Alcohol Detoxification

Detoxification is one of the fundamental parts of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Alcohol detoxification also helps a person cope with the intense withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping drug use.

Alcohol Detox Treatment

Detox is the first stage in treating Alcohol Abuse Disorder. During alcohol detox, any trace of alcohol is flushed from your body. Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol will typically subside within approximately a couple of weeks after beginning the detox. Unfortunately, detox could take longer depending on the severity of the abuse disorder. After physical symptoms of alcohol detox subside, you will be able to focus on other aspects of the recovery process, such as:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Therapy sessions
  • Counseling sessions
  • Support options
brain eventually stops

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a depressant that your body begins to rely on over a certain period of consumption. The brain eventually stops producing certain chemicals that it receives from alcohol, allowing your body to become dependent on the substance. When you quit drinking alcohol, it takes time for your body to adjust to the absence of the substance. Ceasing in consumption is what causes withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive sweating
alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms
Alcohol Detox Symptoms
alcohol consumption has ceased

Why Do People Fear Quitting?

Some people are apprehensive about quitting drinking alcohol because they are nervous about the withdrawal symptoms experienced during the detox from alcohol. While some people may only be affected by minor alcohol abuse disorder withdrawal, others may face painful withdrawal from the substance. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can quickly and aggressively change, which is why a medically assisted detox period is crucial to your success. Treatment professionals at a rehab facility will be able to help you manage your pain with different medications. Professionally assisted detox from alcohol allows you to focus on your recovery.

There is help available, so contact the Better Wellness Group today.

Taking drugs
Monitor Alcohol and Drug Detox

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

The alcohol detox phase can involve withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to nearly life-threatening. Often, the severity of your alcohol abuse disorder plays a significant role in the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. For example, individuals who have struggled with years of heavy drinking are more likely to develop serious withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens.

Alcohol detox symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches


More serious alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Extreme hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium tremens (in rare cases)

The most serious effect of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens. The DTs are life-threatening and can start within two to five days after your last drink. Fortunately, less than five percent of people will develop delirium tremens when alcohol consumption has ceased.

lung or heart diseases

Professionals Should Monitor Alcohol and Drug Detox

Detox from alcohol should be monitored by a medical professional due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For those who have a history of lung or heart diseases, this holds excessive truth. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can quickly worsen. Your alcohol detox treatment specialist will be able to track your blood pressure and heart rate to make sure your condition doesn’t worsen. You can also talk with them about the symptoms you are experiencing and if you are in any pain. This information helps your medical team determine which medicine will help alleviate your discomfort.

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Drug Detoxification
Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

Reasons for Alcohol Detox

First Step in Treating Alcoholism

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With Alcohol Use Disorder,  your brain grows dependent on alcohol to provide certain chemicals that your brain normally produces on its own.  Once you remove that artificial chemical source, the body reacts physiologically, and which can be quite painful.

Address Other Issues

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Once alcohol is cleared from your system that you can begin addressing the other issues that brought you to this point.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System

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Clinicians Will Help Manage the Symptoms

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Certain severe withdrawal symptoms may develop during alcohol detox. Detox from alcohol can be mild or severe and include the following:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety 
  • Cold sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Severe shakes
  • Withdrawal induced-seizures

What to Expect with Alcohol Detox

Each person’s medically supervised alcohol detox will be different, depending on how serious their alcohol abuse is. Regardless, alcohol detox is important for everyone to get the alcohol out of their system so they can walk the remaining steps to long-lasting sobriety.

During a medically-based detox, you will receive a comprehensive evaluation of your condition. Then, your doctor will determine the best way to proceed.

We offer both inpatient and outpatient alcohol detox. Those who suffer from more serious disorders will most likely be taken to a residential detox facility for a period of time. Patients undergoing outpatient treatment will need to visit their doctors’ offices regularly for checkups.

Detoxification from alcohol does not follow a typical path. Nevertheless, alcohol detox has universal significance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Insomnia During Alcohol Detox Normal?

Detoxing from alcohol addiction can exacerbate insomnia. Because of alcohol’s depressant qualities, a number of people use it before bed to get a better night’s sleep or to fall asleep more quickly. WebMD lists one of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as insomnia. Insomnia may indicate Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.

How Does Alcohol Detox Work?

It’s important that first, you enroll in a medically supervised alcohol detox program if, because of problematic drinking, you plan on getting sober. You can get help from a program that can offer you safe alcohol removal in your brain and body so you can start your treatment as soon as possible.
• Initial Intake Exam
• Symptoms and Medical Check-Ups
• Severe Symptoms and Medication
• Symptoms Subside
• Alcohol Detox Ends and Treatment Begins

How Long Does Detox Take? 

While the duration of detox will vary according to the type and severity of addiction, in general, a few days to a few weeks is the average timeframe for most programs.

Does Detox Cure Addiction?

Addiction cannot be cured by detoxifying, since it is considered a chronic disease. Alcohol and drugs are changing the structure and function of the brain in such a complex way that those who successfully complete rehab and treatment are not necessarily cured and are still vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and drugs in this way. However, an alcohol detox program does help an addict clean their system of substance abuse as well as equip them with the tools, strategies, and support systems that are necessary in order to recover and stay sober following addiction treatment.

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(234) 301-3513

1234 Divi St. #1000, San Francisco, CA 95123