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Alcohol Detox at Priory

Alcohol detox at Priory takes place on an inpatient basis, which means that you will stay at one of our Priory hospitals for the duration of this programme, which is usually between 7 to 10 days.

However, while you are still in alcohol detox at Priory, you will also be able to start participating in group therapy sessions as soon as you are physically able to do so.

With the guidance of an experienced therapist, groups allow you to learn from the experiences of others who are in a similar stage of their recovery, share your thoughts and insights, and form healthy, productive and sober relationships.

Preventing alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Depending upon the nature and severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you may be given prescription medications to help you to cope with the alcohol detox process, alleviate any discomfort that you are experiencing, and prevent serious withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.

For alcohol withdrawal, we typically prescribe reducing doses of diazepam or oxazepam, which are from the benzodiazepine category of medications.

Having on-site medical and nursing staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, means that our alcohol detox patients are closely observed, safe and comfortable at all times, and we are able to address any issues or concerns that our patients may have, and provide medical care in a timely manner.

During the alcohol detox process at Priory, you will stay in a modern and welcoming bedroom, complete with en-suite facilities, which has been designed to provide you with the utmost comfort and relaxation in order to aid your recovery.

We also provide a range of entertainment and wellbeing activities during alcohol detox, such as books, televisions, and yoga classes, to help you to pass the time and serve as a welcome distraction from your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

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How Long Does Alcohol Stay in the Body?

When withdrawing from alcohol, the process can begin quite quickly. Here is information on how long it takes for alcohol to leave your body

  • Blood - up to 6 hours
  • Urine - 12-24 hours
  • Breath - 12-24 hours
  • Saliva - 12-24 hours
  • Hair - upto 90 days 

What are the benefits of alcohol detox at Priory?

There are a number of benefits to undergoing comprehensive, medically assisted alcohol detoxification at Priory. We offer:

  • Personalised treatment, delivered by highly qualified, medically trained experts
  • Treatment & Support in safe, secure, and clinical environments
  • The opportunity to start group therapy whilst still in detox
  • A wide variety of therapeutic techniques, including exercise programmes, yoga, relaxation, swimming and equine therapy
  • Family involvement throughout the alcohol addiction detox and treatment programme

Once you have completed your alcohol detox and the broader alcohol addiction treatment programme, we encourage attendance at weekly evening aftercare meetings.

These are free for 12 months following addiction treatment, and free for life at Priory Hospital Roehampton and The Manor Clinic. 

Where appropriate, we advise continued one-to-one therapy with an experienced alcohol addiction therapist, and we also encourage attendance at appropriate 12-Step fellowship meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

The Side Effects of Alcohol Detox

When your body has become used to having alcohol in its system, the sudden removal of this can cause range of unpleasant and uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The type and severity of the withdrawal symptoms that you experience during alcohol detox depend upon a number of factors including how much you have been drinking, how long you have been struggling with an alcohol addiction and your general mental and physical health.

Psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Intense cravings for alcohol

Physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • High temperature and/or chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nightmares
  • Tics and tremors (‘the shakes’)
  • Irregular or increased heart rate
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Reduced appetite

The most severe alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms include

  • Seizures
  • Visual and/or auditory hallucinations

For more information on the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced during the alcohol addiction detox process, please view our alcohol addiction withdrawal page.

At Priory, we understand that alcohol detox and withdrawal can be a daunting prospect. However, our expert detox teams are dedicated to minimising your alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and provide the specialist support that you need, in order to achieve a sustainable recovery from your alcohol addiction.

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Niall Campbell (MBBS, MRCPsych) in June 2020.

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0800 144 8969 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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