Alcohol Detox

Alcohol is seen as the social lubricant of society, and in moderation, as with most things, it’s mostly not harmful. However, with the pressures and stresses of todays life, as a society we are drinking more than ever before, and not just on a social level.

Out of all of the mind altering substances available, alcohol is the UK’s biggest killer. Alcohol poisoning, through binge drinking is tragically commonplace, especially amongst the younger generation. Although there is now more awareness around alcohols dangers, it is still placing a great financial strain on Britain’s NHS resources and the UK government.

Binge drinking and regular moderate drinking, can escalate into heavy regular drinking, dependence and addiction. This is when alcohol becomes a necessity, rather than a means of enjoyment or relaxation.

Alcoholism is a deadly and progressive disease of the brain and requires more than just an alcohol detox in order to treat successfully and prevent a recurrence. Full rehabilitation is also required to rewire the chemical changes in the brain’s neural pathways that will have resulted from active alcoholism.

Step By Step Recovery are experts in treating alcohol addiction. We are able to facilitate a full medical detox for alcohol dependence and provide a bespoke rehabilitation programme for those that regularly binge binge drink or suffer from alcohol addiction.

Detoxing from alcohol dependence doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or frightening. If you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol and need help, please call us today for a free assessment of your treatment needs and immediate assistance.

Alcohol Dependence and Addiction

Alcohol dependence results from frequent exposure to alcohol. When drinking becomes daily, the brain chemically adjusts to tolerate the alcohol, so that the individual can still function. Once this has happened, any reduction in alcohol consumption will result in alcohol withdrawal symptoms developing.

Someone with an addiction who has become tolerant to a certain amount of alcohol, will increase their consumption to gain the desired effects; again the brain adjusts to normalise this and function. This then becomes a downward spiral of the addicted individual drinking more and more in order to gain any desired effects from alcohol and in order to avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

Who is at Risk if Developing Alcohol Dependence and Addiction?

Alcohol addiction doesn’t just develop overnight, however some are more predisposed to developing it. There are certain social, mental and genetic factors that place you in a high risk group of developing an addiction:

  • You have suffered mental health problems

  • You have suffered trauma

  • You have a history of addiction in the family

  • You were raised in a alcoholic environment, or are involved in a drinking culture

If you feel the need to drink in order to be able to function, you probably have an alcohol dependence. That being the case, seeking help is of the utmost importance and a detox will be necessary.

Binge Drinking

Many think that just because they don’t drink daily, or first thing in the morning that they do not have a serious alcohol problem. Binge drinking is very high risk drinking; it can lead to dependence and also death from alcohol poisoning or an accident whilst intoxicated. It also puts a huge strain on your internal organs, as you are likely to drink large quantities of alcohol over a relatively short period of time.

Binge drinking is just as dangerous as alcohol dependence and addiction. You may or may not need a detox, but you will certainly need profession alcohol treatment to help break the cycle.

The Recommended Safety Guidelines for Alcohol Consumption in the UK

There are recommendations regarding the amount you drink that is considered to be safe. These guidelines have been set by the UK’s government:

What is an Alcohol Rehab Detox?

Step By Step Recovery offer a full medical alcohol detox and rehabilitation for those suffering from alcohol dependence and addiction. We also treat those that suffer from binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and those that have a co-occurring mental health disorder such as PTSD or Depression.

Where there is an alcohol dependence presence, a medical detox is the safest proven way to withdraw from alcohol.

In our alcohol rehab, The Lighthouse, we achieve detoxification through the use of approved, prescribed medications, that diminish the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and prevent some of the more dangerous withdrawal symptoms from developing.

Detoxing from alcohol is very high risk and many die as a result of unmanaged withdrawal symptoms. It is important that if you are dependent on alcohol, that you do not attempt to stop on your own. This can result in very dangerous symptoms developing that can put your life at risk.

Out of all the substance dependencies, alcohol is the most dangerous to withdraw from. It is vital that it is is conducted with medical intervention and supervision.

In the safety of our Lighthouse clinic, you will be monitored and supported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout your alcohol detox. We have the expertise, medical knowledge and professionals on board to ensure that your health and well-being comes first at all times.

All alcohol detoxes should immediately be followed by a full alcohol rehabilitation programme. This helps to prevent relapse and provides the coping mechanisms and strategies required in order to live a free and sober life.

Do I need help for alcohol?

If you are reading this page, then you probably already have concerns that you or a loved one may be drinking too much.

You need help for alcohol if you are:

  • Regularly drinking above the recommended safety guidelines

  • You are alcohol dependent and drink every day

  • You have experienced withdrawal symptoms

  • You binge drink

  • Your drinking is affecting other areas of your life, such as health, finances, relationships or work

  • You are unable to reduce or moderate your alcohol intake on your own

If any of these statements ring true for you or a loved one, please call us to discuss how we can help.

Symptoms and Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction

An alcoholic or alcohol addict, is someone who suffers from an incurable but treatable brain disease, that manifests in an obsession with alcohol and a compulsion to drink.

There are some definite symptoms and warning signs of alcohol addiction, they include:

  • Being unable to control or moderate your drinking once you start

  • Obsessively thinking about alcohol when you are not drinking

  • Drinking to oblivion, blackout, or until you pass out

  • Genuinely intending to limit your drinking, but failing once you start

  • Swearing to never drink again but finding yourself compelled to do so

  • Feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment and remorse after a drinking bout

  • Unable to imagine a life without alcohol in it

  • Feeling trapped by alcohol

  • Drinking out of necessity rather than enjoyment

  • Lying and hiding to cover up the amount you drink

  • Becoming increasingly unreliable

  • Missing appointments, engagements and commitments due to being intoxicated or hungover

  • Secretly drinking on your own

  • Unable to recall events that happened whilst intoxicated

  • Placing yourself or others in dangerous situations whilst intoxicated

  • Breaking your own moral code of conduct whilst intoxicated, i.e drink driving, being promiscuous, committing crime or acts of violence

  • Others have expressed concern over your drinking

  • Going missing during drinking bouts

  • Isolating from life and loved ones as a result of your drinking

Alcohol addiction is a life threatening disease and should not be taken lightly. If you suffer from alcoholism, then you need immediate alcohol addiction treatment in order to help you to get well and recover.

Please call us for more information on our residential detox and rehabilitation programmes for alcohol addiction.

How does alcoholism develop?

Alcoholism develops over a period of time and with repeated exposure to alcohol and alcohol abuse. As a result, substantial chemical changes take place in the brain and overtime the brain becomes hardwired to seek alcohol.

Alcoholism is also a progressive disease, and without the correct treatment, will over time only ever get steadily worse, never better.

Alcohol is a depressant, but consuming it floods the brain with feel good chemicals and relaxes the drinker. Someone who is predisposed to developing alcoholism will drink to excess and have little or no control over their drinking. This is because the brain essentially hijacks the thinking and subsequent actions, rendering them powerless when it comes to alcohol. Put simply, they have no defense against taking the first drink, despite having every good reason not to.

Think of celebrities, who have everything that money can buy; they may even have attended drinking programmes, detoxes or even undergone a liver transplant, but with the same mind set, they are driven to carry on drinking, sometimes to their death.

To someone who does not suffer from alcoholism, it is easy to make a judgement around something that is not fully understood. There is no set formulation that makes someone an alcoholic, but there is a distinct difference between and alcoholic and someone who drinks heavily or a little too often.

A heavy drinker will be able to stop or moderate their drinking given a sufficient enough reason, such as ill health or trouble in their relationships; whereas someone who is alcoholic will not be able to stop, even with the greatest desire to do so.

The stark reality is that alcoholics suffer from a deadly mental health illness; it will take them to the depths of despair, where they can lose everything dear to them and also hurt those that love and care for them most.

Can I Return Back to Social Drinking After a Detox?

The short answer to this is no.

Alcoholism is an incurable disease. Once developed, if the brain is ever exposed to alcohol again, much like muscle memory, it will return and continue to progress.

The trouble with alcohol addiction, is that after a successful detox and a period of abstinence, the recovering alcoholic often thinks that they can drink normally and that this time they will be in control. Our vast experience is that this is never the case.

Addiction is defined by Public Health England and the National Institutes of Health as a “chronic relapsing brain disease”; this means that the individual will always be at a high risk of relapse.

Our bespoke alcohol rehabilitation programmes are designed to tackle the root causes of the addiction and implement healthy coping strategies and ways of managing emotions, life and recovery.

No one need relapse on alcohol; providing they apply the tools of recovery they have learned on a daily basis; it is possible to live a happy and productive life, free from alcohol!

What are the dangers of drinking too much alcohol?

Alcohol addiction has many dangers and can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the brain and the body. In the worse cases it can cause Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, more commonly known as “wet brain”; it can also death through poisoning, withdrawal and organ failure.

Moderate and within safe limitations drinking can have some small positive benefits, but when alcohol is abused and you are drinking too much, the dangers are very apparent:

How Do I Know if I Need an Alcohol Detox?

If you develop withdrawal symptoms from drinking any less than you normally do, this is an indication that you are alcohol dependent and need a medical detox to clear your body of alcohol, safely.

If you need a drink, just in order to be able to function, this is another sign that you need an alcohol detox.

If you are at all unsure if you need a detox from alcohol, please speak with a member of our clinical team, who will assess you over the phone and advise if a medical detox is needed.

The Risks of Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is very high risk if not conducted correctly or without medical intervention and support. Detoxing alone and trying to go “cold turkey” is extremely dangerous, as it can result in seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, heart arrhythmia and psychosis. All of these conditions need to be carefully medically managed within a hospital, should they develop.

By admitting to our Lighthouse detox clinic, you will be eliminating the high risk withdrawal symptoms. We will manage your detox for you with a full medical detox and monitor you continually throughout the process. The temptation to drink will also be removed, as cravings are reduced by the medication and you will be in a supportive alcohol free environment.

We also have a doctor on call 24/7 and clinical staff that are highly skilled and trained in treating those whom are detoxing from alcohol or any other type of substance.

When it comes to detoxing from alcohol it is not worth taking any risks with your health or your life; please contact us today if your would like to discuss a possible admission for an alcohol detox or rehabilitation programme.

We are 100 percent committed to your health and recovery and will take every measure possible to ensure that you remain safe during your detox with us.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol detox?

There are many symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that can manifest during an uncontrolled and unmedicated detox. Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Tremors
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Palpitations
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

More serious and severe symptoms include:

  • Delirium tremens
  • Hallucinations (auditory or visual)
  • Alcoholic seizures
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Irregular heartbeat and chest pains
  • Suicidal ideations and thoughts of self harm

Serious symptoms require immediate, emergency medical treatment, as they can be life threatening.

How long does alcohol detox take?

The duration of an alcohol detox can vary from 5 days up to 14 days. How long a medical detox will take, will be dependent on how much you are drinking, your age, sex, general health, medical history and if there are any co occurring illness presenting.

Every individual is different; so where there has been a history of a complex alcohol detox, seizures, or the individual is in very poor health, we take things slowly to ensure that they can cope both mentally and physically and without putting them at risk.

What medications are used for alcohol detox?

There are various medications that are approved for alcohol detox that we use. The medication that is prescribed for you will depend on your past medical history and if you have had any previous complications relating to detox medications before.

We will discuss the best medication for you prior to your admission, so you know what to expect. On admission you will be comprehensively assessed by our Psychiatrist or doctor to ensure that every angle of your treatment is comprehensively covered.

Generally, alcohol detox medications are tolerated very well, with few side effects and work very effectively in reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Will Alcohol Detox Be Painful?

If you detox from alcohol without medical intervention, then yes it will be extremely uncomfortable. But if conducted within the nurturing and compassionate environment of our Lighthouse rehab in Essex, with the assistance of medication, detox will not be painful at all.

During detox you may feel sleepy, a little spaced out and forgetful; but most do not find this feeling unpleasant and it passes within a few days.

Our aim is to make you as safe and as comfortable as possible during your detox, we do not want anyone suffering whilst they withdraw.

The feedback that we receive from our patients is that they enjoy their recuperation time with us and that our rehabilitation programme is very effective in preventing relapse.

What Happens after Alcohol Detox?

Once detox has been completed, it is strongly recommended that you undertake a comprehensive bespoke rehabilitation programme with us. Without this, all you will have achieved is a detox off alcohol from your body. With the same mind set and coping mechanisms, you are highly likely to relapse.

Step By Step Recovery encourage all of our clients who undergo detox to take full advantage of a personalised treatment programme, incorporating proven and highly effective methods of treating alcoholism, abuse and addiction.

We have both long term and short term addiction recovery programmes available in our fully residential rehab centre. Furthermore, we offer lifetime aftercare to anyone who completes their treatment with us and also offer supported living accommodation to those that need it.

If you are only completing a detox with us and are not able to commit to a full rehabilitation programme, we will still ensure that you have all the referral points that you need, so that can continue to access recovery support in the community.

We are very passionate about helping addicts and alcoholics to fully recover and this is reflected in the work we do. Infact, many of our qualified staff once had their own difficulties with addiction. Having successfully overcome those difficulties, they now set a living example of what can be achieved when you apply yourself and commit to long term recovery.

Support for Families of Alcoholics

Often, the family of those we treat are gravely affected by their loved ones alcohol problem. We feel that in order for our client to make a full and rounded recovery, that the family need help to recover too. We therefore provide unlimited telephone support to the families of our patients. We also allow once weekly visits, and can arrange family interventions at our centre, where we feel it is necessary.

Family interventions are arranged with your loved one and a counsellor present. The counsellor will ensure that the session is productive and moves in the right direction. The aim of these interventions is to start building bridges and to give each person attending a deeper understanding of how the other feels.

From there, it can be established what would be helpful to each other in moving forward and in supporting one another once rehab treatment has finished.

As well as providing personal support to families of our clients, we also advise them on how they can access help and support independently. It is beneficial for all who have been affected, to take time for their own personal recovery.

Alcohol Statistics in England, UK

The following statistics are taken direct from NHS Digital’s latest report of alcohol consumption in England:

  • In 2015, there were 6,813 deaths which were related to the consumption of alcohol. This is 1.4 percent of all deaths.

  • There were 339 thousand estimated admissions related to alcohol consumption in 2015/16. This is 3 percent higher than 2014/15 and 22 per cent higher than 2005/06.

  • Blackpool had the highest rate at 1,160 per 100,000 population. Kingston upon Thames the lowest rate at 390.

It has been predicted by the UK’s leading experts in alcohol treatment, that up to 63,000 individuals will die from alcohol related liver diseases in England over the next 5 years. The vast majority of those deaths will result from liver cancer.

Liver disease, related to alcohol consumption, is one of the UK’s biggest killers – claiming up to 12,000 lives every year in England. Statistics show, that that since 1970, the numbers of deaths associated with alcohol has risen by a staggering 400 percent.

Middle aged males are more likely to suffer from alcohol related illnesses than any other age group; perhaps a reflection of a drinking culture that has caught up with this particular generation.

Senior medical professionals in the treatment of alcoholism and many of the UK’s leading alcohol charities are calling for the government to intervene before the UK has an alcohol crisis on its hands.

If predictions made by Sheffield University’s influential Alcohol Research Group come to fruition, alcohol misuse will lead to 62,905 deaths between 2017 and 2022; costing the UK’s NHS services £16.74 billion to treat.

Many that suffer from alcoholism or alcohol abuse, feel ashamed and that they are alone. Statistics prove that problematic drinking is very common; treatment should be sought without delay in order to avoid future catastrophic health consequences.

Here to Help

Step-by-Step Recovery are here to help you recover from alcohol addiction and to support your family too. No one is beyond recovery if they want it. If alcohol is ruining your life and you want help to stop, contact us today.