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How Do I Know If I Need an Alcohol Detox?

Person holding face with their hand, thinking, "Do I need alcohol detox?"

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that can be fatal if not treated. If you sometimes engage in heavy or binge drinking, you may wonder: “Do I need alcohol detox?” or “How do I know if I need to detox from alcohol?” In such cases, relying on a trusted addiction treatment provider like BRC Healthcare is necessary. Contact our team today at to learn more about alcohol abuse detoxing and ask about our alcohol detox program in Texas.

The Facts About Alcohol Detox

Detox is often the first step in recovering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Here’s the answer to the question, “Do I need to detox from alcohol?”: If you’re experiencing unwanted consequences of drinking alcohol, yes, you do.

Deciding for yourself or a loved one to enter a detox program isn’t easy, especially since denial is a powerful side effect of addiction. Many people fear detox and have misconceptions about the intense pain and sickness because of addiction and detox’s portrayal in movies and television shows. Detox is physically and emotionally challenging. However, the right professionals can help you cleanse the body of alcohol while monitoring and treating any withdrawal symptoms or potential medical complications. While medical detox is always recommended, treatment can depend on factors including the history and severity of your drinking, medical history, family history, physical health, and any co-occurring mental health conditions.

The Facts About Alcohol Withdrawal

Everyone experiences alcohol withdrawal differently, and symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

In general, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tremors

The most effective way to prevent withdrawal symptoms is by seeking professional medical help. The staff in a medically supervised detox center will monitor you for any signs of alcohol withdrawal and provide medications to reduce or treat symptoms as needed.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal typically sets in between six hours to one day after your last drink and can be broken down into three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Lasting 8 hours: anxiety, depression, insomnia, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and heart palpitations
  • Stage 2 – Lasting 24 to 72: irritability, irregular heartbeat, sweating, confusion, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature, and respiration
  • Stage 3 – Lasting one week: hallucinations, disorientation, agitation, fever, and seizures

Sometimes, people struggling with alcohol addiction may experience delirium tremens (DTs) during withdrawal. DTs are severe and potentially fatal symptoms when alcohol is abruptly stopped after long-term consumption.

Understanding The Dangers of DTs

For heavy drinkers, alcohol detox is potentially life-saving. Suppose you have been abusing alcohol for an extended period and abruptly stop drinking. In that case, you can experience a severe, life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal called DTs. This typically occurs three to 10 days following the last drink and includes:

  • Agitation
  • Global confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Diaphoresis
  • Autonomic hyperactivity

In severe cases, DTs can include having seizures or going into a coma. It may even be fatal if untreated, so alcohol detoxing in a professional setting is crucial.

Find Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment in Texas at BRC Healthcare

Attending a treatment program is always the best choice when detoxing from alcohol, but it’s especially beneficial if you or someone you love is dealing with a severe addiction. At BRC Healthcare, our alcohol abuse detox services help clients ease withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and stabilize physical and mental health. To learn more about our medical detox program and answer questions like “Do I need to detox from alcohol?” you contact us at and speak with our caring and compassionate team in Texas.