What To Expect In Alcohol Detox

Call Now To Get On The Road To Recovery.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

*As required by law, all communications with Resurgence Behavioral Health are HIPAA Compliant and 100% Confidential

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal And What Happens in Alcohol Detox

Understanding exactly what happens in alcohol detox begins with an explanation of the effects of alcohol withdrawal.

According to an expert from the UC Davis Medical Center, when a person is dependent upon alcohol, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking or when they reduce their alcohol intake.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may range from mild signs like tremors, to serious withdrawal side effects, such as seizures or a potentially fatal condition called delirium tremens.

A medically supervised detox offers a provision of services to treat these withdrawal symptoms.

What Happens in Alcohol Detox: Variations Based Upon Symptom Severity

An assessment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and a patient’s history is the first step in an alcohol detox. Staff at an alcohol rehab center may use an assessment tool like The Clinical Institute for Withdrawal Assessment for alcohol to determine how severe a person’s alcohol withdrawal is. With milder symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, a patient in alcohol rehab may receive supportive services, such as treatment for electrolyte deficiencies or dehydration. Patients may also receive nutritional supplements to prevent complications.

If alcohol withdrawal symptoms are more severe, alcohol detox typically includes administration of medication to prevent serious withdrawal side effects. Experts report that benzodiazepine drugs including Ativan and Valium are usually given intravenously to treat severe alcohol withdrawal in alcohol detox programs.

The goal of what happens in alcohol detox is to keep patients as safe and as comfortable as possible as their bodies withdraw from alcohol. Since alcohol withdrawal can cause serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms, it is important to work with an alcohol rehab center to complete a professional detox program, instead of attempting to go through alcohol detox on your own.

What Happens after Completing Alcohol Detox Programs

After a patient goes through an alcohol detox program, the next step is a transition to ongoing care. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse has explained, detox is only the first step in recovery from an addiction, since detox alone does not help a person to achieve lasting sobriety from alcohol. After detox, it is important to participate in behavioral treatment to address the underlying issues that led to alcohol abuse.

An effective detox program should refer you to an alcohol rehab center after completing detox. An alcohol rehab program can offer behavioral therapies to motivate you to make positive changes and teach you the skills for remaining alcohol-free. Alcohol rehab typically involves both individual and group therapies, and according to experts, medications like acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone can help you to recover from alcohol addiction, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.

Who Needs Alcohol Detox and Rehab?

The need for an alcohol detox and rehab program typically arises when someone has developed an addiction to alcohol. According to the National Institutes of Health, the clinical term for an alcohol addiction is an alcohol use disorder. This condition develops when someone continues to drink despite experiencing serious consequences from alcohol. Some signs of an alcohol use disorder include being unable to cut back on drinking, experiencing cravings for alcohol, and spending significant amounts of time drinking.

A person with an alcohol use disorder may also continue to drink even when it causes problems functioning at work, or when it results in worsened physical or mental health. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are another sign of an alcohol use disorder, so many people who have this clinical condition are in need of detox services. Since withdrawal symptoms are a part of alcohol addiction and can lead to serious complications, most alcohol rehab programs begin with detox. If you have any of the aforementioned signs of an alcohol use disorder and find that you are unable to stop drinking on your own, it is probably time to reach out for alcohol detox and rehab.

The Specifics Of What Happens in Alcohol Detox and Rehab

When you seek alcohol detox and rehab, staff will conduct an assessment to determine your unique needs. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse has explained, rehab staff should match treatment to a person’s unique needs. This means that some people may benefit from outpatient detox and rehab, whereas others may need inpatient rehab.

Those who have a more severe alcohol addiction or more significant needs, such as both a mental illness and an alcohol addiction, may require inpatient treatment, for instance. Regardless of the specifics of what happens in alcohol detox and rehab, it is important that you stay in treatment for a sufficient length of time. Per NIDA, treatment needs to last at least three months to be effective, but longer treatment is even more beneficial.

Alcohol Detox and Rehab in California

If you are looking for alcohol detox and rehab services in California, Resurgence is located in Orange County, and offers treatment to those in surrounding areas. We provide inpatient and outpatient rehab, as well as alcohol detox services. Our detox program occurs in a home-like setting, allowing you to stay as comfortable as possible as you withdraw from alcohol.

At Resurgence, our staff will conduct a thorough assessment of your history, including your medical and psychiatric background, as well as an evaluation of the amount of alcohol you have been consuming and other factors that may have led to alcohol addiction. While you are in detox, our team, which includes licensed nurses, will provide you with medical oversight, including administration of medications, as needed. Most patients will transition to our inpatient rehab program after they complete their detox program.

In these programs, you will have access to a range of services, including individual and group counseling, physical activity, yoga and meditation, and therapeutic outings. We are a dual-diagnosis rehab, so we are also qualified to treat any co-occurring mental health issues you may have.

Paying For Detox and Rehab at Resurgence California

Once you decide that it is time to seek rehab for alcohol addiction, you have to determine how you will pay for your treatment.

Fortunately, Resurgence California offers a free insurance verification program to make the process easier for you.

Visit our website or give us a call and a member of our team will reach out to discuss what your insurance plan covers and how much you can expect to pay for treatment.

Once you are enrolled in treatment, we will collaborate with your insurance provider regarding payment for services.

If you do not have insurance, we will work with you to develop a private payment plan.

Ultimately, the money you put toward alcohol rehab is an investment in your future.

Without alcohol controlling your life, you will be able to be more productive at work, enjoy your family, and live free from the consequences of alcoholism.


1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441882/
2) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
3) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohol-use-disorder