What Does “Alcohol Detox” Mean?

Alcohol detox often marks the beginning of a recovery journey. It provides a person with a safe space. In that safe space, they can receive medical attention. Their bodies can properly work the alcohol through their systems. In a clinical setting, trained staff members oversee detox. If symptoms get worse, they can intervene. It helps to have someone nearby who can recognize alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Palm Beach wants to give you all the answers you need. Below, we answer the following questions:
What Does “Alcohol Detox” Mean?

Why Does a Person Need Alcohol Detox?

People need alcohol detox because they drink too much for too long. According to the CDC, 95,000 people die each year from excessive alcohol use. Alcohol abuse might vary from person to person. Generally, alcohol abuse falls into one of the following categories:

Alcohol Use Disorder

Drinking alcohol comes with certain inherent risks. Like many substances we consume, alcohol can change our brains. It can become necessary for us to function. If we get to this point, we have become dependent on alcohol. If deprived of alcohol, we may experience withdrawal symptoms.
A person may even develop alcohol use disorder. AUD afflicts over 9 million men and over 5 million women in the US. At this stage, a person may feel unable to achieve sobriety. One must visit a mental health professional for an actual AUD diagnosis. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists 11 symptoms of AUD. Find a few examples below:

What Happens In Alcohol Detox?

A person in alcohol withdrawal can experience severe symptoms. Conditions like delirium tremens can turn fatal without proper medical intervention. The detox process helps cleanse the body. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin about 6 hours after the last drink. These symptoms may last for up to a week. Therefore, we refer to detox as a residential form of treatment. A person in detox remains at a treatment center until a doctor allows them to leave.

What’s The Difference Between Alcohol Rehab And Alcohol Detox?

We use the word “detox” as a short form of “detoxification.” Merriam-Webster defines detoxification as, “to free (someone, such as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance.”
On the other hand, “rehab” means “rehabilitation.” Rehabilitation lasts much longer than detox. Depending on the person, they may need to rehab for several week. Others might need a few months. Rehab does involve sobriety and abstinence. But more than that, means restoring a sense of order to one’s life. 

Can Someone Just Do Outpatient Alcohol Detox?

Yes, people can detox from alcohol in an outpatient setting. Not every case requires medical oversight. Outpatient detox means that a person continues to reside in their own home. Typically, one would commute daily to a treatment facility for evaluation. A healthcare provider might offer prescriptions to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

How Do I Figure Out If I Need Outpatient Or Inpatient Alcohol Detox?

No two people have the same lives. So no two people have the same recovery journeys. In the recovery sphere, very few hard-and-fast rules exist. What works well for one person might not work for another. Speak with your treatment provider about your symptoms. Speak to them honestly. Ask them hard questions. Then, cooperate with their recommendations about which treatment options would best help you.

What If I Want More Information About Detoxing From Alcohol?

Palm Beach Interventions understands your fear. No one wants to bear the stigma of “addict.” You need not carry this weight alone. You have not gone too far. Help remains within reach. You need only practice the vulnerability to ask for it. Palm Beach Interventions has staff waiting and ready to answer all of your questions.
If you or someone you care about struggles with alcohol use disorder, please speak up. Reach out and grasp the future. Do not suffer in silence any longer. Call or email Palm Beach Interventions now to learn more.