How to Safely Detox from Alcohol 

how to recover from alcohol withdrawal

How to Safely Detox from Alcohol 

When someone is chronically abusing alcohol, eventually there are times when they’ve had enough. This could be due to hitting a personal low or a physical condition where their body can’t physically handle drinking anymore. Once someone who is struggling with alcohol addiction stops drinking, their body goes into withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable and in some cases, dangerous. After entering withdrawal, that person will need to go through alcohol detox. Making sure that you detox in a safe way and in a safe environment is essential to ensure a successful recovery. However, alcohol withdrawal is potentially deadly, which is why it’s important to understand how to safely detox from alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawal

A person who abuses alcohol on a regular basis is at a high risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is in a class of drugs known as depressants. These cause chemical changes in the brain to compensate for the slowing effect that alcohol has. It does this by increasing the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. [1] 

 

If someone with alcohol use disorder stops drinking, it takes their brain and body time to adjust back to baseline levels. During this time, hormones, vitamins, and electrolytes are all out of balance. This is when withdrawal symptoms begin. Most withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and in some cases, they can even be deadly. These symptoms arise during different stages of the alcohol withdrawal timeline. 

Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal

The severity of alcohol abuse directly determines how severe a person’s withdrawal symptoms are. Seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens occur in the most severe cases. In order to understand how to safely detox from alcohol, one must understand the different stages of alcohol withdrawal.

Stage One

Stage one begins within 6-12 hours of discontinuing alcohol use. There are the mildest symptoms and include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Tremors. [2]

 

Stage Two

Stage two is when more severe symptoms begin to manifest. These symptoms begin within 24 hours of discontinuing alcohol: 

  • Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Elevated body temperature[2]

Stage Three

Stage 3 begins within 48 hours of stopping drinking. These are when the most serious side effects would start. They can last from 2-7 days. 

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium Tremens [2]

These severe cases require medical intervention to properly manage them. If left untreated, these symptoms can result in death. [2]

Can You Safely Detox from Alcohol At Home?

After the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abuse begin, the person will need to go through a detox period while the brain and body adjust to the changes occurring. Many people may want to participate in detox from the comfort of their own home. After all, some people feel more comfortable in their own homes, so detoxing at home might feel comfortable. This is known as at-home detox. 

 

In order to safely detox from alcohol at home, it is important to understand the alcohol withdrawal timeline and remain vigilant during the timeframe that the most severe symptoms can start. A person who is self-detoxing needs to be prepared to call emergency medical services if they note any of the Stage 3 symptoms starting. 

Dangers of Self-Detox

It is extremely difficult to carefully and accurately self-monitor during alcohol detox. This is because of the extremely uncomfortable nature of withdrawal. For example, some people may mistake extremely serious side effects for the less worrisome ones and avoid calling for help. Alternatively, in cases where delirium tremens or seizures start, people are often not mentally aware enough to recognize that they need medical intervention nor are they capable of picking up the phone to call for help. However, there is a much safer alternative to self-detox that is actually more comfortable than detoxing at home.

 

Medically Monitored Alcohol Detox: The Best Way to Safely Detox From Alcohol

The safest way to detox from alcohol is at a professional detox center where there are medical professionals to carefully follow the process. During this time, they will regularly check vitals to look out for any potential complications. Nurses and doctors can also administer medications to help ease some of the discomfort associated with alcohol withdrawal. These essential services are offered at inpatient alcohol detox facilities across Delray Beach, FL.

 

Alcohol detox programs in Delray Beach typically last for about week depending on the individual’s symptoms and needs. Throughout detox, people are carefully observed by healthcare professionals and made as comfortable as possible during the process. The medications administered will help control nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and tremors with medications people would not have access to at home. If needed, medical professionals will also provide emergency medical attention for any life-threatening complications during alcohol detox. 

Finding an Alcohol Detox Program 

If you are suffering from alcohol use disorder and are ready to get sober, it is important to start with alcohol detox. At Florida Recovery Group located in sunny Delray Beach, we have a staff of medical professionals to help you through the hardest part of your recovery. They will monitor you closely and help to make you as comfortable as possible to ensure that you are able to safely detox from alcohol. We also have alcohol addiction therapists on staff to provide mental health evaluations and counseling. 

 

After you complete detox, we offer additional resources to help you in the recovery process. This includes inpatient rehabilitation programs and intensive outpatient programs. Our team of highly trained professionals will work with you closely to develop a treatment plan from detox to rehab that is tailored to your unique needs. 

 

References:

 

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/alcohol-withdrawal-a-to-z
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/how-long-does-it-take-to-detox-from-alcohol