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How to Tell if You Need Medical Alcohol Detox 


Long-term alcohol abuse can have dangerous effects on an individual and their loved ones. Alcohol dependency is defined as having a psychological or physical reliance on drinking. An alcohol-dependent individual may constantly worry about where the next drink will come from and demonstrate an inability to cease drinking once they begin. With long-term use, an individual can also become physically dependent on the substance, showing signs of withdrawal when they do not consume alcohol. Banyan Boca mental health is taking a look at the signs of a person in need of a medical alcohol detox.

What Is a Medical Detox?

Medical detox is a crucial process that assists individuals in safely and comfortably withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. The procedure typically takes place under the observation of medical professionals in a specialized detox facility or hospital. During this process, individuals' physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal are closely monitored as they can be severe and even life-threatening. The medical team provides medication and other interventions to manage symptoms and decrease the risk of complications.

When it comes to addiction treatment and recovery, medical detox plays a vital role. It ensures that individuals can safely withdraw from substances and begin addressing the underlying factors that led to their addiction. Furthermore, it can minimize the risk of relapse by providing individuals with the necessary support and resources to navigate the early stages of recovery. On top of that, medical detox can serve as an opportunity for individuals to connect with other treatment and support services that can aid them in achieving long-term sobriety and a healthier, happier life.

Why Is Alcohol Withdrawal So Dangerous?

The reason why alcohol withdrawal is considered dangerous is due to the potential for a range of physical and psychological symptoms such as seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, and even death. The severity of these symptoms can vary, depending on factors such as the individual's level of alcohol consumption, overall health, and the duration of their addiction.

If alcohol withdrawal is not treated or managed properly, it can lead to serious complications that can be life-threatening. Therefore, medical supervision and support are critical during the detox process to help control symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

The warning signs of alcoholism include:

  • Hurting yourself or others while drinking.
  • Your relationships are severely affected.
  • Many people have expressed concern about your drinking habits.
  • Missing important events and neglecting everyday responsibilities.
  • You’ve gotten in trouble with the law because of drinking.
  • Multiple blackouts due to alcohol.
  • Feeling the need to hide your drinking and lie more often.
  • Drinking to relieve stress or anxiety.
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
  • Continued drinking despite negative consequences.
  • Needing to drink more to achieve the desired effect (tolerance).
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from drinking.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while drinking (e.g., driving under the influence).
  • Blacking out or experiencing memory lapses while drinking.
  • Continuing to drink despite health problems related to alcohol consumption.
  • Difficulty quitting or cutting back on drinking.
  • Increased irritability or aggression when not drinking.

Signs of alcohol withdrawal requiring medical detox include:

• Agitation

• Anxiety

• Confusion

• Dehydration

• Delirium tremens (DTs)

• Depression

• Fatigue

• Fever

• Hallucinations

• Headaches

• Increased heart rate

• Insomnia

• Irritability

• Loss of appetite

• Nausea and vomiting

• Rapid breathing

• Seizures

• Sweating

• Tremors or shaking

While there are many other signs of alcoholism, you should pay attention to the ones above to realize if your drinking habits are seriously affecting your everyday life.

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawals Last?

The duration of alcohol withdrawals can differ depending on the extent of the addiction and the individual's overall physical condition. Typically, mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms persist for several days up to a week. These symptoms may include trembling, anxiety, vomiting, perspiration, and insomnia. Though these symptoms can cause discomfort, they are not life-threatening.

However, severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, also known as delirium tremens (DTs), can last for multiple weeks or even months. DTs are characterized by disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, and high blood pressure, which can be fatal. People who experience severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms must seek medical attention immediately to prevent complications. It is critical to seek professional help when trying to quit alcohol to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

Alcohol detox should always take place in a medically managed setting. Although our Boca Raton mental health facilities focus on healing a person’s behavioral issues, other Banyan drug rehab locations do provide an alcohol detox program.

Contact Banyan Treatment Center today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our medical alcohol detox programs and options for addiction treatment.

Related Reading

How to Stay Safe When Detoxing From Alcohol

How to Overcome an Alcohol Addiction


Contact Banyan Treatment Center today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our alcohol detox program.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.