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Alcohol Detox, Alcoholism

Self-Detoxing Alcohol at Home: Pros and Cons

Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, is no laughing matter. It may be fun to joke about having one too many on a night out or telling your mate to have one more shot. When it actually comes down to it, alcohol can pose a serious risk to everyone. As a society, we deem it socially acceptable to overindulge in alcohol. We believe that as long as we’re with friends, there is nothing wrong with it.

While this may be true on some level, there comes a point where everyone should take a step back and reflect on their drinking behavior. If you become aggressive, easily irritated, or start to behave in an uncharacteristic manner, stop and think. It is time to reevaluate how alcohol is affecting you and those around you.

Alcoholism is one of the leading causes of preventable death in this country and causes many other problems as well. It destroys homes, families, and lives but it can be helped. After that necessary initial stage of acceptance, you are finally ready to change yourself for the better. But how?

Is Alcohol Self-Detox at Home a Good Idea?

The first real step on the road to recovery, and quite possibly the hardest is the alcohol detoxification stage. Detoxification is when the body rids itself of any excess toxins that have been left in the body by alcohol. It serves as the physical and psychological foundation of your time in drug rehabilitation.

Risks of Self-Detox At Home

An alcohol self-detox from home may seem to be the best option for some people as this is where they feel most comfortable. They are often surrounded by a support network of people that can monitor their behavior and keep them away from alcohol. The individual may also find it easier to relax at home and stay occupied. This distracts them from the temptation of alcohol.

Many medical professionals do not recommend this option. There is a great deal of uncertainty associated with alcohol detoxification and withdrawal. Much of this uncertainty has to do with the many withdrawal symptoms that come from detoxification from alcohol.

Many of these withdrawal symptoms can prove to be dangerous and some are even life-threatening. This is why most medical professionals suggest a certified substance abuse treatment center. There is also a higher chance of relapse when at home since there is no access to medical withdrawal management.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s best to be informed of withdrawal symptoms you can experience while detoxing at home. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to deal with.

Some symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating


In serious cases, some people may experience seizures while attempting to detox from alcohol. If you begin to experience anything on this list, call 911 straight away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol at Home?

The length of the alcohol detoxification process depends on whether or not you are detoxing at home or at a treatment center. Typically, it takes longer to detox at home because you do not have access to all the resources that medical professionals have.

At a treatment center, they are able to quickly treat and prevent any complications from happening. They also know how to nourish the body properly to make the detoxification process a little easier.

When detoxing at home, you do not have access to your vitals, IV treatments, or the psychological help necessary to get through it. The process can range from three to seven days depending on the severity of the addiction. Although you don’t have all the resources a rehab facility has, if you are thinking of detoxifying at home there are some things you should prepare for.

How to Self Detox from Alcohol at Home

While this is not typically advised by medical professionals, it may simply be the only option available to some. It must be noted that trying to detox from alcohol without medical supervision is extremely dangerous.

There are several things to consider before undergoing the process. These guidelines are put in place to help reduce the risk of relapse, which is statistically higher when detoxing at home:


  • Remove all alcohol from your home: It’s crucial to do this before you begin your detox to get rid of this temptation altogether.

  • Clear your schedule: To really be able to focus on your detox, you should request a leave of absence at your job. It’s possible to ask for a doctor’s note to excuse the time you’ll take off to work on recovery.

  • Seek support from a friend or family member: It’s best to have someone you trust help you safely detox from alcohol. Having someone close by at all times also means that in case of an emergency they can call for immediate medical assistance.


When the body is recovering from the toxins left by alcohol it is essential that it is fully nourished. Maintaining a balanced diet and drinking water is absolutely key to accomplishing this. This will help to nourish the body and keep it satisfied during alcohol detox and afterward.


Taking various vitamins and minerals can also help to reduce the severity and intensity of some withdrawal symptoms. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E will help to remove the toxins in the body.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers

There are more benefits when it comes to detoxing at an alcohol treatment center compared to at home, including:


  • A support system
  • A structured environment
  • Therapy and counseling services
  • Medical stabilization
  • Case management


When deciding to quit drinking alcohol the individual has several choices to make regarding which type of treatment they desire. Each treatment offers different ways to approach the detoxification process and each has its various advantages and disadvantages.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Residential or inpatient addiction treatment offers 24/7 care from fully trained medical professionals. This type of treatment is commonly recommended for those who have been consuming excessive amounts of alcohol for a very long duration of time.


Those who opt for inpatient addiction treatment will have access to withdrawal management, group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, dietary services, and even recreational activities.

Intensive Outpatient Drug Rehabs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient addiction treatment is recommended for those whose addiction is not severe. Outpatient detoxification allows an individual to visit a treatment facility on a regularly scheduled basis during the alcohol detox process.

While there, medical professionals can prescribe medication that will help to reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. The rest of an IOP detox process will be undergone at home.

Get Help Today with SOBA New Jersey

At SOBA New Jersey, help is just around the corner should you need it. We offer medically supervised detox treatments if you feel that detoxing at home isn’t best for you.

Or if you have successfully detoxed at home, you can still check out outpatient and partial care services to help you through the recovery phase so that you can enjoy a long and sober life.

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