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Alcohol Detox Process

The Process of Detoxing From Alcohol

Castle Craig has a specialist detox unit to assist people who need medically assisted alcohol withdrawal. We provide treatment in a setting that is most appropriate to your age, the severity of your dependence and the presence of any physical or psychiatric conditions.

  • You have the opportunity to start your therapy at any time whilst still in detox at Castle Craig

A detox process you can trust

According to NICE guidelines, inpatient, medically managed residential detoxification should be conducted by a 24-hour medical and mental health nursing support team.

As Castle Craig adheres to NICE guidelines for detoxification, we can offer pharmacological and psychosocial interventions to support effective treatment of substance misuse and other significant psychological comorbidities like depression.

Our professional alcohol and drug-assisted withdrawal programme always include three core, fundamental elements:

1. Evaluation

Before starting treatment, you will undergo a comprehensive medical assessment that consists of a full overview of your physiological, psychological and social needs.

Before entering treatment, our medical and therapy team will conduct various assessments to provide an accurate picture of your psychological and social needs.

Prior to detox admission, our detox team will also conduct comprehensive medical assessments like baseline urea, electrolytes and liver function tests, including bloodtests, as recommended in the NICE guidelines.

2. Stabilisation

Stabilisation is part of the process where we provide therapeutic, supportive care, and when necessary medical intervention to help manage heavy symptoms of the withdrawal period. The time frame is anything from 1 to 10 days.

During this period, we will also begin to introduce you to the addiction treatment programme that you’ll be following for the next couple of weeks.

During detoxification, patients will receive:

  • A balanced healthy diet
  • Adequate hydration and fluids
  • High levels of hygiene and sleep hygiene
  • Round-the-clock monitoring from general nurses
  • Support from mental health and staff nurses

3. Residential integration

Following the end of the detox, we foster patient readiness and integrate them into our addiction treatment programme and emphasise the need for continued treatment after residential support.

This is the stage of treatment where our network of therapists will engage, motivate, and work with you to achieve your sobriety goals and begin to treat any dual diagnosis conditions.

Dosage and duration of detoxification

When our healthcare professionals determine the starting dose, duration, and regimen (linear or stepped) of detoxification we consider the following set out in the NICE guidelines:

  • The severity of your dependence
  • The stability of the user (polydrug or alcohol use and psychiatric comorbidity)
  • Pharmacology of the chosen detoxification medication and any adjunctive medication
  • The setting in which the detoxification will take place

The duration of detox will also depend on the substance used.

What the clinical assessment involves

  1. Urinalysis to aid the identification of substances
  2. Clinical assessment of the current withdrawal symptoms
  3. Previous history of substance abuse or any current treatment for these problems
  4. Any current or previous physical health issues or comorbid mental health conditions (and any treatment for these conditions)
  5. Any risk factors of self-harm or the potential to increase illicit drug or alcohol use
  6. Social and personal circumstances, including living arrangements, social support or presence of physical dependants.

Asking for Help is Easier than You Think

Please contact our team with more information about detox.

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Other Resources

Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (Feb 2011.).

Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and management of physical complications. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (updated Apr 2017).