Alcohol is one of the most common addictions in the world. If you or somebody you love has an addiction to alcohol, you’re not alone. The National Institutes of Health states that in 2017, over 26% percent of people over the age of eighteen admitted to binge drinking within the last month, while almost 7% of drinkers of the same ages admitted to “heavy alcohol use” within the past month of the survey. Alcohol is a problem for many people, but few seek recovery and often those who do have to try quitting multiple times before they are able to achieve lasting sobriety. Because of the stigma attached to alcohol, many people seek out more information on alcohol detox from home. But how can you do it safely?
Alcohol is Highly Addictive
Alcohol is a highly addictive substance. While many people assume alcohol is pretty safe because it’s sold almost everywhere, this is simply not the case. Alcohol changes the way the body reacts and the way the brain works. Because of these changes, people can grow a tolerance to drinking meaning it takes more alcohol to get the desired effect. This tolerance leads to alcohol dependence, meaning that a person will need to drink more and more to get the drunkenness they crave.
Many people binge drink, which typically means drinking four or five drinks in a row. Binge drinking can lead to regular alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Alcohol abuse and addiction lead to more than just drinking in your daily life.
Understanding Alcohol Addiction
A person with alcohol addiction continues to drink despite negative results. Many people with alcohol use disorder have social problems, legal troubles, and other fallout from their continued drinking. Drinkers like this may miss classes or work, have trouble with relationships due to their continued drinking, or even end up in jail for a DUI or other alcohol-related legal problems like drunk in public charges.
Alcohol can impair your judgment just by drinking. People make bad choices when they’re drunk, making them more likely to do things they normally wouldn’t do. Some people even become violent when they drink. Other people may “blackout” and not remember what happened, even when they’ve done something illegal or dangerous.
Alcohol is highly addictive, and a person with an addiction continues drinking even when they’re having health, financial, or legal troubles. Drinking may seem to be their only priority in life.
Alcohol addiction is not your fault. Many people have a troubled relationship with alcohol and there seem to be both genetic components of addiction as well as environmental factors that make a person more susceptible to addiction. Addiction is considered a disease of the brain, and there are help and treatment available.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Detoxing at Home
Detoxing at home from alcohol can be a more convenient and discreet way to get and stay sober. In most cases of alcohol addiction, it’s not safe to detox without the assistance of a professional. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable or even frightening. When a person stops drinking, they usually begin to experience withdrawal symptoms in twelve to forty-eight hours.
People with severe withdrawal symptoms experience symptoms that can last up to a week, with the most severe symptoms occurring around the third day. Some withdrawal symptoms that alcoholics can face include:
- Tremors or unsteadiness
- Rage or short-temper
- Elevated heart rate or blood pressure
- Delirium Tremens (a psychosis-like state that includes paranoia, rage, delusions, etc.)
- Wet brain (brain damage caused by long-term alcohol abuse, can be permanent dementia)
- Nausea or vomiting
Not every person who withdraws from alcohol will experience these symptoms, but some of them are life-threatening and require a person who understands how to alleviate and treat them. Some people may have other health conditions that require close observation when detoxing.
Alcohol Detox at Home: How and Why
Detoxing from alcohol at home can be safe, private and effective. A medical team can help you with alcohol detox at home, prescribing medications if necessary to alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
A detox nurse will help you if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, and they can also help you put a plan together for your continued recovery. You didn’t become addicted in one night, and you won’t recover overnight. Even once you’ve detoxed studies show that emotional support and a recovery plan will help you maintain long-term recovery.
Your detox team can help you plan for treatment or aftercare. They will also help you identify triggers – even in your own home – that make you want to drink. For example, if you have hidden bottles or a collection of shot glasses in your kitchen, your detox team can help you move these out of your home.
Getting Sober from Alcohol
Getting and staying sober may seem like a difficult path, but once you’ve detoxed you’ll be able to put a recovery plan into action. There are all types of support available to help you heal and begin to move on into your next stage of life. Everyone deserves recovery, and a home detox can help you start off in a safe place with the support of your family, friends and even your pets.
There is no shame in addiction. Once you know you’re not responsible for your addiction, it’s time to work on things you CAN be responsible for, including your recovery. You’re worth it, and home detox is a great way to get started. There are, of course, other options available once you’re sober to help you achieve long-term success.