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Alcohol Detox

What is alcohol detoxification?

The detox process usually underpins the start of a person’s journey towards breaking free from addiction. Undergoing alcohol detoxification allows a person to systematically and safely withdraw from alcohol abuse, often under the supervision of a qualified clinician. Over time, frequent misuse of alcohol can lead to physical dependence. Given that trying to stop drinking can result in symptoms of alcohol withdrawal emerging in people with a dependency, alcohol detoxification is designed to treat these immediate physical effects of alcohol withdrawal by removing the toxins that remain in the system.

Alcohol Detoxification and Alcohol withdrawal

Where is alcohol detoxification carried out?

Alcohol detoxification is typically carried out on an inpatient basis, at a residential treatment centre, where clinics have the medical skills and resource to facilitate a safe and comfortable alcohol withdrawal. The choice of treatment setting depends on a range of factors, like the patient’s age, the history of abuse, psychosocial issues and co-existing medical conditions. Find out more about what happens during Alcohol detoxification and why Alcohol detox needn’t be frightening.

How long does alcohol detoxification take?

Alcohol detoxification normally lasts from anywhere between 3 to 14 days. However this can vary from person to person depending on the severity of their alcohol abuse. Find out more about the importance of a safe and gradual detox.

What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may occur when a persistent drinker starts to considerably cut down the amount of alcohol they consume as part of undergoing an alcohol detoxification. Some of the possible side effects of alcohol withdrawal when undergoing an alcohol detoxification programme can include the following:

  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Exaggerated emotions
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Lethargy
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Panic
  • Poor concentration
  • Seizures
  • Shakes
  • Sleepiness
  • Soreness and stiffness
  • Stomach cramps or upset
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
Please do not be alarmed by this list, as you may not experience all or any of these alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Even if you do, the clinical staff will be at hand to monitor your condition very closely, in order to ensure that your alcohol detoxification period is as comfortable as possible. This can sometimes involve prescribing a substitute medication to help flush out the substance from your body. Read more about the myths and facts of alcohol detoxification.

Alternative alcohol detoxification methods

Although Port of Call recommends admission to a private residential rehab centre as the most ideal method of alcohol withdrawal, since this is often the best possible route to recovery, it isn’t necessarily the most suitable option for all situations. Alcohol detoxification at home, where a qualified specialist over-sees a structured alcohol detoxification programme in your own home, can prove to be far more applicable in certain situations. Find out more about detoxing from Alcohol without going to rehab.

The right help, at the right time

Port of Call can secure an appropriate alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation treatment programme for you quickly and discreetly. We will give you a free and confidential assessment over the telephone and can then help you to navigate towards the most appropriate course of alcohol withdrawal treatment and support. Please call our free phone line on 08000029010, we are ready and willing to help you through your addiction.

Download our useful factsheets for more information about Alcohol Detoxification

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