Fear during alcohol detoxification:views from the clients' perspective

Joanne Allen, Alexandre Copello, Jim Orford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about fears experienced during alcohol detoxification. Using qualitative research this preliminary study analysed descriptions of fears during one-to-one interviews about the experience of undertaking alcohol detoxification. Fears about detoxification centred around four main areas: the setting in which the process takes place, the physical consequences of withdrawal, the medication given to manage detoxification and the experience of future daily living without alcohol. The findings suggest that particular attention needs to be paid to the environmental setting of detoxification and the personal meaning of receiving medical care for withdrawal. In addition, more integration of relapse prevention work into the earliest stages of alcohol-related treatment and the provision of accurate information about detoxification may prove effective in reducing fears about the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005


  • detoxification
  • withdrawal
  • alcohol
  • fear


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