Alcohol Detox at Home: How to Stop Drinking Safely

To learn more about when you may need help for alcohol misuse, visit our informational page on helping someone with an alcohol use disorder or take our alcohol misuse self-assessment. Will quitting drinking solve all of your problems, in health and in life? If that’s where you’re setting your expectations, you might feel like you gave up something you loved (getting really drunk) for no good reason, even when that’s objectively not true. One way to combat that feeling, Dr. Koob says, is to check in with yourself after a few months of sobriety to take stock of the benefits you’re reaping. This guide outlines how you should approach alcohol detox by engaging with a supervised medical detox and how to connect with ongoing treatment for alcohol use disorder.

The pain of withdrawal can be so bad that it causes them to start drinking again. Laying it all out in black and white can take time and some serious self-examination. Understanding your habits and your motivations to quit drinking can help you understand the change you’re making in your life and reinforce why it’s important. Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol. It’s a 10-question screening test that gives you research-backed, personalized advice for quitting or reducing your intake of alcohol.

Provide Medication and Nutritional Support

If you are concerned about potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms, talk to your doctor. A doctor can evaluate your overall health and alcohol abuse history to help you determine how likely it is that you’ll experience symptoms. If you’re a heavy drinker, you might notice symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as soon as eight hours after going sober. When someone drinks alcohol for a prolonged period of time and then stops, the body reacts to its absence.

  • About 90% of heavy drinkers will develop alcoholic liver disease, while 20–40% will develop alcoholic hepatitis, which occurs when the liver becomes damaged and inflamed.
  • Here’s a timeline of how your body might react after you stop drinking alcohol.
  • Do not stop drinking entirely if you have previously experienced seizures (fits) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) when you stop drinking.
  • When you are drinking less than 10 units a day, you can try to stop drinking altogether.

Framing sobriety as a temporary challenge versus a permanent lifestyle change can make it easier to stay sober for the long haul. Because tapering hasn’t been well-researched, no specific tapering schedule is recommended. A potential schedule could be taking the total daily amount of alcohol you use, then decreasing it by 10% daily for 10 days. If it’s okay with your doctor, you could start with this schedule and then adjust it however works best for you. For people at low risk of complications, an office visit to your primary care provider, along with at-home monitoring and virtual office visits, may suffice. People at high risk of complications should enter a short-term in-patient detox program.

Benefits Of Medically-Supervised Detox Treatment

This article discusses alcohol withdrawal, its symptoms, and potential complications. It also provides an overview of the alcohol withdrawal timeline process and when to discuss your drinking with your healthcare provider. If you’re Charles Kelley Shares Emotional Track as His Goodbye to Alcohol addicted to alcohol, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover without some form of addiction treatment. You may be able to detox at home and recover from alcoholism with the help of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

During this initial appointment, the provider will assess your level of alcohol use and do a blood test to check liver function and nutrient levels. Using alcohol and marijuana in combination increases your risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects due to increased absorption of THC. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids during this time as it will help rehydrate your body and get rid of toxins. Water, juice, broth, ice pops, and gelatin are good choices for hydration during the early stages of withdrawal.

Seek Support

But if you’re living with alcohol use disorder, drinking is more than a habit. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking even when it causes problems, like emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. Avoid taking prescription drugs that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you. If withdrawal is so uncomfortable that you’re turning to drugs for comfort, you should contact your doctor or a rehab center to discuss medically supervised withdrawal. Most people recover from alcohol withdrawal within a week, but people with severe dependency may experience withdrawal for multiple weeks.

  • You can use the guidelines to get an idea of how many standard drinks you’re used to.
  • If you are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms after three days, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • The timing of each of these stages differs based on the individual.
  • Letting others know about your choice to stop drinking may help motivate you to stick with your decision.

There are many benefits to choosing a medically-supervised alcohol detox instead of taking the risk of detoxing alone at home. There is almost no research on how to taper alcohol, and it is generally thought that tapering is not as effective for stopping alcohol as quitting all at once. Tapering can make withdrawal symptoms less intense but stretches them out throughout the taper and past it.

Once you complete detox and inpatient care, Renaissance’s outpatient programs will give you the tools and support you need to stay sober long-term. For most people, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside after 72 hours. If you are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms after three days, talk to your healthcare provider. Some people avoid medically supervised rehab because they prefer natural remedies for alcohol withdrawal. Slowly tapering off alcohol is the safest way to naturally overcome alcohol withdrawal, and many at-home remedies can help you cope with mild withdrawal symptoms. However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal.

alcohol detox at home

Other medications will be considered for other physical and mental health conditions. Since heavy alcohol use disrupts metabolism, hydration, and absorption of vital vitamins and minerals, detox programs help restore this balance. Sufficient hydration, nutrition, and Thiamine (vitamin B1) are essential during alcohol withdrawal. When your body becomes physically dependent on alcohol, you are at risk of alcohol withdrawal if you quit drinking suddenly. Alcohol withdrawal can be uncomfortable, dangerous and even fatal if not properly monitored by medical professionals, which is the safest way to detox from alcohol. 2  Due to this, alcohol detox at home isn’t advised because of the medical complications that can potentially arise.

Self-Detox vs. Medical Detox

Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin about six hours after your last drink. A person who has a long history of heavy drinking could have a seizure six hours after stopping drinking. Overall, the process can take weeks, and you might still feel withdrawal symptoms for months. Setting aside time to focus on the detox can help you prepare for withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that occur when someone who is physically dependent upon alcohol suddenly stops drinking or drastically reduces their alcohol intake.

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