Addiction to drugs or alcohol will involve regular exposure to toxic substances or chemicals, leading to physical dependency. When trying to recover from addiction, the first step is to eliminate exposure to whatever it is you are addicted to, which in turn causes your body to detoxify.
Detoxification, often referred to as detox, can be defined as ridding the body of toxic substances. For addicts who have a physical dependency, detox can be painful and mentally taxing, which is why it is mostly done under supervised conditions.
However, it is also possible to safely detox from alcohol at home, especially when following the handy tips presented in this article. Read on to learn everything you need to know about detoxing from alcohol from home, including how to prepare for it, what to expect during the process, the advantages and disadvantages, and what to anticipate from an outpatient detox program.
When engaging in self alcohol detox from home, it is vital to realize you are not alone. As an outpatient, you can maintain regular contact with a health care physician who may offer drugs to help alleviate the discomfort of alcohol withdrawal.
Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol detox is a process whereby you drink less alcohol, or stop drinking altogether. For those suffering from alcoholism, detox from alcohol can be painful and mentally demanding as it will involve going through withdrawal symptoms. Indeed, this is why detox is sometimes also referred to as withdrawal detox.
Withdrawal from alcohol symptoms may include:
- Delirium Tremens
- A disrupted sleep schedule
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restlessness and a feeling of anxiety
If you are physically reliant on alcohol, detox therapy is the first step toward recovery. Detox, in this context, involves going through the withdrawal process under the guidance of medical personnel.
To limit the possibility of harmful withdrawal symptoms, detoxification treatment specialists attempt to eliminate alcohol from your body using medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT entails the following:
- Medication is given to you to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
- Drugs that have comparable effects to alcohol are given to patients undergoing MAT.
- The amount of drugs that simulate the effects of alcohol is progressively reduced, thereby weaning your body off alcohol dependency.
When such drugs are used, the procedure is known as medical detox.
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are considered the gold standard of alcohol detoxification treatment by experts. Benzos, like alcohol, have a depressive effect on the brain. Alcohol can inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients, and to compensate for this, your doctor may also prescribe vitamin supplements.
Is it safe to quit drinking at home?
Yes, depending on the severity of your alcoholism, you can safely detox from alcohol at home. Previously, all detox programs were held in hospitals; however, many programs now include outpatient detox therapy from home.
Medical practitioners tend to veer towards inpatient detox as their treatment default position. However, in recent years detoxing from home has become a popular option.
At-home alcohol detox allows you to live at home while undergoing treatment, and at the same time, you will receive regular visits from a healthcare professional.
There hasn’t been much study done on at-home detox. However, we do know that many patients were pleased with the procedure. Outpatient detox is often just as effective as inpatient detox if you have mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms.
Someone who is a good fit for an at-home detox program is someone who:
- has a stable housing situation and an excellent support system;
- is capable of getting to the drugstore and making medical visits;
- has not recently consumed a substantial amount of alcohol;
- has no significant medical or psychological issues;
- does not have suicidal thoughts;
- has not used other drugs; and
- has no recorded occurrence of withdrawal seizures.
How does home detox work?
An at-home alcohol addiction treatment might last between 4 and 11 days. It entails daily check-ins with a medical professional for at least the first few days.
Now that telemedicine for drug use disorders is generally available, a practitioner may give check-ins through videoconferencing. This is dependent on your position and the policies of your provider.
How do you prepare to safely detox from alcohol at home?
If you are ready to begin alcohol detox, you should consult with a qualified health care professional and build a detox strategy.
The following are the stages for starting a detox program at home:
- Evaluation: Obtain an assessment from a health care provider. This evaluation will involve a discussion about your drinking habits, and a blood test to assess your liver function and nutritional levels.
- Suggestions: The medical practitioner will then discuss their treatment recommendations with you. This discussion will cover what drugs will be used and why they are used.
- Treatment contract: You may be asked to sign a treatment contract with your physician. This helps keep everyone on the same page regarding your detox regimen. Daily breathalyzer testing and occasional urine drug screenings may be included in the contract.
- Instructions: Your provider should offer specific instructions, such as how much medication to take and when to seek emergency medical assistance.
- Begin detox treatment: Follow your provider’s treatment recommendations and the terms of your patient contract.
Observation and Record Keeping
Some doctors may request patients to keep a daily record of their alcohol consumption and cravings for a drink. This will include details such as:
- Date and time you wanted a drink
- What prompted the desire to drink?
- What were your thoughts and feelings at the time?
- How much, if any, alcohol did you consume?
This diary setup allows you to be more conscious of your drinking-related thoughts and feelings. Simply collecting the data might sometimes help you feel more in control of your urges.
Quitting drinking by going cold turkey is physically and mentally challenging and may even be harmful. Medical experts recommend partaking in an alcohol detox program where you can wean yourself off alcohol. This detox treatment can be done in a medical facility or from home.
Previously, detox programs were only conducted in medical facilities but in recent times an increasing number of alcoholism patients are opting for home detox. To safely detox from alcohol at home will be challenging and requires determination and dedication; but with constant support and the help of medication it can be done.
A First Step Toward Rehabilitation
Remember that detoxing from alcohol is only the first step in recovery. What follows is choosing a treatment program that offers counseling and education. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other support organizations, like Haven House Recovery, are also available.
The Haven House 12-step faith-based treatment program can help you detox from alcohol and stay on track to recovery. We believe in a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, and our detox solutions are frequently the first step to a lifelong recovery. Our center for alcohol rehab in Clarksville, TN, provides an extensive range of services, so please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance!