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Alcohol Detox at Home Treatment
Telephone or Online Medical Alcohol Detox At Home
A medical alcohol detox is the best possible option to stop drinking safely and comfortably for people with an alcohol addiction or those who suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop. Also, if residential detox or rehab is unrealistic – or perhaps not an option due to personal circumstances, work, family commitments or location – then a home alcohol detox is an ideal option.
Our home detox programme might just be the answer you’ve been looking for. With the appropriate support and a tailored detox plan, you can finally liberate yourself from addiction and start living a fulfilling life.
Why A Home Alcohol Detox?
- Immediate treatment
- Expert support throughout
- Safe & comfortable
- 100% Confidential & discreet
- Telephone & video support
- Tailored detox
Watch Our Short Video To Find Out How It Works
The Process of Alcohol Home Detoxing
If you’re currently battling alcohol addiction, or seeking treatment for a drinking problem, in-person detox and rehab centres are not the only solutions. With a home alcohol detox in the UK, the power to regain control over your drinking habits lies in your hands.
If you’re considering an alcohol home detox, it’s important to understand the process, so here’s how it works:
What is an Alcohol Detox?
A medical alcohol detoxification helps people who are physically dependent on alcohol to stop drinking and remove alcohol from the system, safely in a gradual way.
Alcohol dependence – sometimes known as alcoholism or alcohol misuse disorder – can lead to physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. When people with this dependence abruptly stop drinking, they can experience withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be highly severe and even life-threatening. Alcohol detox is the process of managing these withdrawal symptoms safely, comfortably and systematically.
There are many reasons why an alcohol detox is important, none moreso than to stop drinking. But, there are more reasons to do it under medical supervision, the primary goal to ensure the safety of the individual. Some alcohol withdrawal symptoms including seizures and delirium tremens can be dangerous without medical supervision and can lead to death if not treated properly.
Coming off alcohol can be very distressing too, from both a physical and emotional point of view, so comfort is a big factor. Indeed, it can be so uncomfortable that this is the very reason people find it hard to stop. Detox programs aim to make the withdrawal process as comfortable as possible by managing and reducing the disturbing withdrawal symptoms. This usually involves medication and other supportive care too.
During detox, a doctor will assess the person’s overall health, the severity of their alcohol dependence and any co-occurring physical and mental health issues and then prescribe any required medication to ensure safety and comfort.
Detox is typically the first step in recovery. After detox, people are often encouraged to enter a program of recovery, sometimes residential or outpatient rehab or, at the very least, some kind of therapy to address the psychological and behavioural aspects of addiction.
Alcohol detox can be done in various settings including at home, at an inpatient facility, outpatient clinic or hospital setting. The choice of setting depends on the severity of the individual’s dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Medications are often used during alcohol detox to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Common medications include benzodiazepines, antipsychotic medications and medications to control symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and insomnia.
It’s important to note that an alcohol detox should be conducted under medical supervision, especially for people with a long history of heavy alcohol use or a history of severe withdrawal symptoms – especially if they have had seizures in the past. Attempting to detox from alcohol without proper medical support is often dangerous. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependence and considering detox, it is strongly recommended to seek professional guidance and support from a medical or addiction specialists.
Why Is a Medical Alcohol Detox Important?
Detoxification is the process of ridding your body of alcohol toxins by withdrawing from booze over a period of around a week, marking the initial phase of alcohol rehabilitation or alcoholism recovery. During the first few days of abstinence from alcohol, withdrawal symptoms can be severe, which is often the reason why many people either don’t stop drinking, return to drinking after a day or two off it, or relapse. These withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to severe, depending on your physiology and health, how much you’ve drank and for how long.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms can be horrendous, while severe physical withdrawals can be very dangerous. Therefore, it is crucial to have medical assistance to ensure your safety, never mind making the process more comfortable.
Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. There are both physical and psychological symptoms. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on multiple factors including the quantities of alcohol that were consumed before stopping, how long the person drank (in weeks, months or years), age and overall health.
Symptoms start at around 6 to 12 hours after stopping and increase until peaking somewhere between 1 and 3 full days. On average most symptoms disappear after five to seven days, however the odd symptom lingering symptoms for weeks or even months is not uncommon.
Below is a list of alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
- Acid Reflex (Heart burn)
- Muscle cramps
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Seizures (in severe cases)
Psychological alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
- Panic attack
It’s ise to seek medical attention before stopping drinking, however, it’s even more important to do so if the person experiences any or all of the symptoms above – alcohol is one of the few addictions where withdrawals can kill.
How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?
Most alcohol withdrawals and, consequently, medical alcohol detoxes last between five and seven days. Some hospitals detox in around 3 days, because they provide intravenous drips with vitamins, minerals and hydration that help people recover quicker. A few rehabs and detox units wisely extend a detox to between ten and fourteen days if the client has been a heavy drinker for a long period of time, with very little self-care and suffering acute withdrawals in the early stage of detox.
When you stop drinking, your system will gradually remove alcohol from your body and brain and adjust to being without it. It is this adjusting that causes the withdrawals as the body and mind seeks the alcohol it is used to find an equilibrium – this is the dependence stage. The body and brain go into shock as they are seeking the alcohol they’ve become dependent on.
If you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations or suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You may need to be hospitalised to safely detox from alcohol if you need medical help at this stage. Please call 999 and ask for ambulance.
Alcohol Detox Timeline
The first stage of withdrawals usually occurs after between 6 and 24 hours after the last drink. Symptoms during this early withdrawal stage are typically mild to moderate and may include:
- Anxiety: Restlessness, nervousness and a feeling of unease.
- Tremors: Shaking of the hands or other body parts.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and loss of appetite.
- Sweating: Profuse sweating is common, leading to dehydration.
- Rapid Heartbeat: Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
- Headaches: Persistent headaches.
- Irritability: Heightened irritability and mood swings.
- Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
As the body continues to detox, the peak detox period arrive between one and 3 days after stopping booze. This is usually when withdrawal symptoms intensify. This is a very dangerous stage of the withdrawals for some people. Symptoms include:
- Seizures: In some cases people may experience alcohol-related seizures.
- Delirium Tremens (DTs): A terrible condition that causes include hallucinations, severe confusion, high fever and seizures. This requires immediate medical attention.
- Hallucinations: Auditory, visual or tactile hallucinations are common and distressing.
- Intense Cravings: Strong obsession to drink occur.
- Extreme Anxiety: Paranoia, panic attacks and extreme fear.
- Cognitive Impairment: Confusion and difficulty concentrating.
- Severe Dehydration: Vomiting, diarrheal and sweating can cause dehydration.
Day 4 Onwards
As the last of the remaining alcohol leaves the system, most acute symptoms have subsided or are alleviating. Some people experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) from around a week to a few months after the last drink. PAWS are usually more psychological than physical and they can persist for a while. It is normal to feel some of these things due to the effects and healing time of alcoholism. They can include:
- Depression: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and low energy.
- Anxiety: High anxiety and panic attacks.
- Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns.
- Cognitive Impairment: Memory problems and difficulty with focus.
- Cravings: Some cravings though less intense than in the earlier stages.
- Mood Swings: Emotional instability, irritability and mood swings.
Alcohol detox can be a very complex and disturbing process with symptoms ranging from very mild to highly severe and dangerous. Understanding the timeline and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be helpful for those going through detox, as they may appreciate that the things they are experiencing are typical. We urge those with severe symptoms such as delirium tremens to seek immediate medical help as alcohol withdrawals can be fatal.
It is important to note that this is just a timeline guide to give you an idea of what happens – and when – during detox withdrawals. Everyone experiences alcohol detox differently. Some people may detox more quickly, while others may have a more complex number of days. If you have any questions or concerns about your detox, please get in touch with us.
Is Home Alcohol Detox an Option for Me?
As one of the UK’s leading home-based treatment services for alcohol and drug dependence, we provide all the necessary resources for you to complete your detoxification and break free from addiction without ever leaving your home. We support you with medication and holistic practices to take the first steps towards a better, addiction-free life.
We understand that overcoming addiction is challenging – which is why we’re fully trained to support you under any circumstances. With our from-home services, there’s no need to visit physical locations or attend sessions. Everything is carried out online or over the phone, enabling you to complete your treatment in familiar surroundings with those you love.
Alcohol Self Assessment
It is not up to anyone else to diagnose alcohol dependence or addiction. Individuals really need to ask themselves some questions. Most people who drink too much and have a problem, already know they have a problem. They may justify their overconsumption, but facts are facts. Some questions you might ask yourself include:
- Do you crave or obsess about drinking alcohol when you don’t have any?
- Are your daily life or work activities affected by your drinking habits?
- Do you show any symptoms of alcohol addiction?
- Has your drinking caused legal issues?
- Is your alcohol negatively affecting your relationships?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking for a day?
Benefits of an Alcohol Home Detox
Detoxing from alcohol at home has some benefits, but it’s important to note that the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the level of alcohol dependence should be taken into account. Home detox is suitable for those with mild to moderate alcohol use disorder, but some people with chronic dependence, certain health conditions or a history of seizures should seek medical advice before continuing. If you speak to us at Detox Today, we can assess whether an alcohol home detox is suitable for you.
Here are some benefits of detoxing from alcohol at home:
- Privacy and comfort: Detoxing at home allows people to maintain their privacy and a certain level of comfort as they have their belongings. Going through the detox process in familiar surroundings could reduce the stress and anxiety associated with going residential or leaving the home to attend a day clinic.
- Cost: Home detox is always – or should be – cheaper compared to inpatient detox or rehabilitation programs. It eliminates the expenses associated with residential care in a clinic.
- Flexible routine: Home detox offers flexibility in terms of timing. People can choose a daily schedule that best suits their responsibilities, such as work or kids
- Avoiding stigma: Again, a privacy matter. Many people find it more comforting and less embarrassing due to still existing social stigma or alcohol misuse.
- Autonomy: Home detox allows people to have more control over their treatment. They can make decisions about their detox process how their day is structured, such as when to start, what to eat and how to best manage symptoms.
- Support from loved ones: Being at home provides an opportunity for loved ones to offer support and perhaps help with meals, for example, during the process.
- Access to telephone and video support: Technological advances have made it easier to access medical advice and support remotely. We’ll be there for you when you need us to provide guidance, comfort and care.
- Horses for course: For those with mild alcohol dependence the withdrawal symptoms may be easily managed at home, meaning they don’t require the intensive medical care required by residential or day clinics.
- Prevent Relapse Triggers: For some, being at home can help them avoid the external triggers that lead to relapse, such as a drinking culture at work or passing by booze shops when out and about.
While a home detox is not appropriate for all, it can be beneficial for many. Please get in touch to discuss your suitability for home detox. We urge you not to start detox before speaking to us or another medical professional.
What Type of Home Alcohol Detox Medications Will I Need?
This entirely depends on your specific circumstances. Our team of professionals works with each individual on a case-by-case basis. The most common medications for alcohol detox are Valium (Diazepam) or Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) and are the most effective for alcohol withdrawal management. By working alongside you on a personal level, we can tailor a plan that suits your specific needs – no generic solutions for less-effective results.
Depending on your sleeping patterns, you may also receive a few night’s medication to help with insomnia.
Stomach upset, acid reflux and indigestion are all common symptoms when stopping drinking, so we can prescribe medications to help with those ailments.
B vitamins, particularly Thiamine, are usually prescribed as people who drink too much regularly tend to have a deficiency of these.
Alcohol Detox Medications
Some detox medications reduce the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, tremors, seizures, sweats and insomnia.
The most commonly used alcohol detox medications are benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that work by depressing the central nervous system promoting calm feelings, some drowsiness and helping sleep. These help people feel less anxious and agitated, whilst sleep helps healing.
Two of the most common benzodiazepines used for alcohol detox are chlordiazepoxide and diazepam.
Chlordiazepoxide is a long-acting benzodiazepine that is typically taken three or four times a day. It is often used for alcohol detox because it effectively reduces a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. It is also a relatively safe and well-tolerated drug. This helps to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and prevent seizures, making the detoxification process safer and more manageable.
Diazepam is another long-acting benzodiazepine that is commonly used for alcohol detox. It is generally stronger than Librium but the effects don’t last as long. It is similar to chlordiazepoxide in many of its effects and side effects. Diazepam may be a better choice for people with severe liver disease as it is metabolized more slowly by the liver.
Diazepam is typically taken three or four times a day during detox on a reducing scale over the detox period. It is important to use diazepam only as directed by your doctor and to avoid driving or operating machinery while taking it.
Other Common Alcohol Detox Drugs
Omeprazole (or similar)
Omeprazole, or similar drugs called Esomeprazole and Lansoprazole, are medications that are used to reduce stomach acid production. They are commonly used by alcoholics to help prevent and treat ulcers. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and increase the production of stomach acid which can lead to painful ulcers. Omeprazole can help to prevent and treat ulcers by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced and reducing acid reflux (heat burn).
Zopiclone is a non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotic drug – otherwise known as a sleeping pill. It is sometimes used in alcohol detox to help people sleep during the withdrawal period, when sleep disturbances and insomnia are common. Alcohol withdrawal can cause a variety of symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety and tremors which can be more disturbing at night. Zopiclone can help to reduce these symptoms and improve sleep quality.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is an essential vitamin and is responsible for energy production as well as nerve and brain function. It is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Alcohol can interfere with this absorption and metabolism of vitamin B1. Heavy alcohol use can lead to vitamin B1 deficiency which can cause a lot of problems including fatigue, loss of appetite, memory loss and peripheral neuropathy – tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. It can, at the extreme, cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, also known as “wet brain”. This is a serious brain disorder that causes confusion, memory loss and problems with mobility.
Naltrexone is a drug that’s used in alcohol detox as well as post-detox. It can help people reduce their drinking and also help with relapse to maintain sobriety. Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of alcohol on the brain’s opioid receptors. This means that the effects of alcohol on the brain are reduced or negated – that is, there is no pleasure in drinking alcohol. This obviously means that without the reward of drinking, people are less likely to drink or consume a lot.
Naltrexone is available in both pill and injectable forms. The pill form is typically taken once a day and the injectable form can last 3 or 6 months.
Once taken, it can take up to a week for naltrexone to reach full effectiveness.
Medical Variations in Detox
Different medical professionals may prescribe slightly different drugs or variations on the above. Some also prescribe supplementary medications including such things as blood pressure pills, complex B vitamin supplement, painkillers and medications specifically to treat seizures.
These medications and supplements can be helpful during alcohol detox by:
- Reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms
- Improving sleep quality
- Protecting the stomach from the effects of alcohol withdrawal
- Improving energy levels and reducing fatigue
- Reducing anxiety
Alcohol detox can be a dangerous process and it is important to have medical support to ensure a safe withdrawal.
Can I Undergo NHS Treatments for Home Alcohol Detox?
The NHS do offer detoxes for alcohol withdrawals. The first stage is to contact your GP or your local community addiction team. There is usually a waiting list, which varies depending on your location and local services. We find that often people don’t have 3 to 6 months to wait for a detox, or they’d rather go private to avoid any record of alcohol treatment on their NHS records.
We offer expert in-home alcohol detox services, albeit it does have a reasonably-priced fee, which is a superb alternative to NHS services. And, you cannot get NHS services at home like our service. We provide clinically-sound expert addiction treatment that works. Our clients tell us that our home detox programme was an extremely important part of their recovery journey that they simply couldn’t get anything like it elsewhere.
What’s the Cost of an Alcohol Detox at Home?
The cost of full alcohol detoxification at home including initial assessment, medical consultation, prescription, medications posted to you and our support for the duration is £1100. Our initial recovery assessment service is free of charge, providing you with guidance on the best direction to take for your treatment. Further options are available, including abstinence medications such as Disulfiram and Campral post-detox. Contact us to find out more.
Tips for Home Alcohol Detox
- Speak to a healthcare professional: Before starting an alcohol detox, it’s always advisable to speak to an addiction specialist or heal professional. They’ll assess your specific situation and provide guidance on the safest approach.
- Plan for the detox: Make a schedule and try and stick to it. Knowing what to expect and having a plan in place can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty. Set aside the firs few days to feel a bit under the weather and give yourself a light work or family load for around a week if you can.
- Medical supervision: If you have a history of extreme alcohol dependence or have had severe withdrawal symptoms before, consider an in-patient clinic where you’ll be looked after 24/7.
- Hydration and nutrition: Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals as well as hydration are very common in withdrawals. Having fresh water, juice and drinks containing electrolytes may help. Also, stock up on foods you really loved, especially nutritionally balanced meals and snacks.
- Follow medication direction: When undertaking a medically-prescribed detox, follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding medication. Sometimes, at first it may seem that the medications are not working, but they will kick-in and should alleviate symptoms.
- Psychological support: Having friends, family or support groups such as AA or SMART Recovery can’t be underestimated. Counselling is also valuable during and after detox.
- Create a safe environment: It’s a good idea if you can make your home or place of detox alcohol free and also remove any temptation or reminders – such as empty bottles – that might trigger a relapse.
- Avoid isolation: Being lonely can be bad during detox. Try and stay connected with loved ones, friends or medical people and let them know what you are going through.
- Stay active if you can: Engage in light physical activity, such as walking or yoga stretches to reduce anxiety and help bring a sense of well-being.
- Meditation/relaxation techniques: These are often highly underrated and much underused. Meditation and relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation can be super beneficial and help lower heart rate, promotes relaxation, calm and sleep.
- Avoid any potential triggers: Identify and avoid situations, people or places that may trigger alcohol cravings, such as old drinking buddies and supermarket booze aisles.
- Read up: Find out more about alcohol withdrawal symptoms so you can recognise what happens and when. Remember, it’s normal to feel anxious and a bit unwell. Reading up will also allow you to understand when to seek medical attention if symptoms become extreme.
- Sleep: Try to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern by creating a good sleep environment. Good sleep is important for physical and emotional healing.
- Regular check in with medic: Keep in touch with your healthcare practitioner and inform them of your progress. Ask for any changes or adjustments to your medications if needed.
- Plan for long-term recovery: Detox is just the first step of your recovery. Having a plan for medium and long-term recovery is key to sobriety. Speak to us or call the AA hotline for advice. Your plan could include therapy, support groups, fitness, diet and other lifestyle changes, if need be.
- Be good to yourself: Recovery is a process and setbacks can occur. Please be kind to yourself if you encounter challenges. Aiming for recovery is self-love. Getting sober and changing your life for good is difficult – but you can do it. Bear in mind that things might be a bit rough for a little while, but you can do it. We can help, give us a call for peace of mind.
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