What Does Alcohol Detox Involve?

Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances in the UK, and despite being legal and socially acceptable, it is also highly addictive and dangerous. Those who drink it in line with the Government’s guideline amounts for safe consumption have a low risk of developing health problems and addiction. However, there are many who cannot comprehend the link between alcohol and various health problems. As such, these individuals continue to drink to excess, far exceeding the recommended guideline amount of fourteen units. Those who consume alcohol to excess are risking an increased tolerance and an addiction that will require professional help if it is to be overcome. This would mean an alcohol detox and programme of rehabilitation. But what does alcohol detox involve? Many people are so afraid of the process that they will continue to abuse alcohol and allow it to destroy their life rather than reach out for help.

How Does Alcohol Addiction Develop?

If you have been struggling with an addiction to alcohol for some time, you will know the damage that it can cause. It is hard for many individuals to believe that alcohol can be so damaging, especially when it is actively encouraged in modern society. Nevertheless, it is still a chemical substance and one that can cause structural changes to the brain.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol addiction is not a choice and it is not a self-inflicted condition. Although most of those who develop this illness had a choice when they first drank alcohol, they did not choose to be an alcoholic. This is simply not the way addiction works. There is no one in the world who would choose to be an addict.

And it is worth pointing out that not everyone who chooses to drink alcohol will go on to develop an addiction. In some people though, alcohol can hijack the reward centre of their brain and result in changes that make it impossible for them to make good choices. They then find that they have no control over their urge to drink, and when these individuals do drink, they have no control over their ability to stop. They will continue to drink even though doing so is going to have negative consequences for themselves and their family members.

Why Alcohol Addiction Needs to Be Treated?

It is probably pointless telling you about the damage that alcohol addiction can do – you undoubtedly know for yourself. You have more than likely experienced both mental and physical health problems that can be directly attributed to your alcohol abuse, whether you want to admit it or not.

It is not possible to abuse alcohol continuously without feeling the effects. You might not want to give up on alcohol just yet, but if you really took the time to consider the damage that it is causing to your own life and the lives of those around you, you would see that something needs to be done.

As well as health problems, alcohol addiction can damage other areas of your life. Relationships with your loved ones will probably be under strain. It is hard for family members and friends to understand why a loved one continues to drink alcohol when it is evident that it is causing so many problems.

You might have had loved ones telling you to stop drinking, but you will know it is not as simple or straightforward as that. Perhaps you have already tried to quit or cut back on the amount of alcohol you are consuming but have been unsuccessful. This is a common side effect of addiction; even if you want to quit, you will find that you cannot.

If you are to overcome your addiction for good, you will have to consider the possibility that professional help is required. This means having to complete a programme of detox and rehabilitation.

What Is Alcohol Detox Like?

The question of ‘what does alcohol detox involve?’ is one that is commonly asked, but most affected people are afraid of the answer. There is a common misconception that those undergoing alcohol detox will need to be tied to q bed to stop them returning to drink. This is certainly not the way an alcohol detox happens.

Worrying about detox and what it will be like is often enough to prevent some from getting the help they need to recover. But avoiding an alcohol detox will mean never breaking free from your addiction, which will inevitably spiral further down a path of destruction. If you really want to put alcohol detox behind you for good, you will need to complete a detox and follow it with a programme of rehabilitation. Furthermore, while there is no denying that an alcohol detox can be unpleasant, it is not a painful process when completed under the right circumstances.

What you do need to be aware of is the fact that alcohol detox can be complicated since this is substance that affects almost every single cell in the body. It is therefore preferable for an alcohol detox to take place in a dedicated facility with fully trained professionals in attendance.

An alcohol detox begins around six to twelve hours after the person has had his or her last drink. The withdrawal symptoms will start to appear when the body realises that the usual dose of alcohol is not coming; these symptoms can begin even when there is still quite a lot of alcohol left in the bloodstream.

In the early hours and days of detox, symptoms can be quite mild and include things such as headaches, nausea, shaking, and sweating. Nonetheless, as the detox progresses, the intensity of these withdrawal symptoms will increase. Most people will only suffer with mild to moderate symptoms that make them feel as though they are suffering a bout of flu. However, the risk of serious symptoms is always present, and these can even be life-threatening if not dealt with quickly and effectively.

It is difficult to predict the type of symptoms that a person will experience before the detox begins. Several factors can influence the way in which the detox progresses, and these include the length of time the person has been addicted and whether there are any underlying mental or physical symptoms or not.

After an Alcohol Detox

Detoxing in a supervised facility is considered the safest and most comfortable way to complete the process. Medical professionals can provide medication to relieve the symptoms so that there is virtually no risk to the patient.

If you have been worrying about what does alcohol detox involve, you should put your mind at rest. The process can be quite straightforward if carried out in a supervised facility. Staff there will have knowledge and experience of the process and will know how to make it easier for you.

Once the detox is completed, you may be expecting to feel instantly better, but this is unrealistic. You need to remember that you did not become an alcoholic overnight, so makes no sense that it can be remedied that quickly either.

You should expect lingering symptoms as your body tries to get back to normal. Healing takes time, but you can look forward to a healthier life when you are no longer abusing alcohol. Your liver will repair itself, provided that no lasting damage has been done, and your kidneys, muscles and bone marrow will all improve in performance.


While an alcohol detox aims to address the physical side effects of the addiction, there is more to recovery than this. If you are to truly overcome your addiction to alcohol, you will need to think about a programme of rehabilitation once your detox has finished. It is here that the cause of the addictive behaviour will be identified and where you will learn how to avoid a return to this behaviour going forward.

Alcohol detox programmes are either inpatient or outpatient based, depending on the needs of the individual. If you have a severe addiction and have tried to quit in the past but returned to alcohol use, then an inpatient programme may be the best choice for you. This is because you will be removed from your everyday life and placed in an environment where there are no distractions from the outside world and no temptations to cause a slip-up.

Those who have discovered quite early in their addiction that there is an issue will usually find an outpatient programme is sufficient, particularly if they have plenty of support at home.

If you would like further information about overcoming your addiction and are keen to get information on what does alcohol detox involve, please contact Addiction Helper today. We have a team of expert advisors ready to take your call and answer any queries you may have. We know that the idea of detox might be preventing you from tackling your addiction head on, but we can assure you that once you make the decision to get help, you will feel as though a giant weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Moreover, we can promise you that an alcohol detox is unlikely to be half as bad as you are imagining. Please call us now and allow us to put your mind at rest.

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