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Alcohol detox at home – a look at benefits and drawbacks

Alcohol detox at home – a look at benefits and drawbacks

Alcohol detox at home – a look at benefits and drawbacks
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By Sanhita Baruah  Nov 15, 2022 5:44 PM IST (Published)

alcohol detox at home has several benefits. Although some individuals may be able to successfully detox at home, this does not mean that inpatient detox should be ignored completely. Patients without an appropriate home setting and those with severe alcohol dependence who are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms are two examples.

Detoxing from alcohol is a critical first step on the road to recovery. However, due to alcohol's impact on the mind and body, cutting down abruptly might be risky.

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It is best to get help from a professional before attempting to cut down on drinking. In cases when it would be too expensive to attend regular meetings with a counsellor or therapist, such as when someone is isolated, alcohol detox at home may be an option.
Indeed, alcohol detox at home has several benefits. Although some individuals may be able to successfully detox at home, this does not mean that inpatient detox should be ignored completely. Patients without an appropriate home setting and those with severe alcohol dependence who are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms are two examples.
Find out the benefits and drawbacks of home detox below.
Define alcoholism
The inability to control how much and how often someone drinks characterises alcoholism, the most severe type of alcohol consumption. Addiction to alcohol is very harmful and may have devastating physical implications.
Those who suffer from alcohol use disorder, generally known as alcoholism, may fall into one of three severity levels. Pay attention to how your drinking habits affect your daily life and see if they cause any disruptions.
If this describes your situation, alcoholism is a strong possibility. Binge drinking may magnify the effects of any mental health issue to an extreme, so getting help as soon as possible is crucial. Some of the signs of alcoholism are:
  • Consistently using alcohol while failing to meet key duties at the job, school, or home.
  • Having to drink more of an alcoholic beverage to acquire the same effects as when you first started drinking.
  • Driving, swimming, and other potentially hazardous activities have all been attempted while under the influence.
  • Constant want to consume.
  • Intentionally endangering one's health by drinking excessively while understanding the risks.
  • Suffering from withdrawal signs including trembling, chills, and sweating.
  • The negative effects of alcohol consumption on health are many and far-reaching. To a far greater extent than most other addictions, alcoholism may be fatal or cause serious health problems.
    There are both immediate and long-term consequences of alcohol use, including brain shrinkage and heart damage, and an increased chance of developing malignancies of the throat, mouth, and liver.
    The effects of alcohol are felt almost immediately after the first sip is taken, and while you probably don't need to worry about things like this when you're just having a glass of wine with dinner every once in a while, the cumulative effects of drinking red wine, liquor, or spirits regularly can add up. The ripple impact of alcoholism extends into the larger community.
    How can one go through alcohol detoxification?
    During detox, the body strives to eliminate the harmful byproducts of alcohol usage. Heavy drinkers are at greater risk for experiencing unpleasant and perhaps life-threatening withdrawal symptoms both during and after detox.
    Biological adaptations that increase tolerance to alcohol produce a state of false homeostasis, and resetting this equilibrium requires careful manipulation.
    The very first step in treating alcoholism is detoxification from alcohol. There is usually a two-week window during which most withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. On the other hand, the length of time this takes may increase if you have a high AUD.
    After this, you'll go on to other aspects of treatment, such as physical therapy and talking to a therapist. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms are seen throughout the detox phase. Their severity might range from barely perceptible to life-threatening.
    A detox may cause mild symptoms such as:
    • Headaches
    • Sweating
    • Nausea
    • Insomnia \anxiety
    • The alcohol detox process is associated with serious health risks, including:
    • Deranged hallucinations
    • Seizures (may be deadly if no one is nearby)
    • Tremors \ disorientation
    • However, incidences like this are quite uncommon during detox.
      Pros of a Home Detox Program

      1. Decreased prices both now and in the future

      It has been observed that people under the age of 35 who are alcoholics are particularly drawn to home detox programs. A group of alcoholics who haven't yet sought treatment would typically do so at this time. If alcoholism is addressed early on, it will cost you less money overall. Mild and moderate alcoholism are less expensive to treat and fix if caught and treated early than severe alcoholism.
      Hospitalisation expenses at specialised clinics or units. Services and equipment for treatment centers will be relatively pricey. When you detox at home, you may save a lot of money or perhaps avoid it altogether.
      2. The global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
      The wide spread of COVID-19 has had profound effects on our culture. Numerous rules on social isolation and house arrest have been issued by the health department. Detoxing at home is acceptable during these difficult times. The respiratory illness known as COVID-19 is very threatening because of its rapid spread and potential to exacerbate the current crisis.
      3. Restrictions for security
      Detoxifying the atmosphere at home may be done methodically. Continue at your own speed. This is significant since it has been shown that disrupting one's body's pattern might have negative health effects. Alcohol may cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly quit drinking, so tapering is a good alternative.
      4. A place where one feels at home and at ease
      A person may go through detox without disrupting their daily life or leaving their friends and family. Detoxing at home has several benefits, including little disruption to normal life. Through their continued closeness, friends and family will provide the necessary emotional and practical support throughout the rest of the healing process.
      5. Discrimination
      Less social stigma than hospitalization or admission to a specialist's clinic. There are usually a lot of stigmas associated with enrolling in a specialised treatment program. I'm worried about how getting help will be seen by my loved ones and the general public.
      Many people who are struggling with substance abuse will opt not to enter a residential treatment facility or an outpatient program (home detox) for assistance. There are a lot of negative stereotypes about those who have addictions in today's culture. It's possible that many individuals lack empathy when they think about someone battling addiction.
      As an example, the widespread belief that alcoholics are incapable of or unworthy of trust or genuine human connection. People are less likely to seek the assistance they need due to the stigma associated with doing so. One definition of a stigma is a mark of shame that permanently identifies the bearer. Particularly alcoholics, isolated from the general populace.
      6. Preferred by females and younger alcoholics
      Patients in vulnerable demographics, such as those who are young or female, may benefit from detoxing at home. The majority of people who successfully complete home detoxification are women (between a quarter and a third).
      7. Detecting and treating severe server-preventable instances early on
      Toxic drinkers are more likely to sign up for treatment sooner if they know they may detox at home. Due to its easy accessibility, detox may begin as shortly as you make the decision to give up alcohol. When compared to inpatient care and hospitals, which would need more preparation on your part, this is a more convenient option.
      Consequences of a Self-Administered Detox
      1.  Relapse is possible in a chaotic setting
      A relapse is possible if there is conflict at home and the surrounding environment is unstable. A residence cannot be an excellent choice if it does not provide a secure and reliable setting for its residents. Recovering alcoholics benefits greatly from having solid supports in place, including meaningful relationships.
      Infighting among loved ones may cause unnecessary stress and interfere with the detoxification process. Many people, mistakenly, believe that the only way to deal with alcoholism is medical. However, the mind plays a role as well. In order to grow and make detoxifying progress, you need a steady atmosphere.
      2.  Not having access to medical help
      The lack of access to timely medical attention in the event of an emergency is perhaps the largest drawback associated with alcohol detoxification at home. Possible severe withdrawal symptoms. Many different symptoms might arise from even a moderate usage issue.
      Seeking medical assistance during alcohol detox is recommended at all times to help manage withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox requires medical supervision due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
      This is highlighted particularly for those who already have a preexisting ailment, since the severity of problems like lung and heart disease may rapidly worsen. To be safe, you should inform those living with you that they should contact an ambulance if they see any of the following signs of alcohol withdrawal:
      • Seizures
      • lose your bearings
      • Suffer from severe hallucinations
      • Tremendous delirium (in rare cases)
      • Contrary to inpatient therapy, the likelihood of recurrence is increased in the absence of significant peer support. Higher degrees of care, treatment for unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and other medical issues are all available during medically-supervised detox.
      • Inpatient therapy, often known as medically-supervised detoxification, provides patients with constant monitoring and assistance from medical staff. Addicts who have severely overused alcohol should seek inpatient care.
        It's also possible to get prescription drugs from a doctor to alleviate withdrawal symptoms if you feel you need them.
        Detoxing at home is an option for those with mild alcohol dependence and no acute withdrawal symptoms. Consists of the patient being surrounded by people and things that are comfortable and familiar to them, which aids in their recuperation and provides emotional support.
        As with inpatient detox, most people who undergo outpatient detoxification do it in the comfort of their own homes. To alleviate withdrawal symptoms, doctors may prescribe medicine to be used during therapy sessions.
        Those with low to moderate drug users who have excellent social support networks and no other physical or mental health issues may be able to safely recover at home.
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