Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment at Home

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Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that occurs when you suddenly stop drinking after a long period of alcohol and drug abuse. 

When you drink heavily, your brain and body get used to the substance, and the sudden stopping will cause an imbalance in your body, leading to the withdrawal symptoms. Experiencing alcohol withdrawal at home could potentially be dangerous and should be monitored by addiction specialists.    

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild withdrawal symptoms to intense and severe symptoms needing prescribed medications. 

This medication is specifically designed to ease withdrawal symptoms.  

Long-term substance abuse can be caused by an underlying condition, or it could be because of physical pain where alcohol may have been used to self-medicate. 

Now, the key to a successful process of quitting cold turkey and avoiding alcohol cravings would be to seek the help of licensed medical professionals, addiction treatment.  

In fact, alcohol treatment should never be taken lightly. It is highly recommended that you should seek advanced recovery systems for alcoholism treatment, most probably from inpatient treatment centres that offer professional medical advice and alcohol intoxication treatment. 

What you should expect with an at home detox treatment 

Managing the alcohol withdrawal syndrome at home is no walk in the park. Of course, addiction treatment is different for everyone, but you can never predict how the alcohol addiction treatment will react to your boy. 

If you feel extremely uncomfortable with the symptoms, you may be tempted to give up on the process, but you should know that, while the medical detox is intense, they symptoms will not last long and soon you will be on your way to alcohol abuse treatment that will result in your sobriety. 

So, the main withdrawal symptoms you will experience include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Shaking or tremors 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fever 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Mood swings 
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Difficulty thinking and making decisions 
  • Hallucinations or delirium 
  • Seizures 

If you have just started your detox at home, these symptoms will start to appear a few hours after your last drink, and if you are not under the supervision of a healthcare provider, the complications related to detoxing from alcohol and other medical conditions could be fatal and lead to death. 

How long is alcohol withdrawal treatment? 

When trying to quit drinking at home, you should know that this may be a longer process than you imagined. Medical providers can help you through it by providing medical supervision with the help of a medical professional. 

But the total time it will take you to go through this dangerous process depends on several factors, such as: 

  • How long you have had alcohol abuse. 
  • How committed you are to the process. 
  • Whether you have any other serious health issues. 
  • Whether you have ever had professional treatment before. 
  • Whether you have other behavioural health condition. 

How to treat alcohol withdrawal at home? 

Detox from alcohol at home, without a qualified admissions representative can be hard. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms cannot be treated using natural remedies, or a balanced diet alone.

You need to have a treatment programme that works to reduce alcohol cravings and treat addiction. 

One suggestion you will find for alcoholism treatment would be to take it slowly.  

Here are a few other options: 

Tapering 

If you have an alcohol abuse problem, maybe you shouldn't stop drinking cold turkey, but rather do it in piece meal, which means tapering of, or slowly decreasing your drug and alcohol intake. 

Clear your schedule 

Just because you cannot go to the rehab facilities doesn't mean that you shouldn't commit some time to home detox. Take time off work and ensure that you have enough emotional support around you.  

Eat healthy 

Alcohol withdrawal at home needs you to be extra vigilant, especially with your diet. Alcohol detox is likely to cause some symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and if you are not careful, you could end up losing more weight through the process.  

When at an alcohol rehab clinic, they are good with this, but at home, you may forget, which is why you always need someone with you.

A healthy diet feels you with required nutrients for the alcohol and drug treatment and it also ensures that you are strong enough to go through the symptoms. 

Drinking water

Water helps with alcohol withdrawal during home alcohol detox since you will be sweating profusely and losing water. Drinking fluids will reduce the risks of dehydration and symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. 

Relaxing 

Take time to relax and remove all alcohol at home for relapse prevention. You could do some deep breathing exercises, yoga, warm baths, etc.  

Find support 

Alcohol detox at home may seem like the best option for treating alcohol use disorder, but you will need as much help as you can find.

Family members, and friends will help with an at home alcohol detox, relapse prevention, and withdrawal process. 

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The benefits of home detox 

So, if you choose home detox, here are some of the benefits of this option: 

You can start immediately 

The detox at home is available immediately, and you do not need to wait around for a spot to open. Your home is your detox facility, so you can begin your detox, because you are already at home, and you are ready for the detox programme to begin. 

It can be safe 

We say, it can be safe, because detoxing rom alcohol at home should only be done under the supervision and advice of your regular physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

This specific treatment option with medical professionals is designed to accommodate the withdrawal process from alcohol and other drugs, which means that you shouldn't worry too much. 

Your body will essentially re-balance and in order to remove toxins, you have to be patient with the process and accept the side effects. 

The reason why you will have extreme symptoms is because of the discomfort you put your body under when you quit alcohol intake cold turkey. 

It is convenient 

You don't have to do an outpatient programme, or an inpatient rehab centre to start the process being at home is quite convenient for anyone trying to quit drug and alcohol abuse. 

You will not be isolated, and therefore you can resume your daily activities and live a normal life with home-based care. Detoxing at home allows you to carry on with work, family, and other activities you are used to. 

It is cheaper 

The cost of detoxing from alcohol at home is of course less, compared to the medical rehab clinic.  

This is because a medical detox at a treatment facility or a detox facility involves; room and board, round the clock treatment, balanced diet, and many other activities that quickly ring up the bill. 

It is confidential 

No one will know you are going through detox, well, perhaps just a family member. This is because you are doing it at home. Your relationships will not suffer because of your absence, neither will you job and other commitments. 

Most clinics that support a self-detox will also sign a waiver promising that they will not disclose any of your information to anybody. 

It can be very supportive 

Detox comes with a whole lot of psychological symptoms, behavioural health conditions, and other more severe symptoms of alcohol consumption such as delirium tremens. 

All of these must be under the support of health practitioner. This is because, both the mild symptoms and the physical symptoms of detox from alcohol can be pretty intense when you stop drinking. 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as a result of alcohol use disorder are quite dangerous. Having someone there for you through the process could help get you to the hospital as soon as there is a problem.  

Alcohol withdrawal at home, can be accompanied with a mental health disorder, and if you decide not to go with a professional medical help, you may have to sign off a medical disclaimer to this effect. 

Additionally, while at home, you could join an alcoholics anonymous group to guide you since your last drink. 

After detox care 

Detox programmes not only help with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, but they will also hold your hand even after detox is over. 

Also, in case of any recovery complications, you can quickly receive inpatient care at the emergency room before it gets worse. 

The limitations of home detox treatment

One of the biggest risks of an at home treatment, is the risk of delirium tremens. This can be extremely fatal.

There are many other treatment options when it comes to the detox process, but for anyone who decides to stick with detox at home, they should be wary of the following: 

The ability to access alcohol  

You may not be able to control yourself during those intense withdrawal symptoms, and it will take commitment and discipline not to relapse.  

You are not only close to the alcohol, but you can also go out and buy some more if you like.

There are also likely to be triggers all over that led to your drugs and alcohol addiction, which means that it will take plenty of willpower to go through detoxing at home. 

The recovery process is very tough, and you really do not need all the reminders to drink around you. This is why an inpatient detox facility is highly recommended for anyone struggling to quit alcohol addiction. 

Mental health issues 

Your mental health is at risk here because you are close to some of your alcohol abuse triggers.  

This can cause some very serious implications to you mentally, especially if your family and friends are still abusing alcohol. 

Risk of relapse 

The risk of relapse is quite high when you are at home, especially during an unsupervised home detox. Relapse is easy to happen when you are at home.  

This is because dealing with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms is no joke, especially when there is no medication to take you through the process, and you are not committed enough to it. 

The detox programme can be quite overwhelming for anyone, and when you are at home, you can easily retreat and find yourself consuming the alcohol you are desperately trying to withdraw from.  

Now, depending on the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms, choosing treatment programme or recovery programme at home can challenging.  

Risk of overdose 

The fact that your body has been addicted to alcohol for a long time means that it has developed an immunity to it, and in case you relapse, you may need a higher intake than before to give you your required "high." 

This is especially dangerous when you abuse drugs too, because the more you take, the higher the chances for an overdose.  

Conclusion 

Please note that alcohol withdrawal treatment is simply the first step towards living a sober life, and you should prepare yourself for a more intense treatment at a treatment facility. 

This involves intense therapy for both you and your family members, group therapy, and other therapies to help you maintain a sober life. 

You can overcome alcohol addiction and even achieve sobriety. This is possible. The main important thing to remember is that your commitment is what matters the most.  

If you do not commit to the process, then it will not work, regardless of how professional the medical professionals will be. 

In the UK there are many professionals willing to hold your hand through this process. 

Enrolling for a treatment programme is the best decision you will make today. We wish you all the best on your detox from alcohol and ultimate recovery from addiction. 

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

Last Updated: November 1, 2021

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.