The Dangers of Detoxing from Alcohol at Home

Almost 26% of the adult population reported they participated in binge drinking during the past month. Additionally, just over 6% of the population stated they drank heavily during a month’s span of time.

Alcohol abuse has been an ongoing issue and affects many individuals and their families. Detoxing from alcohol is challenging and can be life-threatening if it is not done under careful supervision.

The more someone drinks, the more at risk they are of having complications from withdrawal symptoms. Going through this process at home, without professional medical supervision, can be risky to your health and sometimes even fatal.

The Definition Of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse differs from occasional drinking or even binge drinking. Typically, those who have an addiction to alcohol cannot monitor their drinking. It can also negatively impact your health and interpersonal relationships at home and at work. 

Another term for describing this is alcohol use disorder. Some of the common signs that you have an alcohol addiction are:

  • Drink more than initially intended
  • Cannot stop drinking
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Problems with family or work
  • Frequent blackouts 
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Drinking more for similar effects
  • Alcohol cravings

This is not an all-encompassing list, but typically health practitioners look at how many symptoms a person has for making a diagnosis. Moderate disorder is four to five symptoms during the past year. Severe alcohol use disorder is six or more. 

Detoxing From Alcohol

Withdrawal symptoms are one of the largest concerns when you opt to detox by yourself at home in lieu of a supervised detox program. A person who has been heavily drinking for a long period of time is more at risk of severe withdrawal effects.

Even if withdrawal symptoms start out as mild, they can rapidly become more severe. Some of the beginning stages of withdrawals include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting

This may sound like some of the symptoms of a hangover, but it is actually your body’s physiological response from detoxing. Unfortunately, these symptoms can quickly become more severe.

Detoxing from alcohol at home may result in serious health risks. Some of the common severe side effects of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Delirium tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depression

Delirium tremens is one of the main concerns that practitioners have with people detoxing at home. When you ask yourself, ‘how to detox from alcohol’, most practitioners suggest a rehab facility or treatment center for close monitoring.

How do these symptoms occur? More severe side effects can last for a few days or up to a week. Delirium tremens occur in approximately 5% of the population that quits alcohol. Some of the risks associated with this are heart attacks and strokes. 

If someone does not seek out medical attention, it can lead to death. There are some milder symptoms of delirium tremens that can also indicate someone needs medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Light sensitivity
  • Heavy sweating

Excessive use of alcohol essentially rewires some of your neuropathways in the brain. When you stop drinking cold turkey, it causes a ‘glitch’ in the system, so to speak. Your brain and your entire nervous system are trying to play catch up without the alcohol it has been dependent on.

This can cause increases in a chemical called glutamate. It is speculated this increase in glutamate is what causes some of the symptoms of delirium tremens. 

Is Detoxing At Home Safe? 

The symptoms of detoxing from alcohol at home can be very different depending on an individual’s addiction and the health of the person. Health professionals don’t usually recommend doing this because the symptoms so greatly vary. 

Residential Treatment Centers Are A Lifeline

Treatment centers are specialized in helping people detox from drugs or alcohol. This reduces the rates of relapsing at home and can help curb increased risks of severe depression. 

These services can include medication, testing, and monitoring health statuses. You can also have access to clinicians, nurses, and other skilled therapists. A physician can oversee your complete medical care and make sure you are detoxing safely. 

Following the detox process, an alcohol treatment center also has opportunities for patients to participate in therapy and residential treatment programs. These programs are extremely beneficial in teaching patients life-long skills that help reduce alcohol cravings and the potential for relapse. 

Find Detox Treatment In Orange County

Alcohol abuse disorder affects many Americans and people worldwide. It can lead to various long-term health complications such as heart, liver, and kidney problems. 

Detoxing from home puts a patient and their family at risk. You can experience severe side effects from withdrawals and increase your risk for severe depression. Contact us today and let one of our qualified staff members talk to you about the benefits of detoxing in a treatment center.