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.


Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.