Assisted withdrawal in hospital for alcohol misuse
Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.
If you have been drinking heavily for a long time and are physically dependent on alcohol then you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be managed at home if you have good family support, but more severe withdrawal symptoms will need to be managed with medication. This process is called ‘assisted withdrawal’ (also called ‘detoxification’ or ‘detox’).
If you have more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms or another physical or mental health condition which might complicate your withdrawal then you might need to be admitted to hospital. Staying in hospital means that you can be offered extra support as you stop drinking. You could stay in a paediatric ward or a mental health unit (this would be more likely if you also have another mental health condition).
Assisted withdrawal is not a treatment for alcohol misuse itself, but can be the first step to stop drinking and starting other types of treatment.
Most of what is known about managing alcohol withdrawal comes from research with adults because assisted withdrawal doesn’t happen very often with young people.
You can find more information about inpatient care here.
Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.