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Alcohol Detox Centers Near Me

In 2020, more than 28 million people in the United States had a past-year alcohol use disorder (AUD), a chronic but treatable medical condition where it is difficult to control or stop one’s drinking despite negative consequences.1, 2

When a person develops physiological alcohol dependence and attempts to cut back or quit drinking, they may experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.3 Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but you don’t have to go through the process alone. Alcohol withdrawal can be managed in a medically supervised detoxification setting so you can more comfortably and safely withdrawal and transition into ongoing treatment.4

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol, it may be time to seek professional help. Learning about alcohol detox can be an important first step that can help you make an informed decision about your health.

This page explains what happens during alcohol detox, the types of alcohol detox centers available, and things to consider when choosing an alcohol detox center for you or someone you care about. You can also call our alcohol helpline at for information on treatment options.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

For many people, the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal can begin within 6 to 24 hours after their last drink—in some cases, even if their blood alcohol centration is still significantly elevated.4 Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may follow a variable course and can range from mild to severe depending on several factors such as age, general state of health, nutritional status, and any co-occurring medical and mental health conditions.4

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include:4, 5

  • Anxiety.
  • Agitation.
  • Irritability.
  • Restlessness.
  • Impaired concentration and judgment.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Tremor or shakiness.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Sleep problems (e.g., insomnia, nightmares, or vivid dreams).
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and tactile stimuli.
  • Fever.
  • Sweating.
  • Delusions.
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling the touch of things that aren’t there).

Alcohol withdrawal may be accompanied by several serious medical complications including grand mal seizures and dysregulation of blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse. Delirium tremens (DTs) is another potential complication of a progressively worsening alcohol withdrawal syndrome. People who develop DTs may experience florid hallucinations, mental confusion, disorientation, and may struggle with severe autonomic nervous system hyperactivity. Severe alcohol withdrawal seizures and DTs can be fatal, which is why it’s important that a person does not try to detox “cold turkey” at home.4, 5, 6

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing medical complications due to alcohol withdrawal, seek medical attention immediately.

What Happens During Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox is often the first step in treatment for people in recovery. The goals of alcohol detox include helping patients achieve a substance-free state, mitigating or relieving immediate withdrawal symptoms, and addressing any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.7 By achieving these goals, medical detox can help patients transition from a period of acute alcohol withdrawal management to longer-term rehabilitative treatment for alcohol use disorder.7

From start to finish, the full length of alcohol detox may vary by patient, with estimated time frames ranging anywhere from 3 and 14 days for successful withdrawal management.7 While alcohol detox protocols may vary somewhat, many detox programs will include the following 3 essential components:4, 7

  • Evaluation: Patients may undergo a thorough evaluation of their mental and physical health as well as their home and social life to assess their unique needs after detox.
  • Stabilization: The goal of stabilization is to help patients reach a substance-free state and may include various medical and psychosocial processes to help mitigate the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Patients may receive medication to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
  • Facilitation into ongoing treatment: Following treatment at an alcohol detox center, many patients transition to some type of ongoing alcohol addiction treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient rehab.

Types of Alcohol Detox Centers

Alcohol detox can take place in inpatient and outpatient settings.5 The right treatment setting varies on a patient-by-patient basis and depends on several factors, including whether a patient has a co-occurring mental health disorder and how likely they are to experience complications from alcohol withdrawal.

Inpatient Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal

During inpatient detox, patients remain onsite at a treatment center 24/7 while their alcohol withdrawal symptoms are managed by medical professionals.7, 8 A medical professional may recommend this type of treatment setting for patients who are at risk of developing severe or complicated withdrawal symptoms or for patients who may be at risk of suicide.7 Patients who are at low risk of severe or complicated withdrawal but don’t have a reliable support network may benefit from an inpatient setting as well.7 During inpatient detox, patients may receive medications to help mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal

Outpatient detox has become increasingly common as clinical practice has evolved.5, 7 During outpatient alcohol detox, patients typically travel to a hospital or other type of treatment facility for treatment sessions but return home in the evening. Outpatient alcohol detox can vary greatly in duration and intensity.8

Outpatient alcohol detox is considered as effective as inpatient alcohol detox for patients with mild or moderate withdrawal symptoms; however, outpatient settings may not provide as full a range of medical intervention, supervision, and patient monitoring as found in inpatient settings. This is why medical professionals may advise against this type of setting for patients at risk of developing severe or complicated withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens or patients who have associated medical conditions such as cirrhosis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and pancreatitis.4, 5, 7

Choosing an Alcohol Detox Center

There are several factors you may want to consider when choosing an alcohol detox center for yourself or your loved one. The following questions may help guide your search:

  • What kind of treatment approaches are used?
  • Does the detox program offer inpatient and outpatient settings?
  • Are medications used?
  • How is relapse addressed?
  • What expectations are there of patients in the program?
  • Are co-occurring mental health disorders treated?
  • How does the program measure outcomes and success of treatment?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Does the program take insurance? If so, can you verify your insurance to ensure that you are in-network for the program?

What Happens After Alcohol Detox?

While detox can help a person achieve a substance-free state, it may not be enough to facilitate long-term recovery for someone struggling with an alcohol use disorder.4, 9 Following detox, many people benefit from ongoing treatment such as inpatient or outpatient rehab.9

Ongoing treatment looks different for everyone, but patients can expect to participate in various group and individual counseling and wellness activities as well as common behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and contingency management.9 Medical professionals may also prescribe AUD treatment medications, such as acamprosate and naltrexone, to help patients prevent relapse and maintain their recovery progress.10

Find an Alcohol Detox Center Near You

If you or someone you care about are struggling with alcohol use, you don’t have to go through it alone. An alcohol detox center can help you comfortably and safely withdraw from alcohol and transition into ongoing treatment. Our directory lets you easily search for an alcohol detox center near you when you filter by “detox services,” and location. If you need help, our admissions navigators are available 24/7 when you can .

 

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