physcological withdrawal symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal / self-harm urges

What is an alcohol detox?

An alcohol detox is the process by which an individual is helped to overcome physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. It is often necessary for those who have become alcohol dependent. Medication-assisted alcohol detox is the general rule of thumb in the UK, where medication is prescribed to individuals as part of an alcohol detox regime, and this minimises their withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking.

Detoxing from alcohol can be a difficult process. It is imperative to get the right medical help and support to ensure that the individual is safe and comfortable during the withdrawal process. We offer a medically-managed and fully supervised alcohol detox here at the Providence Projects, and our primary aim is to always ensure that clients’ safety comes first, and that they’re treated with care and respect.

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Medical alcohol detox at an alcohol rehab facility

Why choose alcohol rehab?

Here at the Providence Projects, we understand how scary and overwhelming it can be to make the decision to enter an alcohol rehab clinic. But it is also one of the best, life-changing things you can do for yourself and those that love you. Most people who have developed a physical dependence on alcohol will require a stay in a professional alcohol rehabilitation facility, to help them detox safely from all substances, as well as to break the tortuous addictive cycle.

Entering a private alcohol rehab clinic like ours in Bournemouth, provides a level of care, support and service that is difficult to find elsewhere. Not only is the individual able to detox safely, under professional medical supervision, with 24 hour staff support, but the comprehensive alcohol rehab timetable will help them to address the underlying, psychological issues, which motivated their addiction. This involves a combination of group therapy, one-to-one counselling, full relapse prevention programmes and other alternative therapies.

The benefits of being in a safe and structured environment, as opposed to attempting a home detox with little to no support, are unparalleled:

  • Opportunity to undertake alcohol detox safely with 24 hour professional support
  • Opportunity to address underlying issues
  • Access to doctors and medical professionals with real expertise
  • Comprehensive rehabilitation programme, designed and delivered by expert addiction professionals
  • The chance to rebuild damaged relationships
  • Many physical benefits
  • A brighter future
  • Look better and feel better
  • Start your journey to long-term recovery

What does alcohol rehab at Providence Projects involve?

Whilst there are many different alcohol rehab options out there, it is widely accepted that residential rehab programmes offer the most effective form of treatment. For those with a physical dependency on alcohol, the focused and structured approach of an alcohol rehab clinic provides the best chance at lasting recovery, and a strong foundation upon which to build a new life, drug and alcohol-free.

Upon admission, the first stage of alcohol rehab is alcohol detox. You will be assessed by one of our doctors when you arrive, who will agree with you an alcohol detox regime to ensure you are comfortable and safe throughout the detox phase. You will be supported and supervised by staff 24-hours a day during this period. In conjunction with your detox, you will be engaging with the comprehensive alcohol rehab programme on offer from Day 1. This treatment programme has been carefully designed to help individuals address their alcoholism and the underlying issues at play, as well as to develop the skills needed to stay sober long term.

Routine plays a fundamental part in most rehab programmes, and this is intentional. Overcoming alcoholism is no mean feat, and recovery requires discipline and to take personal responsibility. At the Providence Projects, the timetable is intensive right from 9am to 9pm. Days are packed with therapies, workshops, group sessions and activities, to keep clients busy and engaged. For more information on what you can expect from a typical day in alcohol rehab at the Providence Projects, please see our Programme Details.

What happens when clients leave alcohol rehab is just as important as the progress they make whilst they’re with us. As such, we offer a range of aftercare programmes here at the Providence Projects. As clients come towards the end of their alcohol addiction treatment, they will work with their focal therapist to develop an individualised aftercare plan and relapse prevention plan. This will vary considerably depending on the nature of their alcoholism, their career and relationship status, family set up, and safety of living accommodation. All these factors and more will be taken into account before agreeing an appropriate course of aftercare. As well as our dedicated aftercare provisions, the Providence Projects also works closely with several alcohol and drug agencies across the UK, as well as a range of leading, private therapists.

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Alcohol detox at Providence Projects

Due to the risks associated with alcohol withdrawals, the recommended option is an experienced alcohol rehab clinic. At The Providence Projects, you will be under the care of our medical team, who will alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. The therapeutic team will guide you through the alcohol detox process.

During your initial assessment with the medical team, you will run through your drinking history, the quantities you are drinking, the length of the problem as well as other general health indicators. Once this initial assessment is complete, you will commence your alcohol detox regime. Throughout this time, you will be given 24-hour support and monitored to ensure that your regime is having the desired effect. The team of doctors are always available to review or amend regimes where required.

Alcohol detox will generally last between 5 and 10 days, depending on how the individual responds. The detox will consist of medication to ease withdrawals, medication to assist with sleep and vitamins where required.

As well as the 24-hour supervision and medical input, you will start the early stages of the alcohol rehab programme. This will enable you to get all the emotional and psychological support required at this stage.

You will have a dedicated 1-1 addiction counsellor who is always available should you need any extra support, advice or just a listening ear. With your 1-1 therapist, you will formulate a plan for your rehab programme to ensure you get the most out of it.

How much is alcohol rehab?

We understand that cost is an important factor when seeking drug or alcohol rehab treatment for yourself or a loved one. Unfortunately, most alcohol rehab facilities aren’t cheap. When the Providence Projects opened in 1996, our founder Steve Spiegel was determined to provide affordable, effective and high-quality care. We have made it our mission for addiction treatment to be accessible to as many people in need as possible.

Our private rehab prices are £5,995 for the first 4 weeks, then there is a weekly charge of £995 after the first 4 weeks. Our private alcohol rehab costs include a comprehensive assessment prior to admission, full detox regime with 24-hour supervision, all therapies such as individual counselling, group therapy, workshops and assignments as well as holistic therapies. The costs also include full accommodation. For more information about the cost of our private alcohol rehab, please see our Cost of Rehab page.

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Holistic therapy as part of an alcohol rehab programme

Why choose private, residential alcohol rehab?

Entering a private alcohol rehab clinic can feel like a big decision, and we want to help make the process as easy as possible. If you or a loved one are struggling with a drinking problem and are seeking professional help, there are a variety of treatment options to consider. These include private, residential or quasi-residential rehab centres, detox facilities, community treatment, 12-step fellowship meeting attendance, and / or a home detox. Certain types of addiction treatment will be more suitable depending on the individual circumstances.

Where possible, entering a private alcohol rehabilitation clinic will always offer the most comprehensive and structured form of support. From a fully supervised alcohol detox, to a bespoke therapy programme, residential treatment offers the best chance at a lasting, successful recovery. Clients are supported by skilled addiction counsellors to develop the coping skills to stay sober long-term and avoid relapse in future.

The benefits of a private, residential alcohol rehab include:

Choosing the best alcohol rehab for you

Finding the best alcohol rehab for you is vital to long term recovery and success. The alcohol rehabilitation programme at the Providence Projects is so successful because it incorporates leading, cutting-edge therapies, designed specifically to explore and address the individual’s addiction.

With so many private rehab options out there, and a wealth of information online, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the amount of choice, and not know where to begin. Below are some useful measures and questions to ask, which you can use to assess which rehab centre is the right one for you.

  • Is the alcohol rehab CQC approved?
  • What is their last CQC report like?
  • How many Google reviews does the rehab have?
  • What is the quality of their Google reviews and their overall Google rating?
  • Visit their social media pages e.g Facebook and Instagram, to get a feel for the rehab
  • How long has the alcohol rehabilitation centre been established?
  • Finally, visit the rehab for yourself or give them a call to get your questions answered

Read our rehab reviews >>

alcohol rehabilitation centre in Bournemouth

NHS alcohol rehab

We believe that everyone deserves equal access to addiction treatment, and a real chance at recovery, regardless of financial circumstances. Unfortunately, going to private rehab isn’t cheap. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t such thing as a ‘free’ NHS rehab, as every rehab place needs to somehow be paid for. Whilst going to alcohol rehab is a certainly a big financial investment, it is also the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your future.

There are two ways of funding rehab: the first is to pay privately and the other is to apply for local authority funding. This involves engaging with your local drug and alcohol service and making an application for detox and rehab funding, although there is often a long wait. This may secure you a place at a private rehab for alcohol detox and treatment, but the process is often lengthy and by no means a guarantee.

Whatever your financial situation, the important thing is not to let it get in the way of accessing the help you need. There are many options available for alcohol addiction treatment, suited to different budgets. You should never feel that recovery from alcoholism is off limits to you just because you can’t afford private rehab treatment.

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Support for families affected by alcohol addiction

Alcoholism is a family illness. The ripple effects of this disease mean it can often be more detrimental to family members than to the alcoholic themselves. As part of our comprehensive alcohol rehab programme, we place great emphasis on including the family in their loved one’s treatment, as research has shown that support and involvement from family members can make all the difference to a person’s recovery.

Family meetings are offered to all clients, where a trained counsellor will facilitate a counselling session for both the recovering person and their family. This can be extremely beneficial to all parties: by communicating honestly and openly, past issues can be addressed, and the whole family can start to heal.

In addition to Family meetings, the Providence Family Day is the latest addition to our rehab programme, designed specifically for family members and significant others of those who are residents in our treatment facility. This is a worthwhile opportunity, for family members to meet staff and other families who have had similar experiences, to get support, identification, and to develop a greater understanding of addiction. Topics such as setting boundaries, roles within the family and relapse prevention are all covered through a series of educational workshops, group tasks and presentations.

We aim to make our services accessible to everyone, regardless of geography. That’s why our focus is to provide online and skype counselling, as well as virtual workshops and presentations about addiction, to those limited in terms of travel.

Additional alcohol rehab FAQs

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Is alcohol rehab free?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a ‘free’ alcohol rehab. Ultimately, every rehab place needs to somehow be paid for, whether that’s privately funded or funded by your local authority. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction treatment has become increasingly difficult to obtain, due to government cuts. There are groups and day services available within the community, usually run by the local drug and alcohol service in your borough or local authority.

The process to receive funding for residential alcohol rehab is lengthy, and not guaranteed. You would need to visit and engage with your local drug and alcohol service and then apply for funding from the local authority, which your key worker would help you with. The other option is to pay privately for a place in residential alcohol rehab, with prices ranging between £4-5,000 and £40-45,000 per month, depending on the type of facility you choose and the individual requirements you have.

What is the best alcohol rehab?

It can be difficult to know where to begin when trying to find the right rehab for you. There are so many alcohol rehab centres to choose from, which can all help you tackle your alcoholism, get sober and begin your life in recovery. Of course, different rehabs will offer different services, so it’s important to do your research well so you can reach an informed decision and find the best rehab centre available in your price bracket.

Some important things to consider when researching alcohol rehabs include:

  • CQC report and rating
  • Client-staff ratio
  • Size of alcohol rehab centre
  • Facilities
  • Therapy programme
  • How long the centre has been running
  • Success rates
  • Alcohol detox provisions
  • Consistent and recent reviews
Are the staff fully qualified?

Here at the Providence Projects, we are very fortunate to have a team of expert addiction counsellors who are leaders in their field. Nearly all of our clients’ feedback highlight the difference the staff members make to their overall experience, and how the people they meet here create a warm, safe and supportive environment which make Providence the special place that it is.

Our team of counsellors, doctors and administrative staff are dedicated to helping people get well. They have a whole host of qualifications and experience, which can all be found on our Meet the Team page. As the safety of our clients is always our first priority, all of our staff undergo rigorous checks prior to being employed. Please do come and pay us a visit, we’d love to show you around for you to see for yourself what our alcohol rehab centre is like.

How do I know if alcohol rehab will be successful?

It can be difficult to measure the success rate of an alcohol rehab centre, as unfortunately addiction is a relapsing disease.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, between 50% – 90% of alcoholics will have at least one relapse during their first four years of recovery. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

The way someone embraces a rehab programme and the extent to which they put into practice the tools they learn in rehab to help them stay sober, the better their chances of achieving lasting and successful recovery from alcoholism. Relapse doesn’t have to be your story. Indeed, research indicates that completing an alcohol treatment rehabilitation programme can significantly increase an individual’s chances of not only avoiding relapse, but also minimizing the negative effects if they do have a relapse.

Choosing an alcohol rehab programme which is well-established, with a variety of therapies and workshops on offer, and which has consistently strong and recent reviews from past clients and their families, are all good signs that you’re seeking help from the right people.

What do I need to bring to alcohol rehab?

We tell our clients to pack as if they’re going on holiday for a couple of weeks, and to please limit their luggage to one large suitcase and one holdall bag. Bring comfortable clothes, some food and drink provisions, a bag of toiletries and other home comforts you may need. We would ask clients to leave laptops and iPads at home, unless they need these for work requirements or want to bring a kindle for reading. There are televisions in every house.

Will I be able to have visitors in alcohol rehab?

Here at the Providence Projects, we have seen first-hand the benefits of involving family and friends in their loved one’s ongoing recovery. Much research has been done to highlight just what a difference this makes.

That’s why we offer family days for those affected by their loved one’s alcoholism, as well as family therapy meetings, and regular visits. Visits take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and clients are asked to complete a visit request form prior to their visit, which is then reviewed by our therapeutic team.

Why is an alcohol detox important?

Alcohol withdrawals will occur when a person has become physically dependent on alcohol and tries to cut down or quit drinking. Unfortunately, this is often a very tricky situation. Home alcohol detox can be dangerous and the medical advice is very clear that people should not stop immediately due to the risk of seizure. Alcohol detox should be carried out only after being assessed by a medical professional, and ideally accompanied with 24-hour support.

When you drink alcohol, it is broken down in the liver, hence why excessive drinking can result in liver damage. The alcohol that does not get metabolised is absorbed by other parts of the body and this is what results in the effects of alcohol. For example, the alcohol that does not get metabolised by the liver may be absorbed by the brain. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, this will result in anything from feeling relaxed to complete drunkenness.

Like all drugs, long term usage will affect the tolerance of the individual and therefore the body requires more alcohol for the same effect. For example, when a young person starts to drink, they will feel the effect after one or two drinks. After many years of drinking, they would need 3 or 4 drinks for the same feeling.

Although factors such as quantity, length of dependence and general health play a part, alcohol withdrawal side effects will vary in each person. It is for this reason that medical professionals tread carefully in this area and those drinking heavily daily are advised not to stop immediately as this can lead to uncomfortable and very dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

When do alcohol withdrawals occur during detox?

Depending on the severity of the dependence, withdrawal symptoms can occur within an hour of the last drink, however most commonly the withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst between 24 and 48 hours into an alcohol detox. Withdrawals can range from mild to severe. However it is important to point out that alcohol withdrawals are very dangerous and can result in seizures.  Another very dangerous symptom are DT’s. Delirium Tremens generally consist of shaking, confusion, hallucinations, agitation and increased blood pressure.  This can be terrifying for the individual and their loved ones.  This is another reason why alcohol detox should only be prescribed by a medical professional to ensure the correct regime is identified.

Below is a timeline of the possible withdrawal symptoms and when they may occur.  This is only a guide:

Up to 12 hours after last drink

  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Cravings
  • Headaches

Up to 24 hours after last drink

  • Confusion
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

Up to 48 hours after last drink

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Delirium tremens
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
What are psychological alcohol withdrawals?

As well as the clear physical dangers of alcohol withdrawals, there may also be a range of psychological alcohol withdrawals that occur during alcohol detox. Depression, insomnia and anxiety are three of the most common psychological effects from alcohol withdrawal.

What is not always clear is what came first. Many people that present for alcohol rehab or alcohol detox state that they initially drank to cope with anxiety. When the alcohol wears off, the anxiety returns. For others, the excessive alcohol consumption is the cause of the anxiety.

There is also a clear relationship between alcohol and depression. Alcohol is a depressant and excessive consumption greatly increases the chances of feeling depressed. The vicious cycle of alcoholism, unfortunately, lulls the drinker into a belief that drinking more helps to overcome the depression, whereas it exacerbates and prolongs the depression.

Insomnia can also be very hard to cope with. Heavy alcohol drinkers tend not to sleep well anyway and report waking up very early or regularly feeling as though they have not slept well. However, when trying to cut down or stop drinking, they find that sleeping becomes even more difficult. Both physical and psychological withdrawals are managed as part of the detox and rehab programme at the Providence Projects .

What happens after Alcohol detox and withdrawals?

There has been significant research into what happens after the initial withdrawal. The symptoms experienced during this stage are often referred to as PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). The recovering person may not always be aware of these, but loved ones tend to identify them.

This is why the alcohol rehab programme element is so important. It is a great achievement to stop, but the key is developing the ability to stay sober.

Common PAWS symptoms:

  • Difficulty managing emotions
  • Irritability
  • Angry
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low energy
  • Mild depression
  • Anxiety

It is generally agreed that PAWS occur around 4 weeks after the cessation of alcohol and is one of the key factors in why alcohol rehab is key and that detox alone is rarely effective.

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