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Is Alcohol like your needy ex that requires 24/7 attention? Are you sick of its undying need for consumption? Cut it out of your life with the help of Alcoholic Detoxification! Alcohol use Disorder is one of the most prevalent disorders worldwide. It is found predominantly and indiscriminately among all ages and genders. Did you know, Alcohol Consumption has risen up to 70% worldwide? This means more than half of the world!

Chronic Alcohol consumption has become a huge concern with its constant rising statistics and deaths followed by it. Yes, that’s right. According to the World Health Organization, around 3 million deaths worldwide arise from the chronic use of Alcohol meaning 5.3% of all the deaths, and the number just keeps on increasing. This is the reason a lot of attention is being paid to Alcohol Detoxification recovery programs that will help you break out of your unnatural and excessive drinking habits. This article sums up all the relevant information regarding Alcohol Detoxification. Read and find out!

Woman sitting at the table with green plants in the foreground, detoxing from alcohol.

Detoxification is a natural process your body undergoes in order to clear itself of toxic and harmful toxins or substances. In the case of Alcohol Detoxification, the body rids waste products from long-term Alcohol consumption. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Alcohol Detoxification is a medical treatment that involves talk and pharmacotherapy to provide patients rid themselves of Alcohol Dependence.

Wet Brain Stages and Treatment

Alcohol Detoxification is the first step on your road to recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder or Alcoholism. Alcohol Detoxification is only possible when there is complete cessation of alcohol intake. However, this might become dangerous. Why so? This is because abruptly quitting your Alcohol consumption may trigger your body resulting in Alcohol Withdrawal. During Alcohol Withdrawal you may or may not suffer from a wide range of symptoms that may be mild or severe depending on your previous Alcohol intake. 

If you have been a chronic Alcoholic for a long period of time meaning several months or years without a check and balance on the amount of alcohol you are consuming, you are more likely to develop Alcohol Dependence.  Alcohol Dependency implies that your mind and body both have become accustomed to regular and excessive alcohol consumption. But it just doesn’t end there, the demand for Alcohol keeps increasing on a day-to-day basis. This means even enough Alcohol won’t be enough for you resulting in a never-ending cycle of Alcohol intake which you will not be able to break.

This cycle is extremely dangerous for your health. The reason being quite obvious, you will end up filling your body with too much Alcohol, a limit after which your liver is unable to naturally detox Alcohol from your body. If your liver fails to clean the toxins derived from Alcohol, your health will decline rapidly and a variety of essential functions of your body will be affected. The effect of these toxins may not only be physical but may be psychological as well. Therefore, Alcohol Detoxification becomes inevitable and a necessity for you.

If you suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol Dependence you must go through Alcoholic Detoxification at the first very instant. However, it may become hard to distinguish if you are suffering from any of the two disorders therefore some of the most common symptoms for Alcohol Dependence are listed which are highly interchangeable with Alcohol Use Disorder. 

In order to identify for yourself or others, the following are some of the symptoms of Alcohol Dependency which are commonly observed:

Alcohol Tolerance

You will develop what is called Alcohol Tolerance. In medical terms, it means your body is continuously increasing the threshold for Alcohol to produce the effects which were previously brought about by lesser amounts. 

Generally, it means you will need to drink larger amounts of alcohol in order to feel the minimum effects of Alcohol you could enjoy at a lesser amount. For example, You used to have two drinks and felt ecstatic, now you would require three to four drinks to feel the same level of ecstasy.

Withdrawal Symptoms

You will find yourself uneasy, restless, and anxious if you delay from the usual drinking pattern. This is the start of Alcohol Withdrawal in which you start experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms you will feel if you don’t have a drink for a short period of time. These symptoms are mild initially but become much more severe over time.

Drinking To Relieve from Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

After the appearance of Withdrawal Symptoms, a person starts getting affected physically and psychologically. The symptoms are not very pleasant to bear. In such a situation you are now more likely to drink alcohol in an attempt to make these symptoms disappear rather than to just “feel good” like you used to in the beginning.

Continuous Craving For Alcohol

You will begin to notice a strange urge to drink alcohol more often than normal. Alcohol Dependence renders you with a sudden compulsion to drink Alcohol almost all the time.

Like any other drug, Alcohol detoxification may be different for different people. Since every person is affected differently and ranges differently on the scale of variety it is important that a personalized detoxification program is set up for the patient to administer properly. However, generally, there are three stages to bring about Alcohol Detoxification.

These stages are listed down below:


This is the first stage of Alcohol Detoxification. This involves the doctor-patient interaction. The doctor also examines the patient’s physical and mental health. Registers any coexisting comorbid or chronic conditions. Usually, blood tests are taken to calculate the amount of Alcohol in the patient’s blood. This stage helps in determining the type and dosage of medicines to be prescribed.


This stage consists of stabilizing the patient with medical and psychological therapy.

Withdrawal symptoms are monitored and medications are administered to prevent any complications. 

Finalizing Treatment Program

After the patient is hemodynamically stable physically and mentally. A treatment program has to be devised for the full recovery of the patient. It is usually done at this stage. The majority of the patients are advised to go through Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation.

Even though each person is affected differently by Alcohol Detoxification, usually the patient experiences the detox process through the four phases. Typically there are five phases of Alcohol Detoxification.

These are mentioned as:

Early Phase

This phase may begin as quickly as 2 hours after your last drink however in the majority of people, this phase kicks in post 6-12 hours after complete cessation of the drinking. The symptoms during this phase are mild and medication is not required.

Peaking Phase

This is the second phase of Alcohol Detoxification and is mostly described as the worst phase. During this phase, your symptoms reach their peak potential. This usually begins 24-48 Hours after your last drink. Almost all the alcohol has left your body which makes this phase extremely important. The frequency of relapses is especially during this phase. Medication intervention may be required.

Weakening Phase

This phase begins 48 to 72 Hours post-cessation of drinking. By now the body begins adjusting to the absence of Alcohol. After 72 Hours, the symptoms begin to fade and the patient starts feeling better and the medications may start to be tapered off.

However, it must be mentioned that though infrequent, sometimes the most worrisome symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal kicks in during this phase. It’s known as Delirium Tremens which is potentially life-threatening and if not timely managed may prove to be fatal.

Final Phase

This is the final phase of Alcohol Detoxification. Begins after 72 hours and may continue for a week or two. Your body no longer demands Alcohol, however, the lingering effects of Alcohol Withdrawal may be present. These may be low mood, fatigue, and restlessness.

Like with any other substance addiction, if you abruptly bring about the cessation of your substance you are bound to experience some side effects. The same is the case with Alcohol Detoxification. When you quit drinking when previously you have been binge drinking and consuming large amounts of alcohol, your body does not welcome this new change. Your body openly rejects this new idea and as a result, you suffer from the side effects of withdrawing from Alcohol. Some of these side effects are very mild and not of much importance whereas some of these are extremely deadly.

Hence there are two types of side effects of Alcohol Detoxification:

  • Mild Side Effects
  • Severe Side Effects

Mild Side Effects:

If you are not a heavy drinker, you will most likely the only experience mild side effects if you decide to go through Alcohol Detoxification. These side effects are pretty common and do not pose a serious threat to your health. These side effects usually begin to appear 6 to 12 hours after your last drink however these require no medicinal support and resolve spontaneously.

These side effects usually comprise of:

  • Shakiness or slight tremors
  • Headaches and Body Aches
  • Dizziness and Confusion
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Anxiety or Depression
  • Fatigue and Mood Swings
  • Sweating and Pale Skin

Severe Side Effects

Though infrequent, Alcohol Detoxification may also have some severe side effects. These side effects may progress to severity in a matter of hours and classify as a medical emergency. This is because if left untreated, some may prove to be fatal. 

However, these side effects only appear in people who have been heavy drinkers over the years or have a weakened immune system due to any pre-existing chronic medical condition. The side effects manifest more to a severe degree if you have been previously administered drugs or any other substance along with the use of Alcohol.

Some of these dreaded side effects are as follows:

  • Alcohol Hallucinosis
  • Tonic Clonic Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

Alcohol Hallucinosis

Alcohol Hallucinosis is a rare side effect of Alcohol Detoxification. It is presented mainly with extreme auditory hallucinations and usually presents 48 Hours post-cessation of Alcohol Intake. According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), it has been renamed as Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder primarily hallucinatory type. It may present with delusions, frequent mood swings, and unconsciousness. In a severe form, it may mimic schizophrenia.

Tonic-Clonic Seizures

Tonic-Clonic Seizures previously called Grand Mal Seizures are withdrawal-induced seizures that may arise between 12 to 48 hours after your last drink. These are caused due to dysfunction of your brain simultaneously at both sides.

This results in stiffening of your muscles and jerking off your muscles one after another. This may become life-threatening if your thoracic and abdominal muscles which assist in breathing such as the diaphragm develop extreme spasms. They may become a medical emergency within seconds. 

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens is probably the most worrisome side effect of Alcohol detoxification. This is because this condition has a high chance of mortality.

Delirium Tremens is a group of clinical frightening medical conditions that add up to severe consequences.  It manifests itself after 48 to 72 hours of your last drink.  It constitutes of the following symptoms:

  • Tachycardia
  • Heart Beat more than 72 beats per minute
  • Tachypnea
  • Breathing rate up to 20 breaths per minute
  • Fever exceeding up to 101 Fahrenheit
  • Hypertension 
  • Blood Pressure more than 120/mmHg
  • Grossly visible Tremors in all extremities
  • Hallucinations
  • All three types of hallucination. Auditory, Visual and tactile

NOTE: As dangerous as Delirium Tremens is, thankfully it is a very rare side effect. It presents only in 5-20% of the people that undergo Alcohol Detoxification!

You might think to yourself, that since you are a moderate drinker according to yourself, you do not require Alcohol Detoxification. If you stand by such a thought, a correction is in order.  It may be true that you are not a heavy drinker and do not suffer from Alcoholic Dependence as yet however there might be dangers of delaying your Alcohol Detoxification and this is mainly related to the liver. 

The liver performs around one thousand functions of your body among which cleaning blood from various useful and harmful substances is one of them. However, if the quantity of alcohol in your blood increases beyond the capacity of the liver, your liver starts being damaged. This is of utter importance because most often the liver disease is called the silent disease. It won’t be recognized by you unless significant damage has been done and you develop severe manifestations or symptoms. 

The damage doesn’t end here, once the liver fails to remove alcohol toxins, your high blood alcohol starts affecting all your organs. If such changes begin to take place, the end consequences may not be favorable. 

Excess alcohol in your blood may result in the following diseases:

  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Fibrosis and Cirrhosis of liver
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Gouty Arthritis

Therefore it is crucial that you do not delay the process of Alcohol Detoxification!

Alcoholic Detox might seem a simple process but it is anything but. There are several things that can go wrong during your detoxification. Therefore you must be well educated and informed where and when to go through your Alcohol Detox. Broadly classifying, there are two types of Alcohol Detox on the basis of where you decide it takes place.

  • At-Home Detox
  • Professional Detox

Detoxing At Home- How safe is it?

Our home is always our go-to place in times of distress. This is because we feel the most comfort and relaxation in places we are familiar with. This might be the main reason for your inclination towards choosing to detox at home surrounded by your family and friends. It is quite understandable in terms of relief.

However, safety might become a concern. This is because during detox your body goes through several changes when it isn’t given than the habitual dose of Alcohol. These symptoms are very unpredictable. They may worsen in severity in a matter of hours and your condition starts deteriorating rapidly. 

Therefore as per the professionals, home detox is not the recommended mode of detoxification. However, in the end, the decision is yours to take. We will guide you through the benefits and dangers of Alcohol Detoxification at home to help you make a wiser decision.

Dangers of Alcohol Detoxification at Home

You might be at risk of facing the following consequences if you decide to begin your detoxification at home:

  • Increased chances of relapses
  • No constant monitoring vitals to check your progress
  • No immediate medical intervention if an emergency arises
  • Increased chances of complications
  • No medications to help ease through the withdrawal symptoms

Benefits of Alcohol Detoxification at Home

Following are the benefits you will have if opt for detox at home:

  • No financial stress for hospitalization
  • Constant support from friends and family
  • Work schedule and assignments can be managed
  • Your confidentiality is preserved

Professional Detoxification

Alcohol Detoxification carried out at professional rehab facilities is highly encouraged by medical professionals. It is the safest course of action where you are provided with 24/7 availability of highly trained staff and medical help experts. 

ETOH abuse and Symptoms

This is of immense importance because the administration of the right kind of withdrawal medication may save you from the worst outcome and severe complications. Hospitals and Rehab facilities provide a safe and secure environment for you to detox with ease.

Benefits of a Professional Detox

Following are the Benefits if you detoxify within a professional setting:

  • 24/7 availability of medical experts in case of any emergency or complication
  • Well trained staff and personnel to continuously monitor your vitals
  • Medications to help relieve you of your symptoms to some extent
  • Availability of counsellors to boost up your morale
  • Less chances of relapses
  • Less chances of any dreaded complication

If you’ve decided to opt for Alcohol Detoxification in a professional setting, the next step is to decide what type of setting you would choose. Professional Detoxification is provided in the following settings:

  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Holistic Treatment
  • Residential Treatment

Partial Hospitalization

Partial Hospitalization is a mixture of the best components of Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs. As the inpatient rehab, you get to avail yourself of the facility of intensive care by the health care professionals who keep a close eye on your progress and consistently monitor your withdrawal symptoms. You also get to enjoy the perks of an outpatient and are allowed to go home overnight. This means you can manage your work schedule and spend time with your loved ones.

Inpatient Rehabilitation 

Inpatient Rehab is considered the most effective treatment program. This is because you are in the treatment center at all times. Meaning full-time supervision by the best of health professionals to closely monitor your vitals along with the availability of their intervention or medication in case of any emergency. These programs are the most efficient in providing you with complete and successful recovery including Alcohol detoxification and Alcoholism itself. It greatly reduces the chances of relapses or any other complication.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehab is another type of treatment program, as the name suggests you are in no way bound to stay at the facility. You are free to continue your studies or work along with your recovery process. Outpatient rehab involves meetings with the counselors and health care professionals that assess your progress. Over time the frequency of the meetings may be reduced depending upon your recovery. However, the risk of relapses is higher than inpatients because it doesn’t provide 24-hour monitoring of your vitals and symptoms. Therefore it can be the best modality for patients that have been chronic alcoholics and have fewer chances of developing complications.

Medically Assisted Detoxification

As mentioned before, during the process of detoxification you may go through several withdrawal symptoms which in no time may progress to severe severity. Some of these symptoms become unbearable and it’s important to treat them before they end up multiplying into any unwanted outcome. These symptoms may be relieved by prescribing medicines.  

Some of these medicines are:

  • Benzodiazepines
    • These are the FDA approved most commonly prescribed during Alcoholic Detoxification.
  • Acamprosate 
    • This drug prevents relapses once you have completely stopped drinking.
  • Anti-psychotics
    • Used to treat psychosis such hallucinations.
  • Anticonvulsants
    • Used to treat seizures of which mostly are tonic-clonic.
  • Clonidine
    • Clonidine is an anti-hypertensive. 

Holistic Treatment

Alcohol Detoxification can easily become an unpleasant process but there is a treatment program that is very refreshing that helps you go through the process more comfortably. It is a holistic treatment program.  Even though a Holistic program is fairly a new term, the techniques integrated into this method are traditional to provide comfort to the patient. The distinct fact about this program is that along with your physical and mental needs, spiritual and cultural requirements are met also with the same compassion and care. Thus treating you on all levels as a whole person.

Cessation of Alcohol brings nothing but good news for every organ of your body. After successfully completing your process of Alcohol Detoxification you will find yourself in a much more stable, healthy, and happy state of mind. You will begin to see its benefits soon around 2 weeks or more.

Some of the earliest benefits of Alcohol Detoxification will look like the following:

  • Undisturbed Sleep
  • Hydrated and Fresh looking skin
  • Declining Blood Pressure
  • No more Gastric Acid Reflux
  • Enhanced Nutrition
  • Improved Memory and Cognition
  • Improved Immune System 
  • Healthy Weight Gain

As much as Alcohol is harmful it is ten times more harmful to your baby if you’re pregnant. This is because babies cannot metabolize Alcohol which may significantly result in changes in their development and growth among many other problems. The harmful effects of Alcohol are not limited to being physical, instead, Alcohol produces a great deal of behavioral and psychological disorders in babies as well.

Some of the most common effects of the damage caused by Alcohol on the baby development is as follows:

  • Your baby may develop abnormal facial features.
  • Your baby may have Retarded Growth Rate.
  • Your baby may have a lower birth weight than normal.
  • Your baby maybe born with defects such as Heart defects or Hearing defects
  • Your baby may have a Premature birth
  • You may have a Miscarriage
  • Your baby maybe Stillborn
  • Your baby may develop Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders

Therefore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Therefore drinking is an absolute no-go while you’re pregnant. 

However, if you do drink you must immediately stop and go through Alcohol Detoxification. However pregnant women do not have the luxury of choosing a Detoxification setting because it is very hardly emphasized and stressed upon that pregnant women who may have an Alcohol Use Disorder must only register themselves for an Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation. 

It is the safest option for pregnant ladies because in case you suffer from Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms, you will not only be a risk to yourself but there will be two lives at stake!

Alcohol Detoxification breaks your habitual and nonstop drinking. It makes your mind and body healthy enough to function without needing a drink. Completing Alcohol Detoxification is indeed an achievement because the withdrawal symptoms are not easy to suffer from. 

However, Alcohol Detoxification does not cure your Alcohol Use Disorder. It is only the first step to a long road to your full recovery. Therefore it is imperative that you don’t settle here but enroll yourself in any Addiction Rehabilitation Centre that will make your complete recovery as soon as possible!

Alcohol Detoxification is a necessary evil.

Alcohol Detoxification is a complicated medical process that should not be taken lightly. It should be done after consulting with the best health care professionals therefore it is highly encouraged to go through the detox process under medical supervision.

It seems scary but it doesn’t have to be. With the right kind of treatment program, support from friends and family, and strong willpower you can achieve a complete Alcohol Detoxification.

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it!