It is possible to consume alcohol responsibly and safely; but once someone starts abusing it, a serious addiction can arise. Alcoholism is an addiction disorder that can affect one’s physical & mental health, productivity, and relationships.

If you or a loved one has suffered through or is currently experiencing issues with alcohol abuse, you’re most likely aware of how complicated achieving sobriety may be, but it is very possible when treatment is properly administered.

One of the many steps to recovery is detoxing from alcohol, which typically occurs during the withdrawal process in a hospital or rehabilitation facility. Detoxing begins once someone makes the decision to stop drinking, but do all those trying to recover really need to have it administered professionally?

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

For people who have been drinking for a prolonged period of time, alcohol withdrawal may develop anywhere from a few hours until a few days after they are finished. Since alcohol is a depressant, the body and brain chemistry needs time to adjust after you stop drinking.

While alcohol withdrawal can vary vastly depending on the person and their health, The Addiction Center reported that about 80% of people with alcoholism suffer some sort of symptoms after entering rehabilitation.


Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms may range in severity depending on factors such as underlying conditions, how often the individual drinks, how long they’ve been drinking, and whether or not they’ve had withdrawals before.

These symptoms occur in three steps depending on how long someone has been suffering from it: step 1 is mild, step 2 is moderate, and the final step is the most severe and can include fevers or confusion. Issues stemming from withdrawal may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Mental Confusion
  • Possible high fevers

Because of how serious withdrawal symptoms can be, it’s imperative that people are monitored by a medical professional while detoxing. This can be one of the most nerve-wracking steps when it comes to recovery, so supervision is necessary.


Detox & Withdrawal Management

According to the Addiction Center, detox is the. “natural process that occurs in the body as it attempts to rid the system of waste products and toxins from excessive, long-term alcohol consumption,”, but in the medical world, detox is the process of alleviating withdrawal symptoms under supervision.

Medical detox should be administered at a rehabilitation facility as part of and inpatient or outpatient program — the doctor will decide how much intervention their patient will need to manage and aid in their symptoms. The process starts with a medical & mental health evaluation, and the patients’ medical and emotional needs will be constantly monitored and attended to.

Detox typically combined with a treatment like medication (benzodiazepines) or counseling. Adjustments to treatment may be made throughout detox, depending on the patients’ response.

The three steps to detoxing successfully are:

  1. Intake
  2. Medication
  3. Stabilization

Once detox is complete, the patient is ready to head into the next level of a longer treatment program.


Do You Really Need to Go to Detox?

The short answer is, yes. Detox is necessary to recovery; and since it’s dangerous to administer alone, it must be completed when supervised by a medical professional.

Detox does not cure alcoholism, but it helps to clear the mind and heal the body to help the patient truly focus on recovery to build a happy & healthy life.


If you have any questions about alcohol detoxing and eligible medical facilities, please read alcohol detox information here.