What Is Involved in An Alcohol Home Detox?

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What is involved in an alcohol home detox?

A alcohol home detox involves that a doctor or nurse who specialise in addiction treatment to come to your home and carry out a full medical assessment. Your medical examination will be a comprehensive review of your alcohol, drug, medical and psychiatric history prior to advising on any treatment.

Home detox is not the most recommended alcohol detoxification method, due to the many medical complications likely to occur when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms.  

But it can be done with the help of a professional due to the many severe and acute symptoms you are likely to have.

Specialist addictions nurse normally visits your home and carries out a full medical examination, including the following:  

  • Identifying any mental health issues 
  • Your level of alcohol dependence. 
  • Your Drinking habits 
  • Your blood pressure 
  • Any blood analysis. 
  • Prescribing some prescription drugs, to help with the withdrawal process and to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms which can sometimes be extremely severe when dealing with alcohol and substance use. 
  • The most used drugs for these symptoms are chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and, less often, Diazepam (Valium). 
  • Providing medical assistance 
  • Advising on a healthy diet. 

The addiction specialists or medical professionals should be extremely experienced, and they will offer you many treatment options to make the whole alcohol home detox easy on you.  

The alcohol home detox treatment should not be taken lightly, and must be a controlled alcohol detox, due to the treatment of the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms.  

Can it be done? 

Yes. It is possible but depends on the individual. This is because detox from alcohol is just the first step on your journey towards sobriety when overcoming alcoholism, and it can sometimes lead to relapse, making the whole process a failure. 

But, if an individual is committed to it, an alcohol home detox in your own home can be the most comfortable way of starting your alcohol rehab process. 

How can you do it? 

If you decide to detox at home, then you will have to really adjust yourself to this situation.  

You must first find a specialists addictions doctor, who will help you through the process which includes giving your prescribed medication for any medical conditions you may experience that mostly have to do with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

When you choose home alcohol detox, must be willing to do the following: 

Remove all signs of alcohol from the house  

This is a crucial step, because the process of treating alcohol withdrawals is not easy, which can easily cause you to relapse. This is difficult to control when temptation is all over.  

Allow yourself time 

It will not happen overnight, and in fact, a professional medical detox is likely to take longer than expected.

You must be willing to clear your schedule and focus fully on the process the rehab facilities and the specialist addictions doctor have recommended for you. 

Get some support 

If you have been drinking alcohol for a long time, you will find it hard to concentrate on rehab, and will need some support from friends, and family members to get rid of your alcohol and drug abuse habit. 

Additionally, you will also require support from specialist addictions doctors, who will help you alleviate withdrawal symptoms, which can sometimes be serious symptoms.

This is what will give you an opportunity to eliminate alcohol safely from your life.  

This will greatly help a person who is detoxing at home in staying safe and seeking medical attention when symptoms worsen. 

Stay dehydrated 

It is crucial to stay hydrated when symptoms such as nausea, appetite, and fatigue come in. Drinking juice, broth or water can really help you in removing the toxins from your body.

This are however just the initial symptoms and things may get worse, before getting better. 

Choosing a home alcohol detox needs a lot of commitment so you don't end up being more stressed while already going through the harsh situation.  

Do your research ahead of time, especially on the more serious symptoms, plus the kind of effect this process has on your central nervous system before attempting. 

Additionally, find some local support groups with addiction counsellors who can provide professional alcohol withdrawal help and a post detox strategy especially aftercare treatments.  

What are the dangers of home alcohol detox? 

One of the biggest dangers of home alcohol detox is the withdrawal symptoms. These can become quite severe, which is why doctors strongly advise undertaking it with a suitable therapist local to you. 

The symptoms however subside one week after you stop drinking excessively.

Once the withdrawal symptoms subside, you will be able to proceed with your normal life while going through the addiction treatment at home. 

Finding a good quality medical team to take you through this is a great way of achieving success when detoxing from home.

When they recognize the dangers, they can quickly take you to the emergency room for quick treatment, or even enrol you at their residential rehab for the remainder of your treatment.  


Symptoms of alcohol home detox treatment

Alcohol home detox, as we have mentioned causes symptoms that can be quite severe if left untreated.

This happens in the first 12 hours of your last drink, but the severity diminishes with time. After five days of rehab in your own home, you will start to see some symptoms disappearing. 

Of course, there isn't any set timeline for this, and it depends on the individual, but basically a week is enough. 

These symptoms happen as a result of drinking alcohol over a long period of time, and they include the following: 

  • Headache. 
  • Sweating. 
  • Vomiting. 
  • Tremors. 
  • Anxiety. 
  • Insomnia. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Seizures. 

These symptoms will also occur even when you are at a residential rehab, the only difference is that; the rehab facility has a 24-hour detox centre to cater for such emergencies.  

Trying to manage these alcohol detox symptoms while at home is no walk in the park, and while it’s a different experience for everyone, the home alcohol detox process can be uncomfortable for all, as well as draining psychologically.  

When detoxing at home, any experience with symptoms should be treated immediately at an emergency room, because when left untreated, these symptoms are life-threatening.  

Therefore, professional treatment is always recommended. 

How can you treat these withdrawal symptoms? 

Alcohol detox at home, is not easy. We have already outlined for you the kind of symptoms you are likely to suffer. 

It is therefore wise to learn how you can treat these symptoms while still at home, because in the end you must stop drinking if you are determined to do so.  

Here are a few options:  


Quitting alcohol cold turkey is not easy and is in fact dangerous. One important way of making it easy is through tapering. This means decreasing your alcohol intake slowly, instead of suddenly. 

Clear your schedule 

Don't assume that alcohol rehab at home will be easy, and that you will be able to kick the habit easy as well. No. this is a long and complicated process that will probably make you feel worse before you can feel better.  

Clear your schedule and prepare yourself for the treatment process, which could take a few weeks to complete. 

This free time is also great as it enables you to focus on your recovery. 

Healthy eating 

A healthy diet will provide your body with some much-needed nutrients and energy, that was previously lacking during your alcohol dependence.

A new diet will help decrease any fatigue caused by the detox and could potentially speed up the whole recovery process. 


Water will not only be used by your body to get rid of toxins, but it will also keep you hydrated while going through the rehab process. 


This is extremely important during a home alcohol detox, because of the potential for stress. It will help keep your mind clear and focused to deal with the different emotions you will experience.

Relaxation includes meditation, breathing, yoga and taking warm showers every now and then. 


Do no try to detox alone. Just because you are at home doesn't mean that you do not need help or support.

Managing your psychological symptoms alone may prove to be too much, and without support, you are probably doomed and at risk of relapse. 

Look for a friend or a close family member to join you while going through the rehab. 

How long does it take? 

This is not an easy question to answer, because each alcohol detox treatment is dependent on the individual. For some it's fast, while for others it's a long process. 

The most important point to remember however, is that alcohol detox, whichever one you choose, whether a home alcohol detox or a residential treatment, is simply the first step towards your alcohol addiction treatment.  

The next step is to go through rehab and complete the process so you can live a normal life, free from addiction. 

Why detox at home? 

Detoxing from home, while dangerous, is actually a great option since it comes with the following benefits: 


The whole world doesn't have to know that you are doing a home detox for your alcohol abuse problem. In fact, you don't have to tell anyone about it. 

This makes it easy for anyone to do without any judgement or risk of relapse. 

Cost effective 

The home detox prices are quite reasonable, even with the therapeutic intervention, and you cannot compare it to inpatient or outpatient care. 

It works 

Drugs and alcohol use can be an addictive behaviour, and every medical professional you will meet will tell you it is a disease. An alcohol home detox is the first step towards finding help for this disease.  

When done well, with determination and commitment, home detox can be a great success to the addicted individual. 

It provides a support system 

Home alcohol detox means that you are at home with your family and friends, making it easy for them to help you through the process.

The withdrawal symptoms can be scary and dangerous, but with help around you, this is easy to overcome. 

It allows you to continue with your normal life 

If you have commitments that cannot be left for some time, then a home detox is most ideal. It will allow you to continue living your life normally, whilst dealing with the monster called addiction.

In the end, nothing will be disrupted, and you will not have to live your home, family, and friends for a rehab facility. 

However, it should be noted that, while this is a great way to detox, it is much harder compared to being at a residential facility, as you are surrounded by what is called "triggers," and overcoming the temptation to drink is hard. 

That being said, you will need 100% conviction and commitment in order to make home detox treatment work. 

Other options available to you are: 

Inpatient treatment  

Other than home detox, you could go to an inpatient facility that is well equipped to handle addiction treatment. The benefit of this is that you are exposed to around the clock care team that will make your recovery easy. 

These are also highly skilled personnel who can deal with all sorts of emergencies, especially the really serious symptoms of withdrawal.

Inpatient care is highly recommended for anyone who has been battling with alcohol addiction for a long time and has consumed excessive amounts of alcohol in their time. 

The clinic also has medication that can be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms. 

Outpatient care  

This is a detox treatment where you are not living and sleeping at the rehab clinic, but you receive most of the treatment options available at the clinic such as therapy, counselling, etc. You will be commuting and not spending the nights there. 

It is most ideal for anyone whose addiction is not severe, and you will have to visit the treatment facility regularly during the detox.  

Well, there isn't much difference between this type of treatment and an at home detox, although, for the home detox, the doctors will come to your home, while for outpatient care, you will visit the treatment facility and receive prescribed medication in case of severe symptoms.  

Your road to recovery 

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 program 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.