Dangers of unsupervised alcohol detox

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 21st February 2022

For many people who suffer from addiction, coping with the stigma of the illness is a massive obstacle towards recovery. Many people do not take alcoholism seriously as an illness and assume that their drinking is simply a choice that they make. This attitude leads to the idea that an alcoholic can stop drinking at any time, without the help of an alcohol detox or rehab centre, and that “cold turkey” is the best route towards recovery. However, alcoholism is a serious illness and needs to be treated as such. Whilst detoxing can be very beneficial, sudden withdrawal from alcohol without appropriate supervision can be harmful and potentially dangerous.

After stopping drinking, withdrawal effects can begin to occur within 6 to 24 hours after the first drink and can last up to a week. The severity of symptoms depends on factors such as; length of time the individual has been dependent, how much they drink and previous attempts at withdrawal.

Alcoholism is a physical and mental dependency. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can include; nausea, mood changes, depression, fatigue and anxiety. When these are not supervised properly by qualified medical professionals, the detox process can be very traumatic and the symptoms will get worse and worse. In more extreme circumstances, withdrawal from alcohol can lead to irritability, hallucinations, fever, blackouts, seizures and tremors. The most worrying aspect of alcohol withdrawal is its unpredictable nature, with different individuals suffering different symptoms at different stages of withdrawal. Some people may experience protracted withdrawal from alcohol, where symptoms can continue to occur for up to a year.

However, detoxification is only the first step towards recovery from alcoholism. Immediately after the detox stage, there is still a physical dependency to the drug. Over time, the body and brain will gradually lose its dependency to alcohol, but the psychological issues and triggers that led to the addiction may still exist. Without proper planning, the chances of long term success in beating alcoholism are extremely low. For many, the mere idea of living without alcohol is frightening and they are unprepared for dealing with their problems without drink.

To completely recover from alcoholism, a full rehabilitation programme needs to be put in place. At Cassiobury Court, we offer personalised alcohol treatment programmes for all of our new clients. Not only do we provide a supervised detox plan, we use a combination of therapies along with stress management techniques. These will address the psychological symptoms of alcoholism and help the individual prepare for life after addiction and help prevent relapse. Get in touch with our admissions team today.

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 21st February 2022

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.