Withdrawing from alcohol is one of the most unpleasant and toughest things an individual can undertake. The physical and mental demands of suddenly stopping drinking alcohol are hellish – as anyone who has experience them will testify – but they are also extremely dangerous.
Stopping Drinking With A Detox at Home
To help stop drinking and manage the unpleasant side effects of removing oneself from alcohol, a medical detoxification (detox) should be undertaken to ensure that the process is safe. Alcohol is the ONLY drug that people can potentially die from when withdrawing (caused by a seizure or fit), so a supervised medical detox is necessary in order to manage the withdrawals and minimise risk.
There are many ways to undertake a detox and they include residential rehab but many people look to receiving alcohol treatment at home detox – where a safe alcohol detox can take place using the services of specialist addictions prescribing nurse in your own home or safe place.
What’s Involved In A Home Alcohol Detox?
An alcohol home detox involves the prescription of a short course of medication, usually over 3 – 10 days which helps to prevent withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking alcohol. People often get shaky, sweaty and tremulous when coming off of alcohol and often have anxiety and panic.
A sedative drug such as chloradiazepoxide (also known as Librium) or diazepam is used to relieve these symptoms. Getting a detox from alcohol at home is often suitable for those who have commitments including work and children and can’t take the time out to attend rehab. To this end, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have the correct medical attention and having a nurse supervise your detox, is the ideal way of attempting a detox at home.
The process for a good home alcohol detox should be as follows:
- A pre-visit telephone assessment to gather any particular special requirements.
- Home visitation by a prescribing RMN Addictions specialising Senior Nursing Officer who will carry out a full medical examination which includes:
- Blood pressure check
- Pulse and respiratory examination
- A full physical examination as necessary
- Bloods procedure/analysis as necessary
- Prescribing of all appropriate sedatives to prevent seizure and reduce withdrawal discomfort
- Vitamin, anti-nausea, anti-diarrhoea and gastrointestinal medication prescription as required
- Dietary advice and direction
- Strictly monitored support throughout the duration
- Prescribing of follow-up medication to reduce cravings (Campral) following detox – the duration and prescribing to be assessed on a personal case basis
- Recommendation of/an explanation of therapeutic aftercare package to remain abstinent using CBT/person?centred counselling.
Aftercare Maintenance and Abstinence
The last point above is crucial – aftercare has to be put into place. To remain abstinent, therapy should be sought in order to prevent relapse by identifying patterns of thinking and behaving that put you at risk, and by developing new ways of coping with stress and cravings.