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How to Alcohol Detox at Home?


If you have been relying on alcohol for a long time to help you function, it is likely that you have developed a physical dependence on the substance. Your body probably craves alcohol whenever its effects wear off and you may find that it is increasingly difficult to get through the day without it. If this sounds familiar to you, it is highly likely that you will need to complete an alcohol detox in order to get your life back on the right track. If you have been pondering the question of how to alcohol detox at home, the first thing you need to consider is whether this is actually a good idea or not.

When to Detox at Home

Quitting alcohol by yourself is tricky, and some would even say that this leads to a rocky road to sobriety. While it is certainly possible to just stop drinking alcohol, it is rare that someone with a physical dependence can do this without help.

There is so much more to alcohol recovery than just quitting the chemicals, but this is definitely how it begins. Quitting alcohol is the first step on the road to recovery and detox is a major part of the process. But before you ask how to alcohol detox at home, consider whether this is a sensible move for you and your situation.

You need to remember that detoxing from alcohol can be stressful and dangerous. The effect that alcohol has had on almost every single cell in your body means that withdrawing from it can be complicated. For most people, it is advisable that detox takes place in a dedicated facility because as well as this course of action being safer, it is also going to be much more comfortable.

That being said, there could be very good reasons as to why you want to detox at home. It might be the case that you would feel much more comfortable in familiar surroundings with people you love around you in your time of need.

If you really want to detox at home, talk to a doctor to ensure that this is going to be a safe option for you. If you have a history of mental health problems or seizures, or if you have any other severe health problems, you may be advised to detox under the care of a medical professional in a supervised facility.

If you have been given the go-ahead for a home detox, you need to make sure that you are fully prepared before you begin. Setting up a supportive home environment will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that you are safe at all times.

How to Ensure a Safe Home Detox

If you are going to detox at home, it is important for you to know that you will need a helper with you at all times. An alcohol detox will typically last for around a week to ten days, so you will need to have a helper with you throughout this time. You should be aware though that whoever is with you will have to be alert at all times; this means that really you are going to need more than one person willing to take it in turns to sit with you and ensure your safety and comfort.

Being a helper for someone completing a detox at home is a major responsibility and should not be taken on lightly. It is important that whoever agrees to help you during this process is fully informed about what an alcohol detox is like as well as how to react in the event of an emergency.

Your helper should have a list of emergency contacts that should include your doctor or nurse, family members, friends, and even neighbours who have agreed to help should you become aggressive or violent during the detox.

The environment in which you are detoxing should be fully prepared and ‘clean’ before you begin, and it is crucial that all traces of alcohol be removed from your home. This includes foods and cleaning products that contain alcohol. It is also important that all other mood-altering substances are removed, including both over-the-counter and prescription medication.

What is Detox Like

You may have an idea of what a detox is going to be like. Maybe you have tried to quit alcohol in the past but found yourself going back to it. If this is the case, you probably already have a notion of what to expect.

Detox from alcohol is a complicated process. Although most people believe alcohol to be a harmless substance, you will be aware of how damaging it is. When used in moderation it is considered relatively safe, but when it is abused it has the potential to destroy lives.

Alcohol has a devastating impact on the mind and the body. It can alter the structure of the brain and it affects how this organ works; it is these changes that have made you incapable of making good decisions for so long.

Your body has probably started to rely on alcohol so when you suddenly cut off the supply, you should expect many withdrawal symptoms as your body tries to get back to normal. Some individuals will only experience one or two mild symptoms while others will suffer a range of symptoms that start off mild in intensity before progressing to severe. Below are just some of the symptoms associated with alcohol detox:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Delirium Tremens

In a supervised facility, the worst symptoms can usually be prevented with medication and effective management. Detoxing at home can be a very different scenario because unless you have a helper with a medical background, you will not have the benefit of the appropriate medication.

Should You Detox at Home?

If you have been wondering about how to alcohol detox at home, it is important to think carefully about whether this is the right option for you. While there are certain things that you can do to make a home detox more comfortable, there is no way to predict how your detox will progress and what type of symptoms you might experience during the process.

Since detox is different for everyone, it would probably be beneficial for you to at least consider detoxing in a supervised facility. In fact, there are some circumstances in which a home detox would be totally inappropriate. For example, if you have already experienced severe withdrawal symptoms when in need of a drink, such as intense shaking or hallucinations, it might not be a good idea to attempt a home detox.

Similarly, if you have a history of severe depression, suicidal thoughts, or convulsions, then a home detox is not a good idea. It would be far better to detox in a dedicated facility where medical staff are on hand to take care of your needs and to ensure that you are completely safe at all times.

How to Find an Alcohol Detox Clinic

If you would like more information on how to alcohol detox at home safely, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Addiction.org.uk. We can provide information about how to ensure you are completely safe during a home detox.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about detoxing in a supervised detox clinic, we can also help. We can put you in touch with a suitable detox provider in your area and provide details about what you can expect from such a process. Please call us today for answers to any queries you may have or to speak to someone about the next steps on your recovery journey. We are here to help – and we are only a phone call away.

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