Alcohol Detox: Symptoms and Treatment

Are you or a loved one struggling with alcohol dependence?

The journey toward recovery may seem daunting, but understanding the detoxification process as part of our rehab programme will help to put your mind at ease. When we think of detox, many believe quitting alcohol will resolve their alcohol issue. While it certainly is an essential step in the recovery process, we understand alcoholism to be both a physical and psychological illness requiring additional treatment.

We’ll explore the process of alcohol detox at The Providence Projects and its positive impact on both your body and mind. Naturally, withdrawal symptoms will develop, ranging from mild to severe. Still, our medical team, run by Dr Niman, will help to ease any symptoms of severe withdrawal with the support of medication.

Key Takeaways

  • Alcohol detox is a crucial step in treating addiction and breaking the cycle of dependency, but staying ‘stopped’ requires a combination of therapeutic treatments offered as part of our broader programme.
  • Dr Niman, our lead Doctor, is highly experienced in alcohol detox and the safe withdrawal from alcohol.
  • During the alcohol detox, you will be provided with round-the-clock support.
  • Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications such as Delirium Tremens. As part of your assessment, we will establish the type of alcohol detox regime you need. If required, a medically assisted detox plan using Chlordiazepoxide will be provided by our medical team.
  • During detox, you will engage with our rehab programme, which consists of evidence-based and holistic therapies.

Understanding Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is the critical first step in treating alcohol addiction, involving removing alcohol from the body and managing withdrawal symptoms under 24-hour supervision. Undergoing detoxification is necessary for individuals dependent on alcohol, breaking the cycle of addiction and paving the way for long-term recovery.

The detox phase is a complex process where the body begins to adjust to the absence of alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms may emerge. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe and life-threatening complications, depending on the person’s drinking habits, overall health, and the extent of their alcohol dependency. With the help of our medical professionals, it is possible to detox safely and move forward in the healing process.

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Preparing for Alcohol Detoxification

When you arrive for treatment at The Providence Projects, you will be assessed by Dr Niman or one of his medical team. The doctor will determine the severity of the dependence, and your detox regime will begin straight away.

A range of options are available to the medical team to ensure safe and comfortable withdrawal prescriptions in accordance with the latest NiCE guidelines.

Generally, Chlordiazepoxide is the first option to ease withdrawals, often accompanied by medication to assist with sleep. There may be other medications as part of your detox, which are agreed on individually.

As part of the alcohol detox regime, clients will be given medication four times daily. At each time, clients are reassessed to ensure that there are no signs of withdrawal using the CIWA protocol. This enables the team to ensure that the detox is safe and effective.

After a few weeks into treatment, the liver can reduce around 20% of the fatty deposits caused by drinking, and there should be considerable improvements in:

  • energy
  • skin
  • cognitive clarity
  • sleep

Nonetheless, keep in mind that detox is just the beginning of your alcohol recovery journey.

Will I Receive Therapy During the Alcohol Detox Process?

During the alcohol detox, you will generally engage in a light therapy programme if you feel up to it. In our experience, committing as soon as possible is far better. You will also have dedicated staff on site 24 hours during this stage to ensure the successful completion of detox.

Once Dr Niman and the team are happy with your progress, you will have greater access to the therapeutic programme as part of your timetable. You will engage with your focal therapist during the remainder of our primary programme, which consists of cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy and holistic therapies, including Yoga, mindfulness and exercise.

Continuing the Recovery Process

Continuing the alcohol rehabilitation process through therapy, aftercare programmes, and a stable support network is vital to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse after completing detox. As part of our primary rehab programme, you will learn many of the skills required to stay sober.

Making the decision to stop drinking and get help requires immense courage. Call us today if you are worried about the process of alcohol detoxification. Our friendly and compassionate team are happy to walk you through it step by step.

What Withdrawal Symptoms May I Experience?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary in severity, ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications. The severity of these symptoms may be influenced by personal factors such as the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and the individual’s overall mental and physical health.

Since you will be detoxing at The Providence Projects under the care of our professionals, under no circumstances will you have to worry about life-threatening or severe withdrawal symptoms.

Mild Symptoms

Mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which are part of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, include anxiety, irritability, and insomnia, typically appearing within a few hours of the last drink. Other symptoms may include tremors, sweating, and nausea.

While these symptoms can be uncomfortable for many people, they are generally manageable with the help of group therapy or support groups during recovery.

Severe Symptoms

Severe symptoms, such as hallucinations and seizures, may occur in more extreme cases of alcohol withdrawal and require immediate medical attention. If an individual with an alcohol addiction abruptly stops drinking without any support, they may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • a high fever
  • severe disorientation
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous for those who are dependent on alcohol. In some cases, they can even be fatal, so it’s crucial to detox with the support of professionals like ourselves.

Approximately 3%-5% of individuals experiencing withdrawal manifest severe symptoms in the form of delirium symptoms, but a medically supervised detox at the Providence Projects will address many of these concerns.

Timeline of Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms peak within 48 hours and subside within 7-10 days, though the alcohol detox timeline varies among individuals. Symptoms may begin as soon as two hours after the last drink and reach their peak intensity within 10-30 hours. Most intense withdrawal symptoms usually last for the first week of alcohol detox.

Although the general timeline for alcohol detoxification is well-established, some individuals may experience protracted withdrawal symptoms lasting several weeks. Throughout your stay with us, you will have the full support of our medical and therapeutic team to assist with any concerns you may have.

Book an Assessment Today

If you are concerned about quitting alcohol or a loved one trying to stop drinking, call us today to book your alcohol addiction assessment. With 30+ years of experience in the field, our team have the skills and the knowledge to help you quit drinking for good.

About the Author




This content has been verified by Paul Spanjar, a leading addiction expert and CEO of the Providence Projects

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