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How To Detox From Alcohol at Home

When you finally decide to quit drinking alcohol, you may think the safest option is to just stop. Easy, right? But quitting cold turkey can be challenging if you are dependent on alcohol.

Depending on your addiction and experience with alcohol, detoxing can induce severe withdrawal symptoms. As a result, it is essential to remember that not everyone can detox from alcohol at home.

Find out about how to safely detox from alcohol at home here.

What Is Alcohol Detox?

The first step in treating an alcohol abuse disorder is detoxification. Usually, this is medically induced when you decide to stop drinking to flush alcohol from your body.

Typically after detoxification, you move on to other steps in your road to recovery. These include therapy, mental health treatment, and support groups.

Although a medical detox is recommended, some people decide to self-detox instead. However, this is not a safe form of substance abuse treatment.

What Is Self Detox?

Most people seek professional treatment when detoxing from alcohol. However, some may decide to stop drinking at home with no additional support or treatment and attempt to self-detox.

For some, detoxing from alcohol at home can be an easy and safe option, especially if they only have a mild addiction or experience minor withdrawal symptoms. But for others, it can be a lot harder to manage without support from a medical professional.

Is It Safe To Detox From Alcohol at Home?

When deciding to quit drinking, detoxing from home may seem like the best option. After all, your home is your place of comfort where you feel safe and in control. However, if you are unaware of the detox process, detoxing at home could pose many risks.

The risks associated with detoxing at home vary based on your alcohol dependence. Some people experience severe withdrawal symptoms, while others do not. If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that you seek help in a treatment facility.

As the detox process from alcohol can be just as dangerous and daunting as detoxing from other drugs, you may experience physical symptoms and unwanted mental health effects when you start an at-home detox. For this reason, attending an alcohol rehab center where you are under medical supervision is beneficial.

Pros and Cons of Detoxing at Home

There are many benefits associated with detoxing at home, such as:

  • Saving money – Treatment at an alcohol rehab center can be expensive. When detoxing at home, you have no financial obligations.
  • Comfort and familiarity – You are in your own home where you are comfortable with your surroundings.
  • Family and friends – You may want emotional support from family members and friends. When detoxing at home, you have easy access to this.
  • Anonymity and privacy – Nobody has to know of your detox when in the privacy of your own home.

Despite this, choosing to detox at home comes with many risks, including:

  • Higher risk of relapse
  • Lack of prescription medications and professional medical advice
  • Lower rate of success
  • The threat of complications or health problems due to withdrawal

Top Tips for Detoxing Safely

If you decide to detox at home despite the risks, you should ensure you are aware of all concerning factors and detox safely. Here are some tips that will increase your chances of success:

  • Gradually taper your intake of alcohol – If you quit cold turkey, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. To avoid this, it is recommended that you slowly reduce your alcohol consumption. This also helps in dealing with dependence.
  • Remove all alcohol from your home – When you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, you will likely encounter cravings, and you may convince yourself that it is okay to have one last drink. However, if you get rid of any temptations, you will have a higher chance of success in the early stages of recovery.
  • Ask for support – If something goes wrong during an at-home detox, you need to be able to contact someone who can provide emotional and physical support. Ideally, this should be someone who can help you access medical treatment if any complications arise.
  • Keep a clear schedule – Ensure you have time to focus on yourself and your detox. Take some time off work for a better chance of long-term recovery.

Benefits of Medically Supervised Detox From Alcohol

As you now know, there are many risks associated with deciding to detox at home. A safer and more reliable option is entering an inpatient program where you undergo detox in the presence of licensed medical professionals who can help if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms or encounter any medical conditions.

If you do not want to attend an inpatient treatment due to costs and time, several outpatient treatments are available.

Medical supervision for both alcohol and drug abuse ensures you have the correct care to work towards a successful recovery. Research states that almost one-third of people who receive professional treatment for alcohol abuse are sober one year later.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When you suddenly stop drinking, your body will go through alcohol withdrawal which can be painful and may last for weeks. The length and severity of your alcohol use disorder will contribute to the symptoms you encounter.

Those who have excessively consumed alcohol for a number of years are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Whereas if your addiction is less intense, you may experience minor withdrawal symptoms.

Several factors can affect your symptoms. For example, if you have used other drugs while drinking, withdrawal symptoms may worsen. Many people with alcoholism also struggle with a mental health disorder as it is common to start drinking to mask any unpleasant feelings. Unfortunately, mental health problems can intensify withdrawal symptoms.

Some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate

More severe symptoms are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Illusions
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

Delirium tremens are the most severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. If you experience this condition, symptoms may include a high heart rate, increased body temperature, and seizures. You must seek professional treatment advice if you experience any of these.

It has been found that 50% of people going through alcohol detoxification will experience withdrawal symptoms, with an estimation that 3-5% will have severe symptoms.

How To Manage Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms at Home

There are many ways to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms from home safely. Below, we have shared just a few:

  • Understand the process – During alcohol detox, you will experience cravings. Be prepared for the ride as the feeling gradually builds and then comes crashing down. If you can ride this out, you will successfully avoid temptations to drink.
  • Keep a healthy diet – During detox, make sure you eat lots of fruits and vegetables. As drinking causes your body to convert alcohol to sugar, your body may begin to crave it when you stop. A healthy way to suppress these cravings is with fresh fruit. Vitamins are also helpful in aiding your withdrawal symptoms.
  • Keep hydrated – When you detox from alcohol, you will most likely experience nausea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. For this reason, it is essential to drink plenty of water and consume beverages that contain electrolytes, such as energy drinks.
  • Be careful about who you spend time with – When going through withdrawal, you will have cravings. With this in mind, it is vital to keep a distance from people you associate with drinking. You must be honest about your desire to stay sober, which may involve cutting people out of your life.
  • Controlled breathing – Deep and controlled breathing helps the body receive oxygen, stabilizing your heart rate and blood pressure. A combination of deep breathing and meditation can help clear the mind.

To Conclude

If you are considering an at-home detox, you should seek professional advice to help determine what course of treatment is best suited to you. A doctor can evaluate if you have a severe form of alcohol abuse, which will determine whether you will experience minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that are easier to manage at home.

Alcohol abuse disorders are serious medical conditions. If you experience alcohol addiction, you should seek professional alcohol addiction treatment.

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