You may have experienced many twists and turns before finally being ready to get some help for a drinking problem. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) takes time to develop and worsen, eventually taking a heavy toll on your life. But as much as you might have resisted the idea of sobriety, you are now ready to tackle the AUD.
So, what is the best way to detox alcohol from your system? Alcohol detox is tricky and must be undertaken with great care. There are unknown risks that can crop up during the detox process, some of which can even be life threatening. For this reason, having a medical professional oversee the detox is the best course of action.
Why Detox Alcohol at Home?
When it’s time to seek help for AUD, many decide to undergo the detox process within the privacy of their own home. There are many benefits to going through a supervised alcohol detox at home. These include:
- Enhanced privacy. No one will see you entering a detox center, which eliminates the fear of stigma.
- Less stressful than going through detox at a facility. Going through detox at a facility is not as relaxed as it is at home.
- Increased comfort being at home in familiar surroundings. Having access to your own bed, your own kitchen, and even the family dog creates a more comfortable detox experience.
- Access to your loved ones and their support while going through detox. Instead of strangers at a detox center, you will be able to interact with your loved ones at home.
- Holistic therapies. Access to holistic methods, like IV vitamin therapy, massage, and acupuncture, can help ease discomfort.
What to Expect During Alcohol Detox
Chronic heavy drinking eventually impacts the brain and several organs, including the heart. Alcohol abuse has a profound effect on brain chemistry and neural pathways. Over time, these pathways are altered.
When you decide to stop drinking the body struggles to adjust to the absence of alcohol. The severity of this reaction, or the withdrawal symptoms, depends on the duration of the alcoholism. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
It is never wise to stop drinking on your own without medical oversight. Alcohol detox involves having vital signs closely monitored to be on the lookout for any acute symptoms. To reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, meds are provided as needed.
Detox symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
What Are the Risks of Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol withdrawal can be a challenge because detox does not always follow a predictable path. In fact, you can be nearing the end of the detox process when, on day four or five, extreme symptoms set in. This is a condition called the delirium tremens, or the DTs. Symptoms of the DTs include:
- Extreme mental confusion.
The DTs impact a small number of people going through alcohol detox. However, because symptoms can be very severe, up to 15% of those who get the DTs will not survive. For this reason, alcohol detox should always be done under the supervision of a trained medical detox team.
What is the Alcohol Detox Timeline?
The alcohol detox process varies from one person to the next. Some may sail through detox in three days while others take ten days. There are several factors that affect the detox timeline. These include how long you had the drinking problem, how much you drank, your health, and other substance addictions.
Alcohol detox goes through three distinct phases:
Stage one. The initial phase of detox begins about eight hours after the last drink. This stage features anxiety, nausea, stomach pain, mild hand tremors, loss of appetite, vomiting, foggy thinking, sweating, and headaches.
Stage two. The second phase starts 24-72 hours after the last drink and involves fever, increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, and confusion. You may experience a sudden unexpected onset of severe symptoms during this phase.
Stage three. The final phase of detox features less severe symptoms, as the brain adjusts to the lack of alcohol. You might still have fever, disorientation, agitation, and hallucinations, although these are not common. Some symptoms, like sleep problems and depression, may linger for weeks.
The Best Way to Detox Alcohol at Home
The best way to detox alcohol involves doing so in a setting where you are under the care of a physician. This pertains whether you detox at home with the help of a private detox nurse, or in a rehab setting. These experts are trained to guide you through the three stages of detox with the least amount of discomfort. Their goal is to help you safely complete the detox and then segue into treatment.
Next Steps After Detox
For the best chance of recovery success, you should enter a rehab program right after you’ve completed detox. Your detox nurse and doctor can guide you as to which level of care is best for your AUD.
Outpatient rehab is suited for early AUD and is flexible and a less pricey treatment option. If your AUD is moderate to severe, though, a residential rehab program is the better choice. You will receive a much more intensive treatment regimen while having access to 24-hour support.
Treatment elements include:
- Private therapy sessions.
- Group therapy sessions.
- Education and life skills training.
- Relapse prevention planning.
- Family therapy
- Holistic methods.
- 12-step program.
The best way to detox alcohol is the one that works best for you, however, it should include medical oversight.
Kinkaid Private Care is a full-service concierge private nursing and healthcare management service provider that specializes in at-home medical detox. Kinkaid Private Care detox nurses help ease withdrawal symptoms and offer emotional support as well. If you are interested in the best way to detox from alcohol, please call us today at (866) 527-5892.