Assisted Alcohol Detoxification at Ocean Recovery

At Ocean Recovery, we uphold a high standard of care for each of our patients. Offering 24/7 support, our team of dedicated medical professionals and addiction specialists provide an unwavering commitment to the recovery journey of every individual who enters our rehab clinic for alcohol detox treatment.

Alcohol Detox

Our number one priority is the safety and comfort of our patients, which drives every decision we make and every action we take.

The purpose of our alcohol detox treatment programme extends beyond providing medical support throughout the withdrawal process. We also aim to help individuals develop new strategies to maintain their sobriety, with continuous support to minimise the chance of relapse.

We strive to ensure that when individuals leave our clinic, they have access to an exceptional support system. For this reason, each and every individual who receives treatment at Ocean Recovery receives a FREE 12-month aftercare package. This comprehensive secondary treatment is designed to provide a consistent stream of guidance, whenever it is needed. This has proven to help those in recovery to remain on the right path.

Undergoing an alcohol detox is the first leap towards sobriety. To help clarify any questions or concerns you might have regarding alcohol detox or rehabilitation, we’ve addressed many common queries we receive below. Contact details are also provided on this page for you to reach out to us. We’re here to assist you and guide you through your recovery journey. Please continue reading to understand how we can aid your transformation.

What is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detoxification, often referred to simply as ‘detox’, can be defined as a thorough cleansing of the body to eliminate all traces of alcohol. This process is absolutely essential in the recovery process, flushing out harmful waste and toxins that accrue from extended, heavy alcohol use.

While undergoing alcohol detox at home is possible, it’s usually advisable to have the process conducted under medical supervision. This allows for the management of symptoms with appropriate medication and support from addiction specialists through counselling.

Long-term alcohol misuse often leads to heightened tolerance and profound biological alterations, causing a sort of pseudo-balance within the body. Disrupting this imbalance necessitates a gentle, careful, methodical treatment approach to ensure patient safety. The ultimate aim is to reset the body’s natural rhythms so it can function optimally, a process requiring utmost care and precision.

What is Assisted Alcohol Detox?

Assisted alcohol detoxification, also known as a medically supervised alcohol detox, is a process whereby individuals struggling to cope with alcohol use disorder (AUD) receive professional healthcare support to halt their alcohol intake safely.

This approach provides a robust support system, ensuring that the individual isn’t left alone to face what is often described as the most challenging parts of recovery. Instead, they’re granted empathetic, respectful and dignified treatment aimed at making the detox journey much less intimidating, and, instead, much more manageable.

The detoxification stage is a period of intense physiological healing, as the body works to expel toxins accumulated due to prolonged alcohol consumption. This process can lead to withdrawal symptoms that can vary in intensity, from mild to severe. In some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening, making medical supervision absolutely essential for monitoring and managing these symptoms effectively. 

In addition to medical intervention, the individual receiving treatment for alcohol detox also benefits from psychological support, recognising that addiction is not just a physical but also a mental and emotional struggle. This holistic approach is designed to address all facets of the individual’s health, helping them on their path towards recovery.

Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Please be aware that the detox and withdrawal symptoms that are experienced during this stage can vary, similar to how the alcohol detox timeline and duration can vary depending on the individual. However, most people will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms, which our specialist team can manage.

See below for a list of commonly experienced withdrawal symptoms, which can range from somewhat mild symptoms to severe.

  • Nausea – this symptom often occurs because the body is in the process of cleansing itself of alcohol. The stomach is working overtime to eliminate the toxins from alcohol, which can lead to feelings of nausea or vomiting.
  • Sweating – this is another common way the body tries to eliminate toxins. The body will often produce sweat to get rid of the alcohol. This can result in excessive, uncomfortable sweating, which is also a symptom of the body’s heightened stress response due to withdrawal.
  • Fast heartbeat – also known as tachycardia, a term that refers to a heart rate that exceeds the normal resting rate. It is a common response to withdrawal as the body’s nervous system responds to the sudden lack of alcohol.
  • Hallucinations – experienced within the first 48 hours and found in severe withdrawal cases. This can mean seeing, smelling, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there.
  • Tremors – shaking, often occurring in the hands in the early stages of alcohol detox.  Tremors can then progress to involve other parts of the body.
  • Irritability – patients may feel waves of restlessness, irritation, and aggressiveness.
  • Fear – withdrawal can come with feelings of fog and confusion, which can be known to cause individuals to feel a heightened sense of anxiety.
  • Seizures – in severe cases, individuals who are actively detoxing may experience seizures, which are sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain. They can cause changes in behaviour, movements, feelings, and levels of consciousness. Alcohol withdrawal seizures often occur within the first 24 to 48 hours after stopping drinking.

If the alcohol addiction is severe and advanced, a condition known as Delirium Tremens (DTs) can develop during detoxification, which is accompanied by severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

When is Assisted Alcohol Detox Treatment Necessary?

Assisted alcohol detox treatment is necessary when an individual has developed both a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Dependence can develop when a person consumes large amounts of alcohol over an extended period, leading to alterations in their brain chemistry.

If a person attempts to stop or substantially cut back on alcohol, withdrawal symptoms can surface. These may range from mild symptoms, such as anxiety and shaky hands, to severe and life-threatening ones, which can include hallucinations, seizures, or delirium tremens, which is why a controlled detox process in a clinic is essential.

Detoxing in a clinic under medical supervision helps manage these symptoms safely and significantly reduces the risk of complications. It also provides the patient with emotional support and prepares them for the next steps in their recovery journey, which often includes a comprehensive treatment programme, personalised to the unique needs of the individual.

Understanding The Dangers of Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens (DTs) represents one of the most severe outcomes of an alcohol use disorder and withdrawal. It’s a medical condition that manifests when a person with a significant alcohol dependency suddenly discontinues or reduces their alcohol consumption, also known as going ‘cold turkey’.

Whilst stopping drinking is a positive step in the right direction, this abrupt change can send the body into a state of shock, leading to a range of severe symptoms, and in some cases, serious complications. People experiencing DTs can endure all the symptoms mentioned above, such as physical tremors and hallucinations, but at a much more severe level.

The onset of DTs usually occurs within the first 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink and demands immediate medical attention due to its potentially life-threatening complications.

Delirium tremens can only be described as a medical emergency, leaving no room for any other interpretation. Without prompt and proper medical treatment, this severe form of alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.

The body’s extreme reaction to alcohol withdrawal can cause rapid heart rate and skyrocketing blood pressure. This cardiovascular stress can lead to heart attack or stroke, particularly in those who already have a compromised heart or circulatory system.

Another significant danger of DTs is the risk of injury due to seizures. Seizures related to DTs can be severe, causing falls or other injuries, and in some cases, can be life-threatening. Severe seizures may result in sustained unconsciousness or prolonged convulsion.

The confusion and hallucinations that accompany DTs can make the affected individual more prone to accidental self-harm. For instance, they may try to flee from imagined threats, leading to falls or accidents.

Delirium Tremens can also result in severe dehydration due to excessive sweating, an irregular heartbeat, and elevated body temperature. This dehydration can potentially lead to kidney damage or failure, which poses yet another life-threatening complication.

Without timely medical intervention and a properly structured treatment plan, the situation can rapidly escalate, which is where the potential of the condition becoming life-threatening becomes more likely.

Considering everything mentioned above, it’s absolutely essential to acknowledge the grave seriousness of Delirium Tremens. But remember, this condition only emerges in the most severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, indicating an extremely critical stage.

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Outpatient Vs Inpatient Alcohol Detox

When you enquire about going to an alcohol detox clinic, you will quickly discover outpatient and inpatient options. Whilst the distinction between the two may sound obvious, the benefits and drawbacks of each are often less apparent.

Inpatient addiction treatment often involves more significant expenses than outpatient treatment. However, this cost is well-spent and far more intensive than outpatient treatment. When you attend an inpatient clinic, you will benefit from 24-hour care. This is vital given that alcohol detox is a sufficiently dangerous procedure to warrant 24-hour medical care.

You will focus on your recovery 24 hours a day. This means inpatient rehab is intensive and, thus, highly effective. Because you are removed from your home, you will also be removed from the stresses of daily life. This allows you to invest your energy solely in your recovery.

During your time at an inpatient clinic, you will participate in group therapy, individual therapy and complementary therapies throughout the day. This treatment is particularly advantageous for those who suffer from dually diagnosed mental and physical health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Outpatient treatment allows you to receive therapy and treatments during the day. However, you return to your home following the completion of daily sessions. The critical advantage of outpatient treatment is that your professional and family life is unimpeded.

This treatment is particularly beneficial for those suffering from mild alcoholism. If you choose to attend an outpatient clinic, you would be well advised to attend an intensive outpatient programme where therapies and treatments run over an entire day and not for just one or two hours a day.

Is it Possible to Attend Rehab Solely For The Purpose of Alcohol Detox?

Yes, it is possible to attend a rehabilitation programme with the sole purpose of undergoing alcohol detoxification. In fact, many people choose to take this route. 

Detox programmes are designed to provide the necessary medical supervision and support to help individuals safely withdraw from alcohol. However, it is important to note that detoxification alone is often not sufficient for long-term recovery.

To increase the likelihood of sustained sobriety, it is highly recommended to consider staying for further treatment to build an understanding of the underlying factors contributing to alcohol misuse and reduce the risk of relapse.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The duration of alcohol detox and rehab varies for each individual and depends on the severity of the addiction to alcohol.

We recommend a minimum of 7 to 10 days for an alcohol detox as this allows our team enough time to carry out safe and comfortable detoxification and begin preparing individuals for the next steps in their recovery. 

At Ocean Recovery Centre, our minimum programme length for detoxification is 7 days, due to the clinical risk presented with alcohol misuse and dependency. 

Alcohol detox can also be incorporated into a more extended alcohol rehab programme, which typically runs over a 28-day period. Patients should always ensure that they complete the entire course, as there are risks associated with leaving rehab early.

How Much Does Alcohol Detox Treatment Cost?

The price of a medically assisted, comprehensive alcohol detox programme is approximately £3,900 per week.

When it comes to covering the costs of alcohol detox treatment, there are many avenues worth exploring. For example, many alcohol detox clinics allow you to pay for your treatment through a valid health insurance policy – and here at Ocean Recovery Centre, we are no exception in this regard.

Typically speaking, all that would be required is filling out a claim form from your insurer’s website. Then, proceed by simply sending our admission team the claim form so that our physician may complete the process for you.

We then send the completed claim form to your insurer for processing. Your insurer’s claim department will review your application and decide to grant, conditionally, or reject your claim for rehab funding.

What Happens During An Alcohol Detox Programme?

alcohol detox clinic

An alcohol detox within a clinical setting allows you to stop drinking alcohol in a medically controlled environment.

Before your detox begins, you will be assessed by a psychiatrist. You will be assigned to a therapist and key worker; these professionals will be on hand to assist you throughout the programme.

A psychiatrist will ask questions about your alcoholism during the initial assessment. They will gather relevant information about your health and any past alcoholism treatments you may have undergone.

It is vital to answer these questions correctly and thoroughly. The information you provide will help the psychiatrist in developing your individual detox and rehab plan.

The psychiatrist will also complete a physical and mental examination with you. This will help to unearth any conditions that must be treated during your recovery programme. You will then be prescribed suitable medication to help fight off alcohol withdrawal symptoms inevitably arising during the alcohol detox process.

After completing this initial assessment, you will be shown around the rehab clinic and taken to your room. You will then meet with your assigned therapist and key worker. These professionals will explain what happens during your detox and rehab programme. After completing all the above formalities, you will be supervised for 24-72 hours while you commence your detoxification treatment.

This enables our team to observe how you respond to this treatment and ensure you remain comfortable and safe throughout the process. If you are a ‘chronic alcoholic’, you will likely be at risk of very severe withdrawal symptoms. So our team will monitor you closely for signs of serious illnesses associated with alcohol withdrawal, such as delirium tremens.

During an alcohol detox programme, much emphasis is placed on mastering the basics of self-care once again. This can include areas such as nutrition, as many of those suffering from alcohol use disorder have also developed problems related to malnutrition.

To help treat malnutrition during your alcohol detox programme, all meals are carefully structured to provide you with exactly what you require, with the help of our onsite nutritionist. All meals at our alcohol detox clinic are prepared by our highly experienced team of qualified chefs.

Once the first 24-48 hours of detoxification have been completed, our team will work with you to start to plan and build your alcohol rehab programme, which will focus on a range of therapies to help you start to face the complexities of your addiction, understand the root cause of your addiction, how it affects your life and what you want to achieve during your treatment programme with us.

As we highlighted earlier, a typical alcohol detox programme in an alcohol detox clinic is completed over a 7-10 day period. During this time, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be closely monitored and treated.

If necessary for your safety and comfort, our medical professionals can prescribe detox medication (such as Librium, disulfiram and naltrexone) to help control the intensity of alcohol cravings and soothe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Medications to help reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms are only part of the treatment received during alcohol detox. Patients will also benefit from a range of therapies. These therapies are offered whilst you undergo an alcohol detox programme.

At Ocean Recovery, we have experienced addiction staff and therapists, along with a range of psychiatrists, and psychologists, who are here to help you through any of your problems. You will be allocated your own worker to help you design your recovery action plan (RAP) and guide you on your new journey to recovery.

How Are Alcohol Detox Symptoms Managed During Treatment?

Please rest assured that there are many different ways we can help to reduce alcohol detox symptoms. One proven way to soothe the negative effects that come with alcohol detox includes a prescription detox medication called Librium. Librium is a benzodiazepine.

It allows you to undergo an alcohol detox by slowly allowing chemicals in your brain to readjust without the sudden ‘jolt’ that would otherwise occur when your alcohol intake or consumption is abruptly stopped.

Librium does not utterly prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms but vastly reduces these symptoms, particularly the more dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as DTs.

We can also prescribe secondary medications that help to reduce alcohol cravings. You will be prescribed Librium and other medications over the course of a 10-day alcohol detox at an alcohol detox clinic. These medications will be gradually reduced over this period.

What Happens After Assisted Alcohol Detox?

If individuals choose to remain at the clinic for further treatment, a personalised treatment plan will be created for them. These programmes are entirely unique, and developed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the most effective treatment plan is provided.

At Ocean Recovery, we choose a mix of evidence-based techniques to ensure you have the mental state of mind to maintain your sobriety after you leave our rehabilitation clinic. A very popular and proven method of therapeutic rehabilitation is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT helps you better understand yourself and teaches techniques and coping mechanisms for your cravings. CBT also helps post-alcohol detox patients to find their triggers and see what sets them off – and can even help you pinpoint the source of your addiction.

We also offer treatment for co-existing mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. Often these are either the cause or effect of alcohol abuse and helping you deal with mental health can equip you with a stronger shield against future cravings.

If you have any questions about the alcohol detoxification programme, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 880 7596, and we will provide you with experienced guidance.

Can Alcohol Detox Be Completed at Home?

Yes, it is possible. In fact, according to NHS statistics, in 2021, 167,000 prescription items were dispensed to treat alcohol dependence. However, home detox is not recommended.

In reality, alcohol detox is not something you can easily do by yourself. The process of detoxifying refers to removing all toxins from your body, and alcohol detox is, therefore, the process of removing all traces of alcohol from your body. It is a challenging time for many, and having access to a team of professionals who are there with the sole purpose of helping you through it, makes all the difference. 

As alcohol affects almost every cell in the body, it is very complicated to withdraw from it. Rehabilitation clinics generally recommend that those affected by alcoholism complete an alcohol detox programme before entering rehabilitation.

How to Access a Private Detox Clinic

Referrals to a private alcohol detox clinic or private clinics in general come from many sources. We receive enquiries from doctors, therapists and NHS hospitals. We also receive enquiries from individuals who are seeking help for themselves via our contact form. Family members contact us seeking help for a loved one through our family referral service.

What is vital is that, from the start, the professionals who will be looking after you understand your alcohol addiction right from the very beginning so that they are certain that your specific needs and treatment can be met.

An experienced admissions coordinator will conduct a free screening consultation and questionnaire with you. This will cover important topics including your health (both mental and physical) at the moment, your current physical and mental health, your home circumstances and your level of alcohol abuse.

As you would expect, your confidentiality is maintained throughout the process. From start to finish, the consultation and questionnaire lasts about twenty minutes. Let us know a date and a time that suits you and get in touch with one of our experts on the phone.

If admission to our private alcohol detox clinic is suitable, then we can move to the next stage which is to prepare you for your time and work with us. After all this, if you decide that you would like to be treated by us, we then ask for a deposit – one of our admissions team will take your payment details.

A great deal of preparation is required prior to your admission. Your treatment is customised to your individual needs and a treatment programme will need to begin to be formulated before you arrive.

On the day you arrive for your treatment, the first person you will meet is one of our trained alcohol recovery practitioners. When you meet, they will explain to you the structure of the treatment and show you the facilities we have at Ocean Recovery Centre.

Learn More About Our Alcohol Treatment Options

Get in touch with us today, and we will talk to you about our different treatment options. If you’re worried that you have any of these symptoms of alcohol dependence, or you’d like to learn more about the withdrawal process, then contact us and see how we may be able to help or phone directly today on 0800 880 7596.

There are a number of questions which we are regularly asked surrounding alcohol detoxification, so we have answered some of the most common queries below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right rehab treatment provider can be a life-changing decision; here are some of the most common questions we are asked pre-admission.

What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Withdrawal?

When you stop drinking after prolonged alcohol consumption, you will more than likely suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Usually, the signs of alcohol withdrawal are divided into two different categories: Physical and psychological signs.

Physical Signs:

  • Hand tremors
  • Nausea and/ vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Minor to moderate seizures

Psychological Signs:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

Can You Detox From Alcohol At Home?

An alcohol detox is something you can do at home but we definitely wouldn’t advise it. Some have had success detoxing from home and using the support of a group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, while we do advise our clients to visit these kinds of groups after treatment, we know that alcohol withdrawal can cause severe health issues that will require medical treatment.

We know that if you have an alcohol addiction then it’s very unlikely that you will fully recover without addiction treatment – this is why supervised detox and professional rehab will give you a better chance of maintaining long-term sobriety.

This is why if you looking for a serious treatment for alcohol addiction, we’d advise using a medically supervised clinic, like ourselves.

What Is Delirium Tremens?

Delirium Tremens, also can be known as DTs or the shakes is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This is quite common with people who have suffered with prolonged periods of alcoholism, or are going through an instant withdrawal from alcohol.

Common symptoms associated with DTs include:

  • Nightmares
  • Hallucination
  • Fever
  • Perspiration
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Heightened heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Increased blood pressure

What to Eat When Doing an Alcohol Detox?

When you undergo an alcohol detox, eating healthy foods is a vital ally in the fight against alcohol withdrawal symptoms. When you attend Ocean Recovery alcohol detox clinic, good nutrition will play a vital part in your early recovery efforts.

Certain foods are thought to possess properties that help to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods high in vitamin B, and foods rich in protein. The food you eat during your alcohol detox programme will mostly consist of these food types.

What Can You Expect During An Alcohol Detox

Everyone differs in experience but during detox many individuals feel worse before they feel better. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of your condition. Common symptoms can include

  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability
  • Flu like symptoms and more

What is a Home Alcohol Detox Treatment?

A home alcohol detox treatment involves self-guided withdrawal from alcohol using prescribed medication, typically under a doctor’s guidance. It can, however, pose serious risks, including severe withdrawal symptoms or medication errors. Therefore, it is not usually recommended, with medically supervised detox at a clinic often considered a safer choice.

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

Experts say it is possible to die when going through alcohol withdrawal. But it is extremely rare.

Can You Avoid Alcohol Withdrawal?

This is not possible. If you are dependant on alcohol then your body will certainly go through alcohol withdrawal when you stop drinking.

How Long Will A Person Stay Off Alcohol After Detox?

If you are serious about quitting alcohol, a combination of addiction treatment support, aftercare services, group support and understanding of your friends and family will make it possible for you to stay off alcohol after detox.

What's The Difference Between Alcohol Withdrawal And A Hangover?

A hangover is caused when you consume too much alcohol. Researchers believe a hangover is due to a toxin that’s produced in the liver known as acetaldehyde. In contrast, alcohol withdrawal is caused when sufferers of alcoholism consume too little alcohol. A hangover affects everyone who drinks too much alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms will only affect those who suffer from alcoholism.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: September 28, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Olalekan Otulana

    Dr. Olalekan Otulana - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: July 31, 2023


    Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Specialist Physician. He is particularly interested in Substance Misuse Management and has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management and residential rehabilitation of patients with drug and other substance addiction problems. His main aim is to assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

    Dr Otulana started practising as a doctor in 2000 and has been in the field of addiction for over a decade. He is an Advanced Practitioner Member of Addiction Professionals and holds a Part 1 Certificate in Clinical Psychopharmacology from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. He is excellent healthcare service professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.