This is How Alcohol Detox Works


First, let’s clear up a misconception about the use of the word “detox.”

Detox is not something you buy in a bottle. It is not a colon cleanse or a green super juice. It is a legitimate medical term. Real detoxification is provided in a medically-assisted setting under professional supervision. As the body withdraws from serious addiction, the process of real detoxification can be, in some circumstances, life-threatening – especially when it comes to alcohol.

The Dangers of Toxicity

As toxic substances, alcohol and drugs can have an extremely destructive effect on organs and their functions. As well as destroying the brain and liver, alcohol can inflict serious damage to the stomach, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, and heart2. Long term use can facilitate a whole variety of other ailments and diseases.

The Important First Step on the Path to Recovery

As you detox, the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, called Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS), can include significant illness and even death. According to one study1, while approximately 95 percent of people suffer from mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, 15 to 20 percent experienced some brief form of seizures or hallucinations.

This is why it is so important to experience detox in a medically-supported situation with round-the-clock care with supervision from experienced detox professionals.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Depending on the duration and depth of your alcohol addiction, in Acute Alcohol Withdrawal (AAW) you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)
  • Hallucinations
  • Mental confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Cognitive impairment and delirium leading to a chronic memory disorder
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a condition that involves bleeding in the lower parts of the brain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances

Alterations in physiology, mood, and behavior may persist after the acute phase of the withdrawal is over. This second phase of withdrawal is referred to as Post-acute Withdrawal (PAWS). The first stage can last up to a few weeks, but the post-acute stage can last from 6 to 18 months after the last use of alcohol. Most find PAWS to be most impacted in the first six months. The severity decreases in the next six-month period. By the end of one year, most will have returned to their normal levels of functioning.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.


  1. University of Maryland Medical Center. Alcoholism. Retrieved April 15, 2016
  2. College Drinking-Changing the Culture. Interactive Body Content: Brain. Retrieved April 15, 2016


How Alcohol Detox Works