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Withdrawal Symptoms in Detox

Do You Get Withdrawal Symptoms in Detox?

Alcohol detox or drug detox can be an essential step in the addiction recovery process, but there are things to know and be aware of before you start this journey.

A detox is a programme that will be planned and supervised by a medical professional, to help you stop being physically dependent on substances such as alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, or combinations of the above.

It is not advised that detox is carried out without the guidance of a professional. And you will also need treatment and support for the psychological dependence – a detox helps you to stop alcohol or drugs safely and in comfort, if you are physically dependent; psychological therapy helps you to stay stopped.

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Withdrawal symptoms in detox

If you stop alcohol or drugs suddenly, and you experience any unpleasant side effects, this is probably a symptom of alcohol or drug withdrawal. Without medical assistance, these side effects can range from unpleasant right through to life-threatening, which is why you should always be assessed before you stop, to see if you need a medically-assisted detox. With a short course of medication, and specialist support, your body can detoxify from substances, and side effects are usually very mild and manageable, if noticeable at all. As your system clears from alcohol and drugs, your detox medication will be tapered off, to manage and prevent most withdrawal symptoms. Without professional medical support, alcohol or drug withdrawal symptoms can be very unpredictable – they may be mild or more severe depending on the individual. This is why supervised detoxification is a key part of the process for people with a physical addiction to alcohol or drugs. Please don’t go it alone.

What are withdrawal symptoms

There can be a wide range of physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological withdrawal symptoms, when stopping alcohol and/or drugs. Every individual is different, which is why we offer a free no-obligation assessment at Help Me Stop, to determine your exact circumstances. However, there are some common occurrences and things a person may experience during detox. 

Physical withdrawal symptoms

Without a medically assisted detox protocol in place, if you’re physically addicted to alcohol or drugs, common withdrawal symptoms include nausea and vomiting, extreme changes in body temperature, Increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure, shaking, sweating, insomnia and unpleasant vivid dreams.

Our Programme

Without specialist support in place, there are several psychological withdrawal symptoms a person may experience when stopping alcohol or drugs. The most common of these are anxiety and depression, paranoia and severe mood swings, all of which can increase cravings to use alcohol or drugs.

Handling alcohol withdrawal symptoms

A short course of medication  will usually be prescribed during a detox period, to assist your physical detox process. The purpose of this medication is to prevent or minimise withdrawal symptoms, so you can be safe and comfortable throughout. There are also some things which can be used to manage distress and help aid sleep, if you find this necessary.

Again, this is another reason why it is vital that detox is carried out and supervised by a medical professional, so you can be supported at each moment, and your detox programme can be adjusted if needed.

white clock on white background showcasing a time with a yellow arrow stating time to detox

What is a detox?

A detox is a medically supervised programme to wean you off the substances you are addicted to. A medical and psychological assessment will be completed beforehand to ensure suitability for the detox programme, and then it will be planned and supervised by a professional. 

A detox programme will normally last somewhere between 7 and 10 days, depending on the needs of the individual and other deciding factors. Many detoxes can be carried out in the community, where you are supported as you go through it, but you remain living at home or in another safe environment, with at least one trusted person there with you. In more complex cases, a detox takes several weeks, and may require a short period in residential rehab, where you will have round-the-clock medical care on site.

A detox is a process of reducing physical reliance on substances, and allows the brain the time to adjust to any physically addictive substances not being in the body. 

A detox is not a substitute for psychological rehab and therapy, as it does not treat your psychological addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. It is often a necessary precursor to psychological treatment, however, as it clears your system safely of alcohol and drugs, so you can benefit fully from rehabilitation..

If you need a physical detox programme, a plan will also be discussed around what happens after detox. We can think together about what you most need in terms of treatment and support, and this will often include a rehab programme. Psychological treatment is about helping you to understand the nature of addiction, and to see what lies beneath the cravings to use. You will also gain many proven tools and strategies that you need to recover and to rebuild your life in sobriety.

Finding a detox

Finding a London detox for alcohol or drugs that is right for you can be daunting and confusing, and we know that taking this step alone is huge. We are here to help you find a detox solution that works for you and that fits with the support you are looking for. Whether you are looking for a home detox or an inpatient option, we will be here to support and help you find the right route for you.

We have experience and connections in order to help you source a detox programme quickly, at the most affordable rates. You can contact us here for advice.

Help Me Stop

Help Me Stop offers non-residential rehab programmes to those who are suffering from addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. Through Dayhab (intensive rehab in the community), we offer affordable and attainable rehab solutions for drug and alcohol recovery. We have two London locations, our Winchester Rehab, and our Online Rehab that can be accessed anywhere in the world. 


Our programmes include structured group and one-to-one therapy, but we always tailor our approach to the individual. Our programme includes the 12 step approach to addiction treatment, person-centred therapy, , cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family support and more. We also offer three months of free aftercare, to make sure you are supported and well-equipped in your daily life to continue with sobriety and recovery.


If you would like to find out more about Help Me Stop and the treatment programmes we offer, you can call us on 0208 191 9191 (London Rehabs/ Online Rehab) or 01962 217 090 (Winchester Rehab) for a confidential chat, or email us on


Many of our team have walked in your shoes, and are now in long term recovery. We understand what you are going through. We will be here to support you every step of the way throughout your recovery journey.


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