Alcohol Detox

Effective Programs for Detox from Alcohol at South Shores

 Millions of Americans struggle with alcohol addiction, and many of these people need the services of an alcohol detox facility. Typically, it takes a full week to completely detox from alcohol, but depending on the severity of the addiction, it can take longer. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to serious depending on your level of drinking.

There are various symptoms that accompany an alcohol detox. They can be extremely uncomfortable, and even life-threatening in some cases. Those with severe alcohol use disorders will likely also experience more pronounced withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations and seizures. It should be noted, however, that the alcohol detox process is different for everyone.

What Does Alcohol Detox Mean?

When someone drinks heavily, their blood alcohol levels rise, and toxins from alcohol build up in the body. Alcohol detox is when someone stops drinking alcohol and attempts to clear the substance from the body.
There are various long-term impacts that alcohol abuse can have, but one of the short-term impacts is withdrawal. Knowing what is to come with withdrawal, can make an alcohol detox a much easier process.

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Who Needs Alcohol Detox?

If you see the signs of alcoholism, you can then begin understanding the importance of alcohol detox. Choosing an alcohol detox program is often your best bet in achieving sobriety. First, though, you must be able to identify the signs of alcoholism and signs of alcohol withdrawal.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Being able to understand the signs of alcoholism can be difficult because typically an alcoholic will be secretive about their choices and drinking. They often become angry if confronted, so it is important to be aware of these signs and symptoms to be sure. Common signs of alcoholism include:
  • Lack of interest in previously normal or loved activities
  • Appearing intoxicated more regularly
  • The need to drink more to get “drunk”
  • Appearing tired, unwell, or irritable
  • An inability to say no to alcohol
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems
  • Becoming secretive or dishonest

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

There are various common signs of alcohol withdrawal, some of these signs include:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Jitters
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Change in appetite
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Body tremors
  • Nightmares
  • Sweaty or clammy skin

There are also severe signs of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens (or DTs). These severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have the potential to be life-threatening. There are medications for alcohol detox that can help you to mitigate these symptoms. Examples of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Disturbed mood
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Seizure
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Alcohol Detox Timeline

Most people experience alcohol detox differently, but generally, there is a withdrawal timeline and stages that follows roughly the schedule below:

Day 1

Symptoms begin within the first hours after a drink. If you are dependent on alcohol you may quickly experience shaky hands and a restless feeling. There are typically also cravings for alcohol at this point.

Day 2-6

Withdrawal symptoms will usually be at their peak after the first day. It is common to feel anxiety and nausea during detox, to have a fast heartbeat, and to experience vomiting. You may also experience a bad mood or hallucinations. With an increase in blood pressure, a seizure is also common at this point.

Specifically, if you are severely dependent on alcohol, you may begin to experience delirium tremens and seizures. They can begin suddenly, but a medical detox program can help you to avoid these symptoms.

Day 7+

After about one week of symptoms, you may feel stability. Although cravings and poor mood may still be present, generally you will feel a lot better. Anxiety and depression are very common during this time because your body is looking to get back to homeostasis. Your support system will be essential at this time. Whether that is family and friends, or a medical treatment team.

Benefits of a Medically Supervised Detox Setting

Helps to avoid seizures and delirium tremens, which come along with the most dangerous withdrawals. There are many benefits of a medical detox program. In most cases, they are an essential part of treating alcohol addiction. Typically, it is very helpful for drug withdrawal, but especially when detoxing from alcohol.

In medical detox settings, doctors will provide exams and evaluations which include checking temperature, heart rate, breathing patterns, and more. Toxicology screens are often performed in order to sense how much alcohol is in the system, and what action to take. It can help to determine if alcohol poisoning has taken place, the state of your liver, and a path to healing.

The purpose of going through a medical detox is to reduce withdrawal symptoms, but it can also help to address any co-occurring medical conditions, and even provide emotional support. Detox can be an extremely uncomfortable time, and there are usually additional support therapies offered in detox programs.

Risks of At Home Alcohol Detox

There are many at-home alcohol detox risks, which are essentially the dangers of quitting cold turkey. But can you die from alcohol detox? 

In severe cases, you can die from quitting cold turkey, which is why it is important to go through medical detox at an accredited alcohol detox facility in Orange County such as South Shores.

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Types of Addiction Treatment

Inpatient Treatment

Research shows that medical detox alone is not enough to fully recover from alcoholism. This is why inpatient treatment is often used to address the underlying causes of alcoholism. During this type of treatment, you will be required to live at the facility. You will be given round-the-clock care throughout your program. This is known as the most successful form of treatment.

Misuse vs Abuse vs Addiction

Alcohol misuse, abuse, and addiction are all serious challenges to a healthy society. However, there are huge differences between the misuse, abuse, and addiction of both illegal drugs, and legal drugs (such as alcohol). Interventions for each issue required different approaches, which means it is essential to identify the specific type of alcohol problem.


The misuse of a substance is usually associated with prescription medicines but can also be attributed to alcohol. For example, prescription medicines are meant to be taken as directed and prescribed. The purpose of this is to keep you safe because bad side effects can occur if the directions are not followed.
When it comes to alcohol, it is supposed to be something that tastes good and is fun to drink. Misuse of alcohol occurs if you drink more than recommended, or too fast such as with binge drinking. Misuse also occurs if you drink because of depression, or to self-medicate.
Misuse is different from addiction because there is a difference between someone who misuses a substance and someone who abuses it. Most often people use alcohol for a purpose, and misuse occurs. Abuse occurs when it is used for the goal of overuse.
An example of misuse of alcohol would be someone drinking to fall asleep. It becomes abuse when you can no longer get drunk socially, and then you begin drinking more to feel the same effect as before.


As mentioned, abuse happens when alcohol is used specifically to get high. It can be referred to as a substance use disorder (SUD). This is because people who abuse alcohol usually have altered thinking, behavior, and body functions.
Abuse is also different from addiction because addiction is a severe form of drug abuse. The main difference lies in how much control the user has over their choices. People who abuse alcohol may still have control over their life, as it may not completely disrupt their life. Alternatively, addiction is a disease that completely takes over your life. It may lead to missing school or work and completely endanger your family life. It may also lead to health problems and legal trouble due to the usage.
The difference also lies in that it is impossible to change habits in an abused person to improve their situation without help. This is why many people with drug addiction eventually lose their jobs, end up homeless, or become separated from their families. Some people die from substance use.


Finally, drug addiction, which is also known as severe SUD, is a brain disorder. It can be seen as the uncontrollable use of alcohol despite it causing issues and consequences in their life. Those with drug addiction will have both physical and psychological symptoms. Eventually, intense withdrawal symptoms will occur when alcohol use stops during alcohol detox.
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Finding the Right Program for You

The continuum of alcohol treatment is not the same for everyone, although typically alcohol detox lasts about a week. It may feel longer, and there are other phrases that come after the initial detox. Support is essential during this time. Because there has been research that shows detox is not enough, but there must be other treatments to follow it up, such as inpatient treatment, or outpatient care.

There is no one right way to treat an alcohol use disorder, which means it can be confusing depending on your unique circumstances and background. Rather than go through the withdrawal and detox process alone, let South Shore Recovery Center craft a personalized recovery plan that takes into account your personal history and perspectives. Call our compassionate, dedicated team now to begin the journey to healing from alcohol abuse and start living a sober life that can help your dreams become reality!