What do you experience when having an alcohol detox?

The different types of alcohol withdrawal symptoms

When people drink alcohol they tend to not think about how hard it will be the next day when they have no alcohol in their system.

Those who drink more excessively are more likely to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms than those that tend to drink less.

Having an alcohol detox is a crucial step in helping those who are experiencing a dependency to alcohol from overcoming their addiction before it becomes a problem for them.

Why is it important to have an alcohol detox?

By having an alcohol detox it starts the process of treating alcoholism by having no alcohol in your system.

Withdrawals symptoms can be experienced within one to two weeks after beginning an alcohol detox.

The exact time frame in which alcohol withdrawal symptoms are experienced depend on your body, your usual alcohol intake, and how dependent you are on alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

There are two different types of symptoms experienced when starting an alcohol detox:

  • Common - experienced by those who have been regularly drinking and stop drinking suddenly. The symptoms can be more noticeable from 24 to 72 hours after your first drink.
  • Severe - experienced by 3% to 5% of those who stop drinking heavily and develop ‘delirium tremens’

Common symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol range from feeling anxious or depressed, experiencing a loss in appetite, shakiness, having a faster heart rate and headaches.

Severe symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol are more dangerous and can often require medical attention. The main severe symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol include: having a fever, getting extremely agitated, seizures, hallucinations and high blood pressure.

To learn more about alcohol detox treatment methods, click here to learn more information about getting help.

What happens when starting an alcohol detox?

Starting an alcohol detox is a long and hard process. Individuals who drink more are likely to experience some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which means that some may require medical attention during their detoxing period.

Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, some may choose to begin their alcohol detox in a medical environment such as a rehabilitation centre.

Beginning the process to become sober and remove their dependency on alcohol is a process that requires a lot of thought, such as deciding whether to detox at home or at a rehab centre.

The helpfulness of rehab centres

Patients choose to detox as an inpatient because of a variety of factors they believe will benefit them, and also help their alcohol detox process feel safer and simpler:

  • There is less temptation to drink due to not being able to access any alcohol at a detox centre
  • The reason behind why the patients drink is also uncovered and allows them to have a better understanding of their addiction
  • Access to medical attention (i.e. doctors and nurses) in case they require it when experiencing severe symptoms
  • The success rates of rehab centres that provide alcohol detox treatments will want individuals to go to a centre if they believe it is successful

For information from the NHS about how to get help with alcohol detox, click here for free information.