What To Expect When You Detox From Alcohol

Feb 7, 2024 | Addiction, Adolescent Treatment, Adult Treatment, Alcohol, Detox, Substance Abuse

Alcohol Detox involves gradually reducing your intake of alcohol to avoid life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. With proper medical supervision, detoxing from alcohol is relatively straightforward. However, detoxing at home without professional help can be dangerous or even fatal, so it’s best left up to medical professionals like those found in an addiction treatment facility or an outpatient clinic specializing in substance abuse treatment programs.

Invariably, detoxing from alcohol can be a challenging process, but it is an important step toward achieving sobriety and improving your overall health. The detox process can vary depending on the individual and their level of alcohol dependency, but there are some general expectations and symptoms that are common among those who are going through alcohol detox.

What To Expect With An Alcohol Detox

One of the first things you can expect when you are detoxing from alcohol is that you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, nausea, and sweating. These symptoms can begin within hours of your last drink and can last for several days. In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can even lead to hallucinations and seizures, so it is important to seek medical supervision when detoxing from alcohol.

Another thing you can expect when detoxing from alcohol is that you will likely feel a range of emotions. It is common to feel anxious, depressed, and irritable during alcohol detox. This is because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and when you stop drinking, your body must adjust to functioning without it. This can lead to emotional and psychological symptoms as your body readjusts to being sober.

In addition to physical and emotional symptoms, you can also expect to experience cravings during alcohol detox. These cravings can be intense and may be difficult to resist, but it is important to remember that they will eventually pass. It may help to have support from friends, family, or a support group during this time to help you stay on track and resist the temptation to drink.

Another thing to expect during alcohol detox is that your body will start to heal and repair itself. Once you stop drinking, your body will begin to cleanse itself of the toxins from alcohol, and this can lead to improved liver function, better digestion, and more restful sleep. You may also notice that your skin looks healthier and that you have more energy.

What Are The Risks Of Detoxing From Alcohol?

Detoxing from alcohol can be a potentially dangerous process, especially if it is done without medical supervision. When a person abruptly stops drinking alcohol after a period of heavy alcohol use, their body can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, including tremors, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can cause hallucinations, fever, and confusion. In extreme cases, DTs can be life-threatening.

Other risks associated with alcohol detox include:

  • Dehydration: Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, and withdrawal can exacerbate this effect. It is important to drink plenty of fluids during alcohol detox to help prevent dehydration and other complications.
  • Electrolyte imbalances: Alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in the body, and withdrawal can further disrupt this balance. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including muscle cramps, tremors, and seizures.
  • Heart problems: Alcohol withdrawal can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Mental Health issues: Alcohol addiction can co-occur with mental health disorders, and alcohol detox can exacerbate these issues. It is important to address any underlying mental health issues during the detox process.
When Is A Detox Necessary?

Detoxing from alcohol can be necessary when a person has developed a true dependence on alcohol and experiences withdrawal-like symptoms when they attempt to stop drinking. Some signs that a detox may be necessary include:

  1. Physical dependence: If you have developed a physical dependence on alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sweating, and anxiety when you stop drinking.
  2. Alcohol tolerance: If you must drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel the same effects, this may be a sign that your body has developed a tolerance to alcohol, which can be a sign of dependence.
  3. Difficulty stopping: If you have tried to stop drinking but have been unable to do so, this may be a sign that you have become dependent.
  4. Alcohol cravings: If you experience strong cravings for alcohol, this may be a sign that you need to consider detoxing.


What Is The Difference Between In-Patient And Out-Patient Detoxing?

Inpatient alcohol detox refers to a treatment process in which an individual with an alcohol addiction stays at a residential facility or hospital while undergoing detoxification. This type of treatment typically involves medical supervision and support to manage the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

Outpatient alcohol detox, on the other hand, refers to a treatment process in which an individual with an alcohol addiction receives treatment on a part-time basis while continuing to live at home or in a sober living environment. Outpatient treatment may involve regular visits to a treatment center or clinic for therapy and support, but the individual is not required to stay at the facility overnight.

Both inpatient and outpatient alcohol detox programs can be effective in helping individuals overcome an alcohol addiction, but the level of support and supervision can vary depending on the specific program and the individual’s needs. It’s important to consider the severity of the addiction, the individual’s overall health and well-being, and any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions when deciding which type of treatment is appropriate.


The Importance of Seeking Treatment While Detoxing

Detoxing from alcohol is only part of the solution to alcohol addiction. It is important to learn how to remain sober once you have effectively detoxed.  An alcohol addiction treatment program can help you learn coping skills and relapse prevention skills so that you don’t return to the behaviors that led to physical dependency on alcohol.  To learn more about treatment options, contact New Dimensions at 800-685-9796 or visit our website at www.nddtreatment.com.



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