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Utah Alcohol Detox Center—Your First Step to Sobriety

Alcohol Detox Center

Breaking free from alcohol addiction is a challenging journey, but it is one worth taking. And it starts with detox. Ardu Recovery Center offers individualized care to free yourself from the grip of alcohol addiction, from detox to relapse prevention.

Table of Contents

If you are looking for alcohol or drug detox assistance, you can count on our detox center to provide full support, knowledge, and compassion.

What Is Alcohol Detox?

Salt Lake City Alcohol Detox Center: Dealing with Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol detox is the process of returning your body to normal in a safe and medically supervised manner after heavy alcohol intake. Detox involves quitting alcohol and managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as “a period of medical treatment, usually including counseling, during which a person is helped to overcome physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.”

The goal of alcohol detox is to help you safely manage withdrawal symptoms and start your journey towards sobriety. Our skilled healthcare professionals use their expertise and compassion to help you get through alcohol detox and choose the right next steps for your journey to sobriety.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

Detoxing from alcohol can be challenging, both physically and emotionally, and the alcohol detox timeline can vary from person to person. However, alcohol detox programs typically follow a predictable pattern, with specific signs and symptoms of withdrawal being more prominent at different stages of the detox process.

  1. Initial stage: usually lasts from 6 to 24 hours after the person stops drinking. During this time, they may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, sweating, nausea, and anxiety.
  2. Acute stage: can begin anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the last drink, and lasts for up to a week. This stage is often the hardest, with withdrawal symptoms usually including hallucinations, seizures, delirium tremens (DTs), and may experience an intense craving for alcohol intake.
  3. Sub-acute stage: the sub-acute withdrawal stage begins after the acute withdrawal stage and can last for several weeks. Withdrawal symptoms at this stage may include a depressive effect on the central nervous system, insomnia, and mood swings.
  4. Protracted withdrawal stage: the final stage of alcohol detoxification. It can last for several months, during which the individual can experience ongoing psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating.

The alcohol detox timeline can vary widely depending on factors such as the individual’s overall health, the severity of their alcohol addiction, and the detox program they are following. At Ardu, our medical professionals provide individualized alcohol detox and treatment plans that fit each patient’s timeline.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?

When talking about alcohol detox, most people refer to the first two stages of the alcohol detox timeline, as that’s when the withdrawal symptoms are at their most severe. These two stages last for about a week. Milder, long-term symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can last for several months, so a high-quality aftercare program is crucial for continuous recovery.

That’s why we have an alcohol rehab program to complement our alcohol detox.

Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal

The way you experience alcohol withdrawal depends on your experience with alcohol (how much, how often, and for how long you’ve consumed alcohol) and your body’s chemical composition.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to life threatening, can be difficult to manage without professional help, and understanding them is crucial for preventing relapse and aiding in recovery.

“Individuals at elevated personality risk for alcoholism apparently experience more acute withdrawal and hangover, which may initiate further drinking to relieve these aversive symptoms.”—M. Earleywine, Addict Behaviors

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

The signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal to life threatening symptoms such as seizures. The following are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • Restlessness, irritability, anxiety, and agitation
  • Lack of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
  • Tremors, elevated heart rate, and increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia, intense dreaming, and nightmares
  • Poor concentration and impaired memory
  • Increased sensitivity to sound, light, and touch
  • Hallucinations (auditory, visual, or tactile)
  • Delusions, typically paranoid or persecutory
  • Grand mal seizures
  • High fever
  • A state of delirium with disorientation regarding time, place, person, and situation, and fluctuation in level of consciousness

Clinical Management of Alcohol Withdrawal

Recognition of alcohol withdrawal and proper clinical management are the first steps in alcoholism treatment. 

“Early identification of patients for potential alcohol withdrawal followed by a standardized treatment protocol using symptom-triggered dosing improved alcohol withdrawal management and outcomes.”—(Melson, et al)

Alcohol detox and withdrawal treatment can be done in outpatient or inpatient facilities. Depending on your withdrawal symptoms and needed levels of care, you can opt to seek medical care from skilled medical professionals here at Ardu. We offer a full medical detox facility, paired with holistic detox therapies, to help you kick alcohol addiction for good.

Inpatient Alcohol Detox

Inpatient alcohol detox involves you staying at our medical detox facility and receiving medical and emotional support 24/7.

Inpatient detoxification offers consistent patient care and supervision provided by skilled staff and separation from the substance-using environment.

At Ardu, we offer inpatient rehab and intensive inpatient services, as well as residential treatment programs, which allow patients to live on-site for a period of time in order to receive the care and support you need.

Outpatient Alcohol Detox

Outpatient alcohol detox is a type of treatment where the patient doesn’t stay at a facility but attends appointments at a treatment center to receive emotional support and seek medical advice. The patient undergoes detox at home or in a sober living environment.

A study on outpatient treatment during alcohol detox cites that “outpatient treatment of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome is effective for certain alcoholics.” Outpatient detox is less expensive and time-consuming than inpatient detox, and it allows patients to maintain their daily routine and social relationships.

Still, there are some risks associated with outpatient detoxification, including easy access to alcohol, a higher risk of missed appointments, and a higher risk of relapse. Outpatient detoxification is not appropriate for all patients, particularly those at risk of life-threatening complications or with co-occurring medical conditions.

If you struggle with alcohol abuse and think that an outpatient detox process is right for you, Ardu is here to help you with the discomfort and pain management associated with alcohol detox. We have an outpatient rehab center and offer outpatient services in the form of intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs. 

Alcohol Detox with Co-Occurring Disorders

A mental health condition, such as an anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, a mood disorder, or an eating disorder, can exacerbate alcoholism. Researchers of a Canadian study concluded “that depression and anxiety are the two major psychiatric disorders of alcoholism.”

A 2014 study on detox, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental health conditions in patients with a dual diagnosis concluded that: 

“Targeting more comprehensive mental health, case management, and 12-step programs to dually diagnosed patients with a history of detox may improve mental health and criminal involvement status.”

At Ardu, we offer inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment programs for people with co-occurring disorders. Our dual diagnosis treatment programs include:

  • Bipolar treatment program
  • Eating disorder treatment program
  • Schizophrenia treatment program
  • OCD treatment program
  • ADHD treatment program
  • Personality disorder treatment program
  • PTSD treatment program

Alcohol Detox During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, it is crucial to stop drinking immediately to avoid the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol addiction treatment centers that work with pregnant women should keep these suggestions, made by SAMHSA, in mind when managing alcohol detox in pregnant women.

  • The use of short-acting benzodiazepines is the current practice of choice for pregnant women who need to undergo alcohol detox. Long-acting benzodiazepines should be avoided, as they can lead to a withdrawal syndrome in the baby during the third trimester or near delivery.
  • While no harmful effects on the fetus have been observed, little is known about the impact of naltrexone, naloxone, or nalmefene administration during pregnancy. 
  • The use of beta-blockers like propranolol, labetalol, and metoprolol for alcohol detoxification during pregnancy is unclear due to the lack of research. 
  • The use of SSRIs like fluoxetine is safer than tricyclic antidepressants, and it is recommended during pregnancy for the treatment of alcohol detoxification. 
  • The use of anticonvulsants like valproic acid during pregnancy has been linked with several disfiguring malformations, and phenobarbital use during pregnancy should be discussed with the patient, as reports of a withdrawal syndrome in the neonate following prenatal exposure to phenobarbital exist.

At Ardu Recovery Center, we follow the latest medical guidelines and the best science when helping a pregnant woman detox.

Types of Alcoholism

Alcoholism affects everyone differently, but every alcoholic likely falls into one or more of these five types of alcoholism:

  1. Young adult subtype: characterized by early-onset alcohol use, this subtype typically starts in the late teens or early 20s. People with this subtype may engage in impulsive and risk-taking behavior, and may experience a range of social and legal problems as a result of their alcohol use.
  2. Young antisocial subtype: similar to the young adult subtype, but people may also exhibit antisocial behavior such as aggression, criminal activity, and drug abuse. This subtype is often associated with risk factors such as a family history of alcoholism and may be more prevalent among males.
  3. Functional subtype: people with this subtype may be able to maintain their daily responsibilities but are dependent on alcohol and use it to cope with stress or anxiety. They may not drink every day, but when they do, they consume large amounts of alcohol. These are commonly termed “functioning alcoholics.”
  4. Intermediate familial subtype: characterized by a family history of alcoholism, which suggests a genetic component to the condition. People with this subtype have a higher risk of developing alcoholism themselves, even if they don’t exhibit any obvious signs of alcohol use disorders.
  5. Chronic severe subtype: this is the most severe form of alcoholism, with people experiencing more substantial physical and psychological issues as a result of their alcohol use. They likely drink every day and may have difficulty controlling their drinking. This subtype is associated with a higher risk of comorbid psychiatric medical conditions and medical complications.

Signs of Alcoholism

There are several signs that indicate an individual may have a problem with drinking and may be alcohol dependent. Some of the most common signs of alcoholism include:

  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Blacking out or forgetting events while drinking
  • Drinking to feel better or relieve stress
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
  • Developing a high tolerance for alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, such as before driving

These warning signs may be indicators that an individual is struggling with alcoholism and may need help. In extreme cases, heavy drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be life-threatening. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know shows signs of alcohol poisoning, such as confusion, seizures, slow breathing, or blue-tinged skin.

Is Detox Necessary for All Types of Alcohol Addiction?

Detox is not mandatory for all types and severities of alcohol addiction, though it can be helpful for all types. Detox is absolutely necessary for the subset of alcohol-dependent people who have become so physically dependent on alcohol that they experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking.

For people with less severe addiction, detox may not be necessary but professional treatment of alcoholism can still be beneficial in helping to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and provide support during the early stages of recovery.

The need for detox should be determined on a case-by-case basis by a healthcare professional or addiction specialist. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact us to help you determine the best course of treatment.

What After Alcohol Detox?

“Patients with an alcohol use disorder who have a drinking goal of abstinence, in particular consistent daily drinkers, may maximally benefit from alcohol use disorder treatment, including the use of medication, in a primary care setting.”—The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

Treating alcoholism is a long and continuous process that starts with detox. If you’re looking for long-term treatment for alcoholism, we offer a high quality aftercare program at our alcohol and drug rehab facilities. Our healthcare professionals provide continuity of care and make sure you get comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment after the detox process is complete.

What are the Stages of Alcohol Recovery?

The stages of alcohol recovery typically include:

  1. Acknowledgment and decision: recognizing the problem and making a choice to seek help.
  2. Detoxification: safely eliminating alcohol from the body, often with medical supervision.
  3. Early abstinence: establishing sobriety, learning coping strategies, and building support networks.
  4. Maintenance and relapse prevention: sustaining sobriety, addressing underlying issues, and developing healthier habits.
  5. Ongoing recovery: continuing personal growth, self-care, and commitment to sobriety.

Recovery is a unique journey, and the duration and progression through these stages can vary for each individual. Collaborating with Ardu can greatly assist in navigating the stages of alcohol recovery.


Start Your Alcohol Addiction Recovery with Ardu Recovery Center

Ardu is a recovery center for substance abuse treatment located in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. We specialize in drug and alcohol rehab and detox services and offer 24/7 hospital-level care in our modern, spotless facilities. During your stay, you’ll enjoy premium amenities such as a full gym, a sauna, a float spa, and a vibroacoustic lounge. You’ll get professional help from our amazing addiction specialists. 

Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Ardu Offers

In addition to our alcohol addiction treatment program, we also offer these treatment programs:

Get Started with Ardu’s Addiction Therapy Program

At Ardu, we made sure that the rehab admissions process is simple and straightforward. Simply verify your insurance by visiting our insurance verification page, make sure we accept your insurance coverage, and you’re ready to start your journey. For more information about rehab, here’s a helpful list of things to bring to treatment.

FAQ on Alcohol Detox

Should I quit drinking alcohol cold turkey?

While it may work for some, quitting alcohol consumption cold turkey can be dangerous and result in severe withdrawal symptoms that require medical attention. We recommend seeking professional advice before deciding on any treatments for alcohol abuse and addiction, including quitting cold turkey. Treatment options may include medically supervised detoxification, counseling, and relapse prevention strategies to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

What happens to your body when you completely stop drinking?

If you are a heavy drinker who has completely stopped drinking, you should expect to experience mild to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, depending on how often, how much, and for how long you drink.

Mild alcohol withdrawal is characterized by anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and decreased appetite, while severe withdrawal symptoms can involve trembling of the hands and arms, sweating, nausea with vomiting, elevation of body temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, and hypersensitivity to sound and light. 

Can I reverse the effects of alcohol?

While it is not possible to completely reverse all the effects of alcohol, many aspects can improve when alcohol consumption is stopped or significantly reduced.

The body has remarkable healing abilities, and by adopting a healthy lifestyle, individuals can promote positive changes. For example, the liver can regenerate damaged cells, and improvements in cardiovascular health, brain function, and overall well-being can occur.

Some alcohol-related damages may be irreversible, underscoring the importance of seeking timely medical care and making positive lifestyle choices.

How long does alcohol stay in your brain?

The duration that alcohol stays in the brain can vary depending on factors such as the amount consumed, the person’s metabolism, and whether or not the person has a history of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is metabolized relatively quickly by the liver, but the effects on the brain can last for several hours. Prolonged effects of alcoholism can cause damage to the brain. If you have concerns about alcohol consumption and its effects, talk to your doctor for additional information on the effects of alcohol on the brain.

What happens to your face when you stop drinking?

You will likely see an improvement in your face when you stop drinking. Alcohol consumption can dehydrate your skin and cause inflammation, which leads to acne, redness, and puffiness. Without alcohol, your skin will appear more hydrated, and you may notice a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Quitting alcohol can also improve blood flow, giving your skin a healthier appearance.

Will I lose belly fat if I stop drinking alcohol?

If you stop drinking alcohol, health benefits you can expect include weight loss, especially in the belly region. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, and excess consumption can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. By cutting out alcohol, you reduce your caloric intake and improve your dietary choices, potentially leading to weight loss and a decrease in belly fat.

What are the five types of therapy that can be used to treat alcoholism?

There are many types of therapy that can be used to treat alcoholism, but the five most common types are:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): this type of therapy helps patients recognize and change their negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their alcohol use disorder.
  2. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): this therapy is designed to increase a person’s motivation to change their drinking behavior by exploring their personal values and goals.
  3. Family therapy: family therapy involves family members in the treatment process and helps them learn how to support their loved one’s recovery.
  4. Group therapy: group therapy involves a group of people who are going through similar struggles with alcoholism, and provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive feedback from others.
  5. Medication-assisted therapy (MAT): Medications can be used in combination with therapy to help manage alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and insomnia. It is important to talk to a healthcare professional to determine the best type of therapy for an individual’s specific needs.

How does cognitive-behavioral therapy help alcoholism?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective in treating alcoholism by targeting negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction. This behavioral health psychotherapy service involves working with a therapist to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, develop healthy coping strategies, and practice new behaviors. In addition to CBT, another popular behavioral therapy for alcoholism is dialectical behavior therapy.

What type of therapy is AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an alcohol addiction recovery program that uses the 12-step model. Similarly, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) uses the same model in the treatment of drug addiction

Does Ardu have a men’s and women’s detox center?

Yes, we have a men’s detox center and a women’s detox center here at Ardu. And, for prolonged alcohol treatment, we offer a men’s rehab program and a women’s rehab program as well.

How do I find a heroin detox center near me?

If you’re looking for a heroin detox center in Utah, Ardu’s got you covered. We are a drug and alcohol detox center and we offer medical and non-medical heroin detox options. And, for long-term recovery, we also have a substance abuse treatment program for heroin addicts.

Is trauma therapy good for alcoholism treatment?

Trauma therapy can be an effective component of alcoholism treatment, especially for individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Trauma can be a trigger for alcohol abuse, and addressing the underlying trauma through therapy can help individuals manage their alcohol cravings and improve their overall well-being.

Still, trauma therapy may not be appropriate for all people with alcoholism and should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other medically reviewed treatments for alcohol abuse and addiction. Speak with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for an individual’s specific needs.


Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy on 4/30/23