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Alcohol Detox

What You Should Know About Detoxing From Alcohol

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, there is help. Our Orange County detox center is the first step to sobering up and moving into recovery. With full support for the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of alcohol withdrawal, you can recover in dignity and comfort at our beautiful detox facility in Anaheim California and get your life back. Lighthouse offers evidence-based treatment with a residential detox model in a home-like environment, so each of our patients stays as comfortable as possible throughout the process.

Is Alcohol Detox Necessary?

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world, with an estimated 14 million people abusing it in the United States alone. Many people begin drinking because it’s socially acceptable and use it as a social lubricant, to numb emotions and stress, to feel normal, or just to unwind. Over time, this results in habitual use and chemical dependence, because alcohol affects how neurotransmitters interact with the brain. As tolerance develops, chemical dependence gets worse and can result in increasing symptoms of addiction. When you quit, you will go into withdrawal, which can include severe symptoms and risks.

Detox is the process of controlling the withdrawal process to reduce symptoms, improve outcomes, and keep patients safe to reduce risks and to reduce incidences of delirium tremens.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Duration and Risks

Alcohol interacts with the GABBA and dopamine receptors in the brain, which changes how the body processes and uses GABBA. Over several months or more of regular, heavy drinking, the body begins to produce less of both neurotransmitters. When the alcoholic goes into recovery, the body rapidly adjusts to the change in GABA in the body, which can result in symptoms ranging from minor cold and flu symptoms to dangerous seizures and delirium tremens.

The severity of symptoms will depend on the duration and volume of alcohol consumed, the person’s body-weight, metabolism, and other factors such as genetics.

2-12 Hours

Withdrawal symptoms start to kick in, with cravings being the most significant and noticeable symptom. Cravings can be quite intense, and may be accompanied by shaking or tremors, physical sickness, anxiety or depression, irritability, rising heart rate and blood pressure, inability to sleep (insomnia), nightmares and tremors. These symptoms will continue to worsen as detox progresses.

1-3 Days

Here, the worst alcohol withdrawal symptoms develop and peak. The first 2-3 days are typically the hardest period to get through and can be the most dangerous. Medical monitoring is crucial for patients who are heavily addicted. In many cases, medication is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of seizures. Many patients experience hallucinations, seizures, rapid heart rate (which can be dangerous for persons with heart problems) and worsening symptoms from the first day. Here, about 5% of all recovering patients will develop delirium tremens, an alcohol withdrawal disorder marked by intense confusion, hallucinations, and seizures.

Most symptoms will normally begin to abate after the first week. However, some patients will experience longer withdrawal symptoms. This reduces the risk of seizure and physical discomfort will begin to decrease as well. However, medical monitoring is often still necessary to ensure no complications arise.

What Can I Expect in Alcohol Detox?

At the Lighthouse, our alcohol detox process begins with intake to determine each patient’s health, history of substance use, medical history, and mental or emotional factors contributing to the addiction. Our trained medical team uses this intake to screen for risk factors, look for further complications such as cooccurring mental disorders, and to help each patient choose the treatment option best suited to their needs.


Each patient goes through several interviews at our facility, where we learn more, determine what will make individuals comfortable, and learn more about the addiction and its contributors.

Medical Supervision

While Lighthouse Recovery offers social as well as medically supported recovery, it’s still important to have medical supervision, especially as alcohol detox progresses. Licensed nurses will be available throughout the day.

Treatment Modalities

Alcohol detox is often difficult, requiring medical attention and treatment to reduce side-effects and complications. Having a doctor on-hand to treat and manage symptoms and seizures will improve outcomes, prevent potentially dangerous side-effects, and reduce damage caused by withdrawal symptoms.

Therapy and Counseling

Therapy and counseling are introduced early on in the detox process to ensure each patient has the emotional support necessary to make it through withdrawal. With group treatment as well as one-on-one therapy and counseling, it works to ensure that each person has everything they need to reach the best outcome.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, we can help. Lighthouse Treatment Center’s detox facility in Orange County, California is a safe place to begin your journey to a new life. Call us today at (855) 934-1100 for a free consultation.