What Happens in Alcohol Detox?

Withdrawing from alcohol should take place in a supervised detox facility. Here’s what happens in alcohol detox.

If you’re ready to end an addiction to alcohol, the first step of treatment will likely be a medical detox program. Detox is used to treat dependence on alcohol, which is different from addiction. Here, we look at why medical detox is essential and answer questions about what happens in alcohol detox.

What is Alcohol Dependence?

Alcohol dependence is characterized by alcohol detox symptoms that set in when you stop drinking. Dependence develops due to changes in the chemical function of your brain as it attempts to compensate for the frequent presence of alcohol. Over time, this leads to tolerance, which means that it takes increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to get the desired effects. At some point, brain function may shift so that the brain operates more comfortably when alcohol is present. Then, when you stop drinking, normal brain function rebounds, causing withdrawal symptoms.

Why is Alcohol Detox Necessary?

Some of the alcohol detox symptoms that may occur during withdrawal can include seizures and dangerous shifts in heart function. In some cases, these symptoms are fatal. Alcohol detox through a high quality treatment program is supervised by medical professionals to ensure the highest possible level of safety and comfort.

Medical detox isn’t just essential for safety. It also improves the chances of successful detox. Most people who try to detox on their own turn back to drinking very quickly, because the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol detox can be excruciating, including intense cravings for alcohol that are extremely hard to resist. Detox helps improve the chances of successfully detoxing from alcohol by reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and improving your sense of wellbeing during the detox process.

What Happens in Alcohol Detox?

Many people wonder what happens in alcohol detox. A high quality detox program will offer a comfortable, relaxing environment for detoxing. During medical detox, medical and mental health professionals will administer a variety of medications to help reduce the intensity of symptoms like headache, nausea, insomnia, and anxiety. If you’re at high risk of developing delirium tremens, a dangerous condition associated with alcohol detox, you’ll be intensely supervised and may take medication to help prevent dangerous symptoms.

High quality, holistic detox centers offer a variety of holistic therapies to help improve your comfort and wellbeing during detox. These include massage therapy, acupuncture, restorative yoga, and mindfulness meditation.

During the detox process, which can last a week or longer, your treatment team will work with you to develop a treatment plan to address the addiction and prevent relapse once detox is complete.

Detox is Not Addiction Treatment

What happens in alcohol detox helps you end a dependence on alcohol, but once detox is complete, treatment is essential for ending the addiction, which is far more complex than dependence.

Alcohol addiction almost always has underlying causes, and these must be addressed for successful recovery. Additionally, any co-occurring mental illnesses need to be treated, and the damage to your life done by the addiction needs to be addessed.

Since there is no single pathway to recovery, and successful recovery requires addressing a wide variety of needs, issues, and problems, a holistic treatment program offers the best outcomes. A holistic program addresses body, mind, and spirit for whole-person healing, and it does this through a variety of traditional and complementary therapies that help you:

  • Address the underlying issues behind the addiction.
  • Identify and change self-destructive thought and behavior patterns.
  • Address any co-occurring mental illnesses.
  • Develop the skills needed for coping with stress, cravings, and other triggers.
  • Repair damaged relationships and restore function to the family system.
  • Learn to relax and have fun without alcohol.
  • Identify purpose and meaning in a life of abstinence.

Alcohol Detox Facility Near Me

If you’re looking for an alcohol detox facility near me, WhiteSands Treatment can help. Our quality, holistic detox program ensures comfort and safety during detox, along with a high level of support, structure, and supervision for the best possible outcome.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.