As I'm sure you can imagine, opinions on Step 2 run the gamut. With that being said I've found the best approach here is also the most simple; stick to what the big book tells us and look at our own experience and that of others.
Alcohol withdrawal is serious. In fact it's one of the few substances which can be fatal when stopped "cold-turkey." Medically supervised detox is almost always necessary for an alcoholic who wishes to quit for good.