Detox From Alcohol


When an alcohol dependent person suddenly stops drinking alcohol, he or she usually suffers from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Detox from alcohol is a treatment approach that focuses on controlling the alcohol withdrawal symptoms in a safe manner so that the body can get rid of the alcohol that has been consumed.

It is important to note, however, that although detoxification process is important, it is only one step in the alcohol treatment process.

Detox From Alcohol and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxification from alcohol is a widely available, "mainstream" type of alcoholism treatment that is almost always done under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Not only this, but alcohol detoxification is frequently employed as the first step in an alcoholic treatment program.

Due primarily to the relatively long time-frame required for the alcohol detox process, these programs are usually part of an inpatient alcohol rehab therapeutic program.


Recent research findings have demonstrated the critical importance of medically treating every individual who is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Having said this, however, it should be pointed out that roughly 95% of the individuals who abruptly quit drinking alcohol suffer from mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms and can often be treated on an out-patient basis by a healthcare practitioner.

The remaining 5% of the people who experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, however, suffer from symptoms that are so severe that they need to be treated in an alcohol rehab facility that specializes in alcohol detoxification or in a hospital.

Detox From Alcohol: Non-Drug Programs

A variety of non-drug techniques exist for treating detoxification from alcohol.

In fact, according to the current research literature, it appears that the safest way to treat mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms is without medications.

Such non-drug detox from alcohol programs use extensive social support and screening during the entire withdrawal process.

Other non-drug detox from alcohol programs, moreover, use proper nutrition and vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) in treating mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Detox From Alcohol Using Medications

Numerous research scientists openly assert that people who suffer from severe alcoholic withdrawal symptoms or chronic alcoholics who cannot maintain sobriety should receive drug treatment to control their alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, it can be noted that by using medications, alcoholics are less likely to experience possible brain damage and/or seizures.

According to researchers, the drugs most likely to produce effective results when treating alcoholic withdrawal symptoms are the benzodiazepines.

Examples include the longer-acting benzodiazepines such as Librium and Valium and shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Serax.

From an historical perspective, moreover, when doctors have used benzodiazepines they have employed a progressive decrease in dosage over the time-frame of the entire alcohol withdrawal process.

Due to the fact that the shorter-acting benzodiazepines do not remain in the person's system for an excessive amount of time and since they allow for measurable dose reductions, numerous alcoholism researchers have suggested that intermediate to short half-life benzodiazepines should be used for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Once the individual has overcome his or her alcoholic withdrawal symptoms, conversely, medications such as disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) can be used in an effort to help prevent the person from returning to drinking after he or she has experienced a relapse and ingested alcohol.

For example, Antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics that triggers negative effects such as vomiting, flushing, dizziness, and nausea if alcohol is consumed.

Why does Antabuse work so well? Mainly because it is such a strong deterrent.

Naltrexone (ReViaT), on the other hand, is employed in a far different manner in that it effectively targets the brain's reward circuits and reduces the craving the alcoholic has for alcohol.

Detox From Alcohol: Inpatient versus Outpatient Status

Not surprisingly, researchers have discovered that inpatient alcohol withdrawal treatment is frequently longer-lasting and more effective than outpatient treatment.

As a result, the more severe the alcohol withdrawal symptoms and the alcohol detox symptoms, the more likely that inpatient detox programs should be considered.

Conclusion: Detox From Alcohol

Although 95% of the individuals who quit drinking experience mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms, every individual who experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms should receive professional alcohol detox treatment.

It follows, then, that the most significant lesson to be learned regarding the detoxification from alcohol is this.


When experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, always see your healthcare provider immediately so that he or she can assess the severity of your alcohol withdrawals and recommend the alcohol treatment program that is most appropriate for your particular situation.

Remember, detoxing from alcohol is only one step in the alcohol treatment process.

If you want to become sober and live an alcohol-free lifestyle, however, you should consider getting professional alcohol treatment.