How To Detox From Alcohol Safely At Home
Many addicts consider stopping their alcohol addiction at one point in time. They feel the effects of their alcoholism and see how their alcohol use disorder (AUD) burdens the people close to them. Consequently, they want to deal with their AUD and start living a life of sobriety.
However, this new life can be full of challenges that can derail their efforts quickly. They leverage techniques such as detoxing at home to deal with the obstacles on their road to recovery. However, can you detox at home safely?
What is Alcoholism?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines alcoholism as a state where someone drinks alcohol severely. Addicts do not know how or when to stop drinking. They continue drinking despite seeing the harm their drinking habits cause. U.S. laws prescribe a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08. For addicts, their BAC is often equal or higher than the legal limit due to binge drinking or excessive alcohol consumption.
Alcoholism is a serious problem. On average, there are about 216 alcohol-related deaths every day. These deaths can be due to accidents, fights, or some withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, addicts are susceptible to injuries. Addiction also has financial consequences.
Those with AUD spend a lot of their resources purchasing alcohol or seeking treatment. The various governments in the U.S. spend close to $225 billion on alcohol-related expenses. Addicts must sober up to alleviate the suffering due to their AUD.
Can You Detox at Home Safely?
Once addicts realize how much harm their alcoholism causes, they may try to get better. Many of them choose to detox at home owing to its many benefits. Detoxing at home is cheaper than medical detoxification. It is also convenient and saves them from the embarrassment of going to rehab facilities. Do these benefits outweigh the risks involved if you choose to detox at home?
Detoxing at home can be difficult. It poses many challenges to your recovery. For example, you will face many withdrawal symptoms while getting sober. Some effects of withdrawal, such as delirium tremens, are life-threatening. Additionally, it is easy to relapse at home as you lack the right structure and guidelines to deal with the life that comes after withdrawal. However, you can take measures to make detoxing at home safe.
Choosing to Detox at Home
Many people fail to sober up using this method. They then turn to medical detoxification in hospitals and rehab centers. However, despite its challenges, you can detox at home. If you choose this detoxification method, you must make changes to smoothen the recovery process. Here are a few things you can try to detox at home quickly.
Get Rid of Alcoholic Drinks in Your Home
You will struggle to control your urge to drink, especially as you start your detoxification. It will be harder to control them with alcohol lying around the house. You will be tempted to have a few drinks since they are available.
However, to reduce the chances of failing in your detox process, remove all the alcohol from your house. If a family member needs it, ask them to drink outside and hide their bottles if they cannot get rid of them.
Free up Time by Clearing Your Schedule
Recovery from addiction can be a time-consuming exercise. Additionally, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that may make it hard for you to concentrate on other responsibilities. The right approach to your detox is freeing up time from your busy schedule.
Though you will lose some time, it will be beneficial in the end. Concentrating on your recovery allows you to return to your tasks rejuvenated and free from many alcohol-related distractions.
Dealing with addiction at home can be difficult. You will experience withdrawal symptoms that require you to get help to deal with them. Additionally, you may experience psychological challenges such as loneliness and depression, especially without the feeling alcohol gave you. You need help to deal with these struggles. Your friends and family can provide the necessary support to get through this period. They can counsel you, provide emotional support, and distract you from your urges.
Minding Your Diet While Recovering from Addiction at Home
You must think of your diet while recovering from alcohol addiction. As you change your routine and stop drinking alcohol or reduce its intake, you will need the necessary nutrients to get through the rehab period. Drinking changes how your body metabolizes and uses nutrients. You will need to mind your diet if you want to detox without complications as your body returns to normalcy.
Drink a Lot of Fluids
Withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite can affect your diet. However, you must ensure that you drink plenty of fluids throughout the recovery period. They will rehydrate your body and ensure your system is free of harmful toxins. You may drink water, broth, and juice to stay hydrated.
Have a Balanced Diet
You must ensure that your body gets all the essential nutrients during recovery. They will help you stay healthy and get the calories you need to cope with the challenges of this period. Your diet must have lean sources of protein and whole grains. You should also ensure you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.
Take Minerals and Vitamins
It is easy to ignore these foods or fail to take them in sufficient amounts. However, you must keep their intake in check. You can add them to your diet to supplement any medications you may use to help with the recovery. Taking vitamin B and minerals like calcium and magnesium can help you remove toxins from your body. Others such as multivitamins, vitamin E, and garlic can also help with this elimination.
How You Can Avoid Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Detoxing from alcohol can have serious withdrawal symptoms. You must take precautions to cope with them. An excellent way to avoid them is by reducing your alcohol consumption in phases. Tapering takes longer than medical detox, but it helps you avoid life-threatening health issues.
It can also help you overcome your dependence on alcohol, which is a big problem for addicts. The time it takes you to taper depends on factors like the period you have been an addict and the amount you usually drink.
You must determine the amount of alcohol you drink daily in terms of the recommended limits. NIAAA defines standard alcoholic drinks as:
- 0.75 pounds of beer having 5% alcohol content
- 0.09375 pounds of liquor having 40% alcohol content
- 0.3125 pounds of wine having 12% alcohol content
These guidelines give you an idea of the number of standard drinks you consume. The more you drink in comparison to these recommendations, the longer your tapering period. It should generally be between 3 to 7 days.
It may be longer for those who have a high dependence on alcohol. Professionals recommend that you taper using beer since you can get drunk from wine or liquor quickly. While tapering, you keep reducing the amount you drink until you reach sobriety.
If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, you drink until they subside. Tapering allows you to detox while avoiding life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Duration for Detoxing from Alcohol at Home
The exact timeline for this exercise varies. It often takes longer than medical detox, especially if you want to detox safely. Recovering from alcohol addiction can be dangerous if life-threatening withdrawal symptoms appear.
The alcohol you drink can remain in your body for many hours, depending on the amount you consume. As you begin your recovery, the drink starts leaving your system through your excretion mechanisms such as urine. As the alcohol effects reduce, the withdrawal symptoms start.
Early symptoms such as sweating, headache, and vomiting may begin 6 hours after your last drink. You may also experience distractions and tremors in this period. These signs intensify for about 24 hours before they start fading off.
You may experience seizures within the first 24 hours after your last drink. However, NIAAA states that this symptom happens to about 25% of the recovering addicts.
You may have late symptoms as from the second to the fourth day after your last drink. These signs include changes in your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. You may also have seizures and hallucinations due to delirium tremens (DTs), a life-threatening condition due to withdrawal from alcohol. DTs occurs in around 5% of recovering addicts.
Over the Counter Supplements and Medicines That Ease Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be unbearable in some instances. In case you feel they are too much, there are OTC drugs and supplements you can use to alleviate your suffering. You must use them according to the guidelines their manufacturers provide to increase their chances of working. They include:
- Ibuprofen – relieves your pain, fever, and inflammation. It is safer than acetaminophen, which can damage your liver if you take it in high doses
- L-Theanine – reduces your anxiety
- Fish oil – provides your body with omega-3s, which boost your recovery
- Imodium – stops your diarrhea
- Kava Kava – reduces stress
- L-Tyrosine – helps with low energy levels, mood disorders, and depression
- Valerian root/Melatonin – helps with insomnia
- B-Vitamins – restores vitamin B to its usual amount, which eliminates any mental fog and boosts your energy
- Complete multivitamin – provides the body with essential nutrients, which combat withdrawal symptoms and smoothen recovery
- L-Glutamine – reduces cravings and balances your blood chemical levels
How an Inpatient Treatment Plan in a Rehab Center Help Addicts
For people that have been drinking excessively for long, detoxing at home may not be the right choice. Inpatient treatment is a better option for this group. It involves going to a rehab center and staying there until you are sober.
It is safer as medical professionals monitor your recovery closely. The experts in these facilities have the know-how and the experience to come up with a detoxification plan that will work for you quickly. Additionally, they prepare you for life after leaving their facilities. They teach you how to curb urges to drink and ways of dealing with a relapse.
Some experts discourage addicts from detoxicating themselves at home since it poses many risks. However, you can do it. You must take steps to reduce the risks involved if you want to do it safely. The typical dangers you will face are life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and relapse.
Tapering lowers the risk associated with detoxing from alcohol at home and gives you an excellent chance of recovering from your addiction. A balanced diet, fluids, and OTC drugs can improve your chances of a smooth recovery.
Despite detoxing at home being convenient and cheap, long term addicts that generally consume a lot of alcohol should try inpatient treatment in rehab centers. Inpatient treatment allows them to leverage the benefits of rehab facilities while pursuing sobriety. Detox centers offer professional recovery services that they tailor to suit the needs of each alcohol addict. They are an excellent and safe place to begin your road to sobriety.