Alcohol Detox & Withdrawal


Alcoholism, or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), is a chronic and progressive disease that can lead to severe physical, emotional, familial, and social consequences. While the use of alcohol can be a common pastime to celebrate birthdays, sporting events, weddings, and business meetings, there are individuals who are unable to control their drinking, become preoccupied with obtaining alcohol, and experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop. According to the World Health Organization, over 76 million people are affected by alcohol use disorders. Fortunately, there are many alcohol addiction treatment facilities to help individuals heal from the devastating effects of alcohol use disorder. 

The most often and necessary first step to recovering from alcoholism and alcohol use disorders is a medically-supervised detox where individuals can safely withdrawal from the physical effects of alcohol. At Marina Harbor Detox in San Francisco, we offer a comprehensive and luxury alcohol detox to kickstart the recovery process and find the path to healing.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS) or alcohol withdrawal is the range of symptoms an alcohol-dependent person may experience when they suddenly cease their use. Over time, a person’s body and brain becomes dependent on drinking frequency and use. Going through alcohol withdrawal at home or alone is ill-advised and can be extremely dangerous. In fact, those who attempt to quit alcohol on their own often find themselves drinking again to find relief from these symptoms. Those who choose to attend a medically-supervised have access to medications and are closely monitored by medical staff to ensure a safe and smooth detox process.

Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the frequency, duration, and length of alcohol use. Typically, withdrawal symptoms begin within 24 hours of the last use of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms peak between 36 and 72 hours and can last anywhere from seven to 10 days. However, even after physical symptoms have subsided, mental and emotional symptoms can still persist. 

Some common alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia

Symptoms of Delirium Tremens During Alcohol Withdrawal

Those who have been dependent on alcohol for an extended period of time may experience a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called Delirium Tremens (DTs). Delirium Tremens is considered a medical emergency and happens when the brain is unable to adjust regularly after the cessation of alcohol. When this happens, heart rate, and blood pressure can change dramatically causing reduced blood flow to the brain, decreased circulation and creates an increased risk of seizure, heart attack, or death. 

Typically Delirium Tremens can occur after 48 hours after the last drink and is most symptomatic five days after the last drink. Most Delirium Tremens last between two to three days. Symptoms of delirium tremens can include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyperactivity
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Death

How Is Alcohol Withdrawal Treated?

The safest and most effective way alcohol withdrawal is treated is through a licensed medical detox. At Marina Harbor Detox, we offer a luxury and intimate setting where individuals can safely and comfortably detox under the care of medical professionals with little distractions. Once an individual is fully assessed for symptoms and history of substance use, medical professionals may prescribe medications to minimize the onset of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.


During alcohol withdrawal and alcohol detox individuals are provided balanced meals and proper nutrition to help the body restore any depleted nutrients. In addition, therapy and 12-step meetings are also provided so individuals can begin to identify root cause issues and begin working on the emotional and mental aspect of their alcohol use disorder. 


Once individuals are medically stable, they can transition from alcohol detox to an inpatient or residential alcohol rehab where they are immersed in a structured and supportive environment. Here individuals learn new coping skills, have accountability, and create new relationships where they can find and receive support in recovery. 

Is It Possible to Detox from Alcohol At Home?

Typically, individuals make the choice to detox from alcohol at home because it feels more comfortable in a safe space. There are also those who believe that detoxing without the use of other drugs can be safer, however this could be farther from the truth. Going through a detox from alcohol at home without the care of medical professionals is extremely risky and not recommended. When an individual attempts to detox from alcohol without medical help, they face the risk of life-threatening consequences that can result in death. Detox from alcohol at home is not recommended and treatment should be sought.

Alcohol Detox in San Francisco

Alcoholism and alcohol use disorder is a disease. Just like any disease, professional intervention is often needed to recover. At Marina Harbor Detox in San Francisco, our multidisciplinary staff’s primary goal is to provide the best care to each individual that walks through our doors. Providing an individualized approach to recovery, we pride ourselves on a holistic approach, not only addressing the physical aspect, but the mental and spiritual components of sobriety as well.