Alcohol Rehab at Home

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Alcohol rehab at home is the alternative option for those who cannot afford to pay for rehab. There are a variety of financing options and flexible payments provided by alcohol addiction treatment centres.

However, some people may want to control their alcohol consumption and how  alcoholism help will be administered, within the comfort of their home.  

Those attempting to stop their drinking habits on their own need to realise that alcohol addiction is a chronic disease. Like other chronic diseases it can be diagnosed and treated but not cured. 

Alcoholism and drug addiction alters the body's function leading to a tolerance. It diminishes health, damages parts of the body (liver, brain, heart) and can lead to death.  

Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is categorised in three levels: mild, moderate, severe. Every category has its symptoms and side effects. 

Mild alcoholism, which is mostly overlooked, can lead to symptoms such as a craving to take more.  

A home detox from alcohol may seem simple. But, depending on the severity of the condition, it can be dangerous. The safest way to manage the alcohol safely is to slowly taper how much you drink.  

Before you try alcohol detox from home, there are three factors you need to consider: 


1. How much do you drink? 

Daily drinkers are likely to experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremors (uncontrollable shaking), agitation, and heightened anxiety when they attempt to stop drinking.  

2. Have you tried to stop on your own before? 

If you've tried alcohol home detox before but were unable to manage the withdrawal symptoms, then it's not recommended that you try again.  

3. Do you have a strong support system? 

Attempting to self-treat in isolation may fail. You need the company of other recovering alcoholics to motivate you.  

People who are not eligible for home detox include: 

  • Those who have been chronic drinkers for a long time  
  • If you have a heart condition  
  • Those whose alcohol dependence exceeds the government's recommendation of beyond the 14 units a week. 
  • People with a history of fits, seizures, or epilepsy 
  • People with significant mental health impairments.  
  • People whose current medications will conflict with anti-addiction medications 
  • Patients with dual diagnosis  

Alcohol addiction treatment from home has its pros and cons. The pros are: 

  • It's cost effective. You don't get to incur the cost for paying a residential facility  
  • Comfort. You get to go through the recovery process from the comfort of your home.  
  • Confidential services and anonymity. Since you get addiction treatment within the comfort of your home, no one else knows that you're undergoing recovery.  

The downside of home detox is: 

  • It fails to address any mental health issues co-occurring with the addiction.  
  • There's a high risk of physical side effects  
  • Higher chances of relapse occurring  
  • The discomfort from the withdrawal symptoms may put a strain on your relationships  

Alcohol remains one of the most used drugs in the U.K. It is estimated that there are 586,780 dependent drinkers in England [1]. Yet only 18% are receiving treatment.

If you're struggling with alcohol abuse it would be difficult to overcome it without some form of treatment.  

You may engage in alcohol home detox and manage to recover with the help of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

However, medically supervised detox and professional rehab are the best approach at maintaining long-term sobriety. 

How to do Alcohol Rehab at Home 

There are three ways that you can do alcohol rehab at home. First you can gradually reduce the amount you take over a week to zero. 

Second, you can take medical detox from your GP or local drug and alcohol services.

Third, you can pay a specialist addictions nurse or other qualified healthcare provider to administer and supervise withdrawal process from your own home until its completed.  

People who are mildly addicted can naturally overcome alcohol withdrawal. Since they experience mild withdrawal symptoms (e.g., headache), they can successfully detox without medical supervision.

The experience is different for those with moderate to severe symptoms. The minute such people stop drinking, the withdrawal symptoms set in.  

Symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty thinking and making decisions  
  • Seizures  
  • Hallucinations or delirium 
  • Depression  
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Shaking or tremors 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fatigue  
  • Mood swings  
  • Difficulty sleeping  
  • Fever  
  • High blood pressure  

Left untreated, these severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.  

Your first step is to seek the advice of your GP. If it’s decided that you'll need medication to manage the severe withdrawal symptoms, they'll prescribe medications such as Chlordiazepoxide ( Librium) or some other Benzodiazepine medication.

Still, this has its downside. There are many cases of patients who overdosed on their prescription because they felt confused and vulnerable. In the end they ran out of anti-addiction medicine and resumed drinking.  

Another risk is that the patient may combine the addiction medication with drinking, which makes the situation worse. There's the risk of relapse.

Repeated relapses can lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms with each subsequent detox.

This can lead to a potential chain reaction known as a "kindling phenomenon" that can lead to an even more severe withdrawal later on [2].  

Alcohol dependent persons are better of detoxing using medication under medical supervision. You can search for licensed medical professionals by reaching out to UK Rehab [3].

They will help you arrange for a clinical nurse to oversee the medical treatment from home.  

There are ways to make the rehab successful. You should: 

1. Clear your schedule 

The severe and acute symptoms from withdrawal can leave you feeling unwell. As such, it is best that you take some time off to focus on recovery.  

2. Hydrate.

This is important, especially if you're experiencing symptoms such as vomiting and sweating profusely. Drinking lots of water helps the body get rid of toxins.  

3. Tapering  

Remember that quitting cold turkey is dangerous. You should start with tapering. You begin by determining how much alcohol you drink per day in terms of standard drinks.

The national Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a definition for standard drinks [4]. You can use their guidelines to figure out how many standard drinks you take.

Some experts recommend using beer to taper because it’s easier to get drunk from liquor or wine [5].  

The aim is to slowly reduce the amount you consume until you maintain sobriety. On that note, you should begin by talking to a doctor about the risks of detoxing from home.

This is because tapering may complicate other co-occurring mental health disorder or medical conditions.  

One example of tapering is if you're drinking 20 beers per day, lower your intake to two beers per day.  

4. Eat healthy  

A healthy diet provides your body with the energy it needs to build its immunity and restore it to normal functioning.  

5. Take the time to relax  

The at home detox process can be stressful. You can try to beat the stress by taking the time to relax. Try meditation, controlled breathing, or yoga.  

6. Take drinks with electrolytes  

Aside from water, drinks with electrolytes also boost the body's energy. Electrolytes are vital nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and sodium.

Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal can lead to electrolyte imbalance which in turn contributes to issues such as muscle spasms, numbness, or seizures.  

7. Find support  

Alcoholism has physical and psychological consequences. The best wat to manage the psychological consequences is to find support. You can ask a friend or a family member to support you.

Alternatively, you can participate in support groups such as alcoholics anonymous.  

8. Get help  

Don't hesitate to ask for help when you start experiencing severe symptoms like high fever or seizures. Such symptoms are warning signs of potentially life-threatening conditions.  

These practices plus the medication can help you manage the withdrawal symptoms. However, you still need to address the psychological aspect of addiction.

You may require attending counselling to help you uncover the root cause of alcohol dependence. Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy will help you develop coping mechanisms avoid relapse.  

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Detox is the first phase of recovery. You have several options at this stage.  

1. Inpatient treatment 

You can go for detox in an inpatient facility. This option gives you the benefit of 24-hour medical care. You'll have the full-time support of doctors in managing the detox.  

2. Outpatient treatment  

This is another option if your addiction is not severe. It entails visiting a treatment facility on a regular basis during detox. Most of the time you'll detox at home.

When you visit the facility, you may be prescribed medications that help the withdrawal symptoms subside.  

The duration it takes to complete home detox depends on several factors. One factor is whether you're detoxing with or without medical supervision.

A medically supervised withdrawal will take a shorter period. But if you're a chronic alcoholic, it might take several weeks, especially if it's home detox.  

Once you complete the detox phase, get in touch with alcohol abuse counsellors and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.  

Home Alcohol Detox Services  

A home detox service is extremely helpful for those who want detox in the comfort of their own home. Not everyone has time or the resources for residential rehab. That's why alcohol detox at home is a good alternative.  

There is the detox support programme run by Steps organization. The programme takes addicts through a series of recovery steps, including treatment and ongoing support [6].

You can call Steps for a consultation to determine the best patient programmes for your at home alcohol detox. Home detox programmes are suitable for anyone who wants to eliminate alcohol consumption in their life.

Anyone who has a mental condition and wants treatment without being away from home can benefit from the programme.  

Typically, treating alcohol at home is best done once you get professional medical advice. The services can be arranged to start a day or two at a time that's suitable for you.

Alternatively, you can consult a specialist addiction professional to agree on a suitable date to start.  

The services offered at home alcohol detox include: 

a). A full medical examination.  

A specialist addictions nurse can visit your home to conduct a full medical examination. The examination entails blood pressure, a blood analysis if required, pulse and respiratory exams, etc.

At this phase, the professional will prescribe sedatives. The most used prescription drugs are Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and, occasionally Diazepam (Valium).  

Vitamins and other medications will also be prescribed. The other medications include: 

  • Lorazepam – mainly for helping you manage anxiety symptoms.  
  • Naltrexone – helps reduce the desire for alcohol during detox 
  • Oxazepam – can help with convulsions and anxiety 
  • Anticonvulsant medications may administer if you detox in a hospital or centre. 

Following detox, the nurse will prescribe medication to reduce cravings such as Campral. They will also offer dietary advice and direction.  

Other services provided include[7]: 

  • 24/7 phone support  
  • Medical consultation  
  • Telephone counselling through the detox  
  • Full confidential service  
  • Option to opt out if dissatisfied  
  • Can start on the same date  
  • Access to medical staff if required  
  • Full telephone assessment  
  • Full insurance  
  • Further home-based programmes (if required).  

b). Long-term recovery advice  

Detox from alcohol requires you to plan for the long-term if you want to maintain sobriety. A specialist addictions doctor can help you in this endeavour.

They will offer advice and tips to make the detox hassle-free. They will also offer longer-term strategies to help you remain abstinent.  

After the detox, you'll begin the post-detox process which starts with therapy. Therapy is important as it will help you cope with the reasons why you're drinking excessively.

It will also provide you with coping tools that will help you manage the cravings. When you work with an addiction’s specialist, they will help you find a suitable therapist local to you.

Many recovering alcoholics find attending abstinence-based support extremely helpful in their journey towards recovery. You can join supports groups such as alcoholics anonymous and the SMART Recovery group.  

Alcohol home detox services are available across the U.K and Ireland [7].  

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Home  

Treatment for alcohol addiction at home is possible and can be successful. A study by Chris Davis shows that this treatment approach is highly rewarding for the GP. It also results in high patient satisfaction rates [8].  

The cost of alcohol detoxification from home is generally about: 

  • £995 for the medically supervised home detox UK programme  
  • £30 ~ £150 per week for the home treatment programme  
  • The Help4Addiction home alcohol detox costs £1,850 

This is generally cheaper compared to residential rehabilitation that may cost between £6,950 and £11,950 for a 28-days programme [9].  

In at-home treatment programs, you would be given a plan to follow to achieve and maintain sobriety. A nurse, therapist, doctor, or case manager may be sent to your home to work with you on your schedule as part of specific programs. Professional medical detox from home is designed to prevent extreme withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.

You may also get a sedative to help you sleep and avoid the discomfort and anxiety of "cold turkey."  

Treatment for alcohol addiction at home offers a lot of comfort and privacy to the patient.  Since it doesn't isolate you from your normal routine, you get to carry on with your activities as you undergo treatment.  Similarly, it is considered long-term effective because you will learn to stop drinking in the environment where you normally drink. 

Remember that seeking a professional is the best way to safely detox. You can decide to detox for three days or ten days.

But you're likely to experience physical consequences as your body has grown tolerant to alcohol.  

There are home detox kits (UK). What you need to do is fill out a questionnaire located on the Help4Addiciton site to claim this kit [10]. After you fill out the questionnaire you can contact them.

There's a consultation number on their website. You will need to provide them with your signature (e.g. electronic signature).

After that, they will arrange for an online meeting between you and a Consultant Psychiatrist (either through skype or Facetime) to conduct an assessment.

The doctor can send you a prescription directly to their pharmacy to help you begin the detox process.  

After the assessment, the alcohol home detox kit will be delivered to your doorstep.  

The home detox treatment is available through private practices. The NHS can help you out with some of the costs of rehab, but they will want you to enter a hospital for the detox.

When you go for private home detox, it usually involves medically trained personnel assisting you through the process.  

Despite the convenience and privacy it offers, there are lots of risks associated with treating alcohol addiction at home. Remember that detoxing at home without the supervision of an addiction specialist can be fatal to a patient's life

Transitioning from Alcohol Rehab to Home

Seeking help at a rehab facility for addiction is only the first step in recovery. Recovery continues at home after the official period of rehab is over. However, stepping out of the rehab facility and living a healthy life afterwards doesn't come easy. You need to remain sober by setting up a comprehensive plan for transitioning from alcohol rehab to home

In a residential facility, every day is planned with limited opportunities to deviate. Once you're outside, it can be overwhelming.  

After rehab, you need to practice all the lessons and healthy habits you learned in rehab. For example, avoiding parties and bars and dissociating with people who still drink is a way of ensuring a smooth transition from rehab.

Most rehab facilities will provide you with an aftercare programme to aid you with long-term recovery. 

Whether you enrol for residential rehab or seek the assistance of home detox services, the professionals will help you prepare for life post-treatment.  

When transitioning to home, you can consider living in an aftercare facility or sober living houses. This option is a steppingstone from alcohol rehab to home.

The sober living houses are more flexible than alcohol rehabs and you get more freedom.  


Transitioning to home presents the challenge of effectively managing the triggers. Some of the ways you can do this is through: 

  • Create a healthy routine and stick to it to avoid triggers  
  • Create a structure for your daily routine. This will help you keep your stress levels low and will keep your thoughts away from dealing with stress by drinking.  
  • Avoid parties and bars as such environments will lead you to a relapse.  
  • Understand that you may have to change or replace some relationships or friendships. If your old friends are still partying and drinking, interacting with them may lead you back to addiction.  
  • Don't go at it alone. It's important for you to have a support group that will hold you accountable and motivate you to maintain sobriety.  
  • Build up a spiritual practice. Be it church, yoga, prayer, meditation, dance or exercise. Be sure to build your inner strength and well-being by engaging on one of these practices.  
  • Regularly take some time off for reflection or processing. You can do this by journaling or continuing with counselling or therapy.  
  • Be aware of warning signs of relapse. Learn to spot them and avoid them. Some warning signs include: Becoming dishonest, feeling overly tired or stressed, depression, irritability, or being overly confident or stubborn about needing help. 

Alcohol rehab, whether at home or in a facility, is not a quick fix for sobriety. You still need to engage in an aftercare plan and commit yourself to long-term recovery.

Overall, the decision to get sober takes hard work and dedication from you after treatment.  

How to Drug Rehab at Home

After you’ve decided to seek help, the amount of information about treatment plans can be daunting.  You may begin to worry about the duration of rehab, the cost of inpatient treatments, or if the rehab facility is confidential. 

Remember that you can drug rehab at home with the assistance of a medical professional. But you need to understand exactly how to do drug rehab at home safely, if you are someone that cannot commit to a rehabilitation facility for more than a month. 

If you enrol in substance abuse treatment at home, you will receive treatment while sleeping on your own bed and enjoy the comfort and privacy of your own space.

Drug or alcohol rehab at home offers you convenience and affordability as it is cheaper than entering a residential rehab. However, this option is not suitable for everyone, and it would be best if you consulted your GP first.  

Alternatively, you can reach out to home detox services for an assessment to determine the best treatment option for you.

Once the assessment shows that you can proceed with home detox, you may need medical assistance to help you through the detox process.  

Remember that the withdrawal symptoms are painful and can be life-threatening. As such, it would be best to have the assistance of licensed medical professionals during the process.  

Final Remark  

Alcohol detox from home has its pros and cons. Although it is convenient and affordable, it may not be suitable for everyone.

Alcohol detox from home may fail to address the mental health issues co-occurring with the addiction. It may also lead to more harm than good, especially if you are a chronic drinker.  

Some people may insist on not going for inpatient residential treatment. One of the reasons for this is the high cost of treatment. But there are flexible payment options if inpatient treatment is the best option for you.  

Still, home detox can work if you a mild to moderate alcoholic. Be sure to reach out to a treatment provider for consultation to learn more.  

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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.