Discover The Process of Alcohol Detox

Using specialised treatment plans that suit individual needs, an alcohol detox treatment is the answer to recovering from the weight of alcoholism and overcoming addiction.

Find out about the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, what to expect during the alcohol detox process and a timeline of alcohol detoxification here in our extensive, medically reviewed guide.

What Is an Alcohol Detox?

In short, an alcohol detox is a process in which the user stops drinking alcohol gradually, whether this be within the walls of a rehab facility or detox centre or in their home during outpatient treatment.

Alcohol detox can be distressing and potentially dangerous for some individuals due to the range of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced as the body’s alcohol level drops.

This is why it is preferable to undergo this process within an alcohol detox clinic, surrounded by staff who can care for you and can also administer medications that will help to ease withdrawal symptoms so the process is much more manageable.

Although you can complete a home detox, it can be difficult depending on the severity of your alcohol addiction and how long it has been going on for.
That being said, in-patient care is typically the best and safest way forward. Nonetheless, we understand that this isn’t always a feasible option for everybody who is suffering from alcohol addiction.

Don’t worry, we are here to show you all of your options, including the free out-patient ones.

How Does Alcohol Addiction Affect the Body?

Arguably, it is pretty easy to ignore the signs of addiction when it comes to alcoholism since it is legal and normalised in everyday society.
However, when it goes neglected for too long, the body will be affected in more ways than one. These are some of the most common health complications that come along with alcoholism.

  • Risk of stroke
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Increased angry outbursts
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling disoriented and confused
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor articulation
  • Poor reflex actions and mobility
  • Slurred speech

If you’re suffering from addiction, the best option to detox from alcohol is to do so in a controlled environment, around addiction specialists that can help you manage your symptoms and ease the process.

Contact us today to start the process with Asana Lodge.

How Long Is the Alcohol Detox Process?

The detox phase of alcohol rehab is the most challenging aspect of recovery for people dependent on alcohol, it comes first, prior to the rehabilitation stage so you’re able to go through therapy without the weight of physical withdrawal symptoms holding you back.

The detox phase typically takes 5-10 days, depending on the severity of the addiction, the individual and any health problems that may be experienced. See how long each step of alcohol detoxification takes below:

Day 1

The detox begins once you enter rehab and stop drinking. You will stay in a private room in a quiet area of our treatment facility so you can be as relaxed as possible.

Upon admission to our centre you will be assessed by a doctor and medical professionals to monitor your health, such as blood pressure, blood alcohol content and a diabetes test.

Day 2

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be experienced during this period, including nausea, intense cravings, headaches and anxiety. You will be closely monitored to check that you are healthy and do not require further treatment options.

Days 3-6

This stage of detox will be difficult as it will likely be the stage in which you crave alcohol the most. You will likely experience some mild symptoms of withdrawal, however once completed, you will be prepared to tackle the mental side of your alcohol abuse.

Day 7

Once you have reached day 7 of your alcohol detox you will begin to feel sober once again, you will then move into your room for the rest of your treatment programme and will complete therapies to treat the psychological element of addiction during rehab.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are common when you undertake an alcohol detox, and can begin as soon as five hours from your last drink.
It is normal to feel generally unwell when undertaking an alcohol detox, which is why our medical professionals provide prescribed medication to treat severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms during alcohol addiction detox can include:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Extreme hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium tremens (in rare cases)

If your alcohol addiction is severe, you may find that the detox process develops severe symptoms of DT, known as ‘delirium tremens’. This is where your nervous system goes into shock, which is a common condition in severe cases of alcoholism.

Residents who develop delirium tremens are likely to experience hallucinations, blurry vision and seizures as the nervous system tries to re-adjust to sobriety. This is why it is important to detox in a secure facility where you can be monitored and supported as you experience withdrawal symptoms and begin your recovery journey.

Alcohol Detox Medication

Often, to help those suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, staff within the alcohol detox clinic will administer prescription medications.
While there isn’t a guarantee that these will totally diminish the symptoms, they do indeed make the whole process much more manageable. During detox, cravings can be severe, meaning relapse becomes much more probable.

Thus, having the ability to benefit from medications and specialist staff to help you through these cravings and withdrawal symptoms makes for a more smooth recovery journey during your medical alcohol detox.

That being said, these are some of the most common prescription drugs that are used within alcohol detoxification clinics.

Benzodiazepines

This type of medication is commonly used as part of our alcohol detox programmes, such as the prescription drugs Diazepam (Valium) and Librium (Chlordiazepoxide). These medications help to alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms experienced during the alcohol detox and improves the likelihood of completing the detox successfully.

These benzos treat the common withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, muscle pains and spasms, and prevent seizures which can occur in serious cases of alcohol withdrawal.

Zopiclone

This medication is prescribed to help insomnia, a common problem experienced during the alcohol withdrawal process. Sleeping problems often occur in people undergoing a drug or alcohol detox, which is why this medication is so beneficial.

Thiamine

This drug is used to avoid and treat Vitamin B1 deficiency which is common in people experiencing withdrawal from alcohol or alcohol addictions.
Thiamine works by keeping the central nervous system in good health and repairing any damage that may have been caused by alcoholism. Alcohol abuse can often lead to nutrients not being absorbed properly, which is why this medication is used during the withdrawal process.

Home Alcohol Detox vs. Medically Assisted Detox in Rehab

Like anything, there are pros and cons of detoxification of alcohol at home and in an in-patient rehab facility / detox clinic. These apply to everybody in different ways, for instance while one person may have a family that they can’t leave alone another may have the means to get childcare and spend time in an inpatient facility.

That being said, these are some of the most common pros and cons for both in-patient and out-patient care when it comes to detox treatment for alcohol.

Pros of Out-Patient Alcohol Detox

  • Privacy
  • Flexibility
  • Lower costs / Free
  • Family support
  • In your home comfort environment

Cons of Out-Patient Alcohol Detox

  • Dangerous
  • Higher chance of relapse
  • Lack of medications to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • No medical assistance
  • High temptations in a familiar environment

Pros of In-Patient Alcohol Detox

  • 24/7 access to medical staff and addiction specialists.
  • Medication to ease withdrawal symptoms
  • Structured and tailored rehab plan
  • Physical removal from familiar temptations and environments

Cons of In-Patient Alcohol Detox

  • Higher costs due to facilities available
  • Separation from home life
  • You must make arrangements for life commitments

The way that you choose how to detox from alcohol is completely up to you, it depends on your lifestyle and limitations and the intensity of treatment that you require. If you’re unsure, you can speak to us today and we can help you make a decision depending on the severity of your addiction.

Why Choose Asana Lodge to Recover from Alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction is caused by a built tolerance to alcohol and over time becomes a dependency. Alcohol detox programmes work to safely withdraw you from addictive substances like alcoholism to help you recover for the long haul.

By removing alcohol from your system during the detox, your body begins to adjust without alcohol and withdrawal begins. Our staff are highly experienced at helping those suffering from addiction cope with the side effects of withdrawal and will monitor you closely to ensure that you are safe, healthy and comfortable.

With the help of an assigned therapist, you will also attend counselling sessions on your own and in group therapy sessions, where you will be given the opportunity to share your experiences and feelings on your relationship with alcohol and your addiction.

At Asana Lodge you will stay in a comfortable room with all of the facilities you require, from a TV to an ensuite, you can see our facilities below.

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Our rehab centre is located in a relaxing area where you will feel safe to start your alcohol recovery journey. Your room, complete with views of the countryside, is the ideal place to recover and escape from the stresses of everyday life.

We provide a range of wellbeing activities during your stay with us and have a medical team on hand to assist you through every step.
To find out more about our recovery programmes, phone us on 01908 489 421.

How to Know That You Have Alcoholism

There are several behavioural signs that indicate a detox programme is a necessary step for alcohol addiction. These signs include:

  • Heavy drinking in increasing amounts
  • Secrecy regarding drinking
  • Consuming alcohol at any time of the day, or in a place where it would not be permitted
  • Continuously drinking alcohol
  • Becoming sad or depressed
  • Feeling anxious about being sober
  • Experiencing intense cravings for alcohol
  • Drinking heavily at inappropriate times
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Hand tremors and high physical tolerance to alcohol
Are you drinking too much?

Try out our drinks calculator and see if you’re drinking more than you think you are and see the effect that has on you and those around you.

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Free Alcoholism Help UK

We understand that detoxing from alcohol on an in-patient basis isn’t for everyone, so here are some UK based services that can help you get the help that you need.

NHS GP

Contact your local GP to get out-patient care, they offer services for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

The AA is a voluntary fellowship that provides support to individuals recovering from alcoholism. They offer free, confidential meetings where people can share their experiences and support one another in maintaining sobriety.

Talk to Frank

Frank is a helpline and website that offers free, confidential advice and information about drugs and alcohol. They can provide guidance on treatment options and support services.

Adfam

Adfam is a national charity that provides support to families affected by drug and alcohol use. They offer a range of free resources and support services for family members and friends of individuals struggling with alcoholism.

Drinkaware

Drinkaware is an independent charity that aims to reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK. They provide free information, advice, and resources about alcohol and its effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you know the best way to detox from alcohol and what to expect, below you can find some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding alcohol addiction.

Will My Liver Heal If I Stop Drinking?

In short, yes, in many cases, the liver can heal if you stop drinking alcohol. The liver is a resilient organ with the ability to regenerate itself to some extent. When a person consumes excessive alcohol over an extended period, it can lead to alcohol-related liver diseases, such as fatty liver. If the individual stops drinking alcohol and adopts a healthier lifestyle, the liver has a chance to repair itself.

The extent of recovery depends on several factors, including the severity and duration of alcohol abuse, overall health, and any other medical conditions present. In the early stages of liver damage, such as fatty liver or mild alcoholic hepatitis, stopping alcohol consumption can lead to significant improvements in liver function. However, in cases of advanced liver cirrhosis, the damage may be irreversible even after quitting alcohol.

The bottom line is the sooner you stop abusing alcohol the better for your overall health and the more chance you have at reversing damage.

What Happens to Your Body After 1 Month of No Alcohol?

After one month of abstaining from alcohol, several positive changes can occur in your body. Here are some common improvements you may experience:

  • Improved Liver Function: The liver starts to recover, and fat accumulation in the liver decreases. Liver enzyme levels may return to normal.
  • Better Sleep: Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, so without it, you may experience improved sleep quality.
  • Weight Loss: Alcohol is calorie-dense, so cutting it out can lead to weight loss, especially if you were consuming alcohol frequently.
  • Increased Energy: Alcohol can be physically and mentally draining, so without it, you may notice an increase in energy levels.
  • Mood Improvement: Alcohol can affect mood, and after quitting, some individuals report feeling less anxious or depressed.

Remember, individual experiences may vary, and if you have been a heavy drinker or have any underlying health issues, the effects of abstaining from alcohol might differ.

What Can I Drink Instead of Alcohol?

If you want to cut back on alcohol or stop drinking altogether, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and alternatives you can enjoy. Some options include:

  • Herbal Teas: Herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, or ginger can be soothing and relaxing.
  • Sparkling Water: Flavoured or plain sparkling water can mimic the carbonation of alcoholic beverages without the alcohol.
  • Mocktails: Non-alcoholic versions of cocktails, also known as mocktails, are made with fruit juices, soda, herbs, and other non-alcoholic ingredients.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beer and Wine: There are non-alcoholic versions of beer and wine available in many stores.

It’s essential to find beverages that suit your taste preferences and support your goals. Non-alcoholic options can still be enjoyable and help you socialise without the negative effects of alcohol.

Seek Alcohol Detox Treatment Today

We want your alcohol detox to be rewarding and empowering, so you feel confident and strong in the knowledge that you will move forward and live a sober, clean life.

Get in touch with us today by calling 01908 489 421 or email info@asanalodge.com if you would like to speak to us about alcohol detox options. We can help you today.


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John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 24 April 2019

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Clinical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 07/12/2023 4:00 pm

Dr. Otulana is a highly skilled General Practitioner and Addiction Specialist. He possesses extensive expertise in the field of Substance Misuse Management and boasts a diverse background in evaluating, overseeing (including detox procedures), and overseeing the residential recovery of individuals grappling with various drug and substance addiction issues. His primary goal is to conduct thorough assessments of patients dealing with addiction issues and determine their medical detoxification and psychological treatment requirements. Dr. Otulana is well-versed in caring for patients who need dual drug and alcohol detoxification therapies.

In addition to his medical qualifications, Dr. Otulana is a proficient healthcare professional who holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from the prestigious Cambridge University Judge Business School.