Alcohol Detox Explained: What To Expect

Alcohol detox mainly helps individuals fight alcohol dependency and get rid of other alcoholic complications by flushing out addictive substances and other toxic substances from the body. This medical procedure is meant to relieve the patient from the occurring physical and psychological symptoms of alcohol addiction. The process of alcohol detoxification is very painful, especially during the initial stages because of the severe withdrawal symptoms that the patient experiences. Therefore, it is vital to fully understand the process of alcohol detox in order to know exactly what to expect and the ideal approach that should be taken in case you decide to undergo the procedure.


Alcohol detox requires close monitoring of vital signs. Besides consulting the doctor, prescription medications such as benzodiazepines and anti-convulsions may be administered in order to relieve the patient from severe physical withdrawal symptoms. When done in a medical facility under proper supervision, alcohol detoxification takes about 3 to 5 days depending on the severity of the addiction and other related problems that may need attention.

Inpatient Detoxification

Serious alcohol addicts need the close supervision of qualified medical professionals mainly because the side effects of withdrawal can be very unpleasant. On the other hand, medical complications can arise and it’s best to have immediate access to the doctor. If you have been an alcoholic for many years or if your addiction is co-morbid with problems such as mental disorders, inpatient treatment is your best option in order to increase the chances of success and avoid a relapse which is can be very discouraging.

 Outpatient Detoxification

The doctor can also approve that you undergo outpatient detoxification. This is a viable option, especially if your addiction to alcohol is not very serious. However, this option should be approached with caution because you need a strong will and a good reliable home support system in order to make it through this difficult and tricky stage. This is a good option for people who are not in danger of any complications.

Alcohol addicts who get full encouragement and support from friends and family have higher chances of recovering and few risks of relapse. Understanding, love and sympathy can help alcohol dependents build their self-confidence.


Withdrawal is mainly a result physical dependence and stopping drinking alcohol. Alcohol detox can be quite dangerous especially when done without assistance and medical supervision from experts. Moreover, it is vital to remain healthy by exercising and eating healthy foods in order to fight off the small complications and illnesses that may accompany the withdrawal and craving effects.

Symptoms and effects of Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to very severe. Some of the common symptoms and effects include;

     · Nervousness, anxiety and irritability

     · Bad dreams and insomnia

     · Mood swings

     · Clouded thoughts

     · Sweating and clamminess

     · Accelerated heart rate

     · Delirium tremors and seizures

     · Fever

The symptoms of withdrawal are more pronounced in serious alcohol addicts.

You cannot stop drinking alcohol abruptly. Weaning off from alcohol is a gradual process that requires patience and strong willpower. Moreover, it is important to take a psychiatric approach to alcohol detox through therapy, support groups and rehabilitation centers in order for the addicts to regain full confidence and self-worth.

If you need professional alcohol detox, visit The Cabin Alcohol Detox.

John Morgenstein is a journalist and writer located in Bangkok, Thailand. He writes mostly about health, addictions and sports. His hobbies are football and martial arts.