Do I Need Alcohol Detox?

Rehab for Alcoholism

Castle Craig Is One of the UK’s Leading Treatment Centres for Alcohol Addiction

When Alcohol Detox Necessary?

All patients at Castle Craig are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Many are required to complete detox before beginning their programme, while those with less severe addictions such as mild alcohol dependence will not need a medically-assisted detox. 

If you drink less than 15 units of alcohol 4-5 days a week then a detox might not be necessary, although all people have different levels of tolerance. Patients with moderate dependence can generally be treated in a less formal setting or with a home/community detox.

Any individual experiencing severe dependence should undergo acute alcohol withdrawal in an inpatient setting like Castle Craig. Those patients displaying decompensated liver disease will require specialist medical supervision. 

Without assessing or learning more about your condition, we cannot clearly advise how long detox will be.

In order to ensure you receive the best treatment, your case will need to be assessed by the medical team as well as a consultant psychiatrist, who will then advise on the next steps. This may be detox treatment or just therapy. 

Remember, the goal of our inpatient detoxes is to minimise patient distress as the alcohol withdrawal process can be both mentally and physically challenging. 

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The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SADQ)

If you are unsure about whether you need to detox from alcohol, The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SADQ) is a simplistic measure of the severity of dependence and hence an indicator of the withdrawal symptoms you might experience.

The SADQ questions cover the following aspects of dependency syndrome:

  • Physical withdrawal symptoms and affective withdrawal symptoms
  • Relief drinking and frequency of alcohol consumption
  • Speed of onset of withdrawal symptoms

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Read the following questions and see which applies to your level of alcohol dependence.


If you answer ALMOST ALWAYS to more than five questions then the likelihood is you need a detox. Please note all cases vary.

  1. The day after drinking alcohol, I wake up feeling sweaty.
  2. The day after drinking alcohol, my hands shook first thing in the morning.
  3. The day after drinking alcohol, my whole body shook violently first thing in the morning if I didn’t have a drink.
  4. The day after drinking alcohol, I woke up absolutely drenched in sweat.
  5. The day after drinking alcohol, I dread waking up in the morning.
  6. The day after drinking alcohol, I was frightened of meeting people first thing in the morning.
  7. The day after drinking alcohol, I felt at the edge of despair when I awoke.
  8. The day after drinking alcohol, I felt very frightened when I awoke.
  9. The day after drinking alcohol, I liked to have an alcoholic drink in the morning.
  10. The day after drinking alcohol, I always gulped my first few alcoholic drinks down as quickly as possible.
  11. The day after drinking alcohol, I drank more alcohol to get rid of the shakes.
  12. The day after drinking alcohol, I had a very strong craving for a drink when I awoke.
  13. I drank more than a quarter of a bottle of spirits in a day (OR 1 bottle of wine OR 7 beers).
  14. I drank more than half a bottle of spirits per day (OR 2 bottles of wine OR 15 beers).
  15. I drank more than one bottle of spirits per day (OR 4 bottles of wine OR 30 beers).
  16. I drank more than two bottles of spirits per day (OR 8 bottles of wine OR 60 beers)

You can take the questionnaire online here.

How Can Castle Craig Help?

How Do I Pay For Rehab?

One concern we sometimes hear from people is how they will fund their rehab treatment. The cost of rehab varies depending on what kind of accommodation you choose. You can pay for treatment at Castle Craig privately, or through medical insurance, and some people receive funding through the NHS.

How Long Is the Rehab Programme?

Residential rehab treatment starts at four weeks and can go up to 12+ weeks. Research shows us that the longer you stay in rehab and are part of the residential therapy programme, the longer the likelihood of continued abstinence and stable recovery.

Who Will I Speak to When I Call?

When you call you will reach our Help Centre team who will give you all the information you need to help you decide whether to choose treatment at Castle Craig. Once you have decided that you would like to have a free screening assessment you will be put in touch with our admissions case managers who will guide you through the admissions process.

What Happens at the End of My Treatment?

Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure by creating a personalised continuing care plan which is formulated following discussions with the medical and therapeutic team. We offer an online continuing care programme which runs for 24 weeks after leaving treatment, in order to ensure a smooth transition back into your everyday life. Patients leaving treatment automatically join our Recovery Club where they can stay connected via our annual reunion, events, online workshops and recovery newsletters.

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