Alcohol addiction is a common condition that leads to a variety of health issues, both mentally and physically. Current statistics indicate that alcohol misuse in the UK is the highest risk factor for disability, ill-health and even death for those aged between 15 and 49 years old. 
Addiction or dependence to alcohol constitutes as drinking more than the recommended weekly amount on a regular basis. It includes drinking excessive amounts of alcohol despite being an awareness of how debilitating this behaviour is.
Alcohol abuse is when an individual’s drinking habits cause them harm or distress when the individual cannot stop despite repeated attempts, and in spite of knowing full well the negative health complications, it can cause.
It is signified by a loss of control over drinking alcohol, and a decreased interest and even indifference to activities and values the individual once held dear. 
To understand whether you need an alcohol detox it is essential to assess your drinking habits. Below we have provided a list of questions that can help determine if you need to cut down or quit drinking altogether. 
These questions include:
Before enquiring about alcohol home detox, it is essential that you are able to fulfil the requirements below. This is solely to ensure your own safety and to ensure you receive the appropriate help for your specific condition.
The requirements are:
You have never experienced fits or seizures, whether related to alcohol withdrawal or pre-existing medical conditions
There must be someone who can accompany you throughout the entirety of the detox programme. This person must be with you at all times
You must be able to set aside a period of 10 days (maximum) for the detoxification process
You are consuming no more than a daily amount of 30 units
If you do not meet the above criteria, you are advised to seek professional medical help from either your GP or by calling our referrals team for further advice.
If you are concerned that yourself or someone you care about is addicted to alcohol, complete our free online alcohol questionnaire and a member of our team will contact you in confidence to offer guidance and advice.
The only way to stop a physical dependence or addiction to alcohol is to quit drinking and start a process of detoxification. Alcohol detox should definitely be carried for any one of the following reasons:
For more information about spotting alcoholism, visit our page which discusses the signs & symptoms of alcoholism.
While there are many services and facilities available, not everyone has enough money and resources to undergo a private medical detox. So, what other options exist? At-home alcohol detox is one solution to consider.
As the name implies, at-home alcohol detox means that you go through the whole process to stop alcohol addiction with minimal support from medical services.
This covers all aspects including medically-assisted detox, nutritional support, counselling and therapy sessions, and guidance on lifestyle changes. All of these elements are delivered as part of our inpatient programmes, while our at-home alcohol detox programme focuses solely on the detox aspect of your recovery.
Similarly to alcohol detoxification at a private rehab facility, a medically-assisted alcohol home-detox is a supervised process where the patient is gradually weaned off alcohol over time.
During the detoxification, withdrawal symptoms can occur and depend on your level of dependence/ addiction, these issues can be mild or severe. In cases of chronic addiction, a medically-assisted detox can prevent serious or even fatal complications.
Benzodiazepines like lorazepam, alprazolam, and diazepam are common medications that can reduce the risk of seizures during alcohol detox. The doctor might also prescribe neuroleptic medications to relieve symptoms or some anti-anxiety pills to improve mental health.
Below, we have listed some of the most commonly prescribed medications that could alleviate some withdrawal symptoms. Each drug must be administered by one of our medical professionals and the dose you receive will be determined following an assessment over video-call.
These medications include: 
At Rehab 4 Addiction, we have decades of experience in assisting thousands of patients to overcome an alcohol dependence or addiction at our professional centres.
To suit the needs of modern life, we have now expanded our alcohol detox programmes to cover at-home alcohol detox processes. The general overview of what we offer includes:
Home detox can be a suitable option for those who cannot afford to go to private rehab – whether that’s financially, emotionally or socially.
While statistics indicate the inpatient treatment has a higher recovery success rate, more and more people are choosing at-home detox as it is easier to resume care for children or elderly parents, easier to continue with employment duties, and other commitments and obligations.
One of the main reasons that individuals struggling with alcohol addiction choose a home-detox are financial costs. As inpatient treatment includes residential accommodation, access to medication and counselling services, nutritional support and use of all the centre’s facilities, it is no surprise that costs are often considered to be steep.
While private rehab treatment can cost anywhere between £4,000-£10,000 per admission, detoxing from the comfort of your own home can cost a quarter of the price. Our current alcohol detox programmes range from £1,000 – £1,800.
Home detox poses the least disruption to your everyday life, and also to your finances. It allows you to detox and recover from within the community, and also enables you to receive support from friends and family without visitor limitations of an inpatient facility.
It also allows you to take control of your own nutrition and meal plans, which can help contribute towards a sense of strength and independence. It should be noted however that all prescription drugs must be assessed and monitored regularly by a healthcare professional during this phase.
The first few steps play a decisive role in the success of your at-home alcohol detox. Therefore, make sure to prepare well and complete the following tasks:
A quick and sudden cessation of alcohol consumption is highly dangerous and for this reason, we would always recommend a ‘tapering off’ approach.
Although many believe that quitting alcohol ‘cold turkey’ would speed up their recovery and save a lot of time and effort, there are a significant number of serious risks related to suddenly quitting alcohol completely.
The unexpected cessation of alcohol on the body can lead to a shock. Side effects can also include seizures, fever, hallucinations, sweating, difficulties sleeping, vomiting, or increased heartbeats.
For more information on the risks of abruptly quitting alcohol, visit our page on the dangers of hitting alcohol ‘cold turkey.’
Conversely, the tapering off method involves a gradual reduction in alcohol consumption. This is the only approved option that ensures a completely safe and secure withdrawal.
Side effects can be less serious, however, medical support is required – especially if you are a heavy drinker. Tapering off means to gradually reduce the intake of alcohol on a daily basis. This means that the body becomes gradually less used to receiving the substance, and can revert back to its natural functions slowly.
Tapering off also includes expanding the amount of time between each drink. For example, drinking only one unit per hour, or substituting every other glass for a pint of water instead of beer.
Another common method for tapering off is an individual switching to an alcoholic beverage they are not keen on. Substituting wine with beer, for example, will make the patient less inclined to drink the latter if they do not like lager.
In general, detoxing alcohol at home can be safe and effective providing medical support is administered. However, some important measures should be taken to avoid worsening withdrawal symptoms and other complications.
Here are a few things that you can do:
The exact plan for detoxing alcohol at home can vary, depending on many factors like drinking intensity levels, pre-existing health conditions, gender, age, and your medical history. 
Below are two sample schedules to give you an overview:
Alcohol can depress the brain and the central nervous system which leads to feelings of euphoria and relaxation. The body strives to ensure balance within all organ functions, and it usually triggers the brain to produce more neurotransmitter receptors. This then either stimulates or excites the central nervous system.
When you quit drinking, alcohol is deducted from both the original receptors and the additional ones that were forged during years of prolonged abuse.
This eventually causes the nervous system to become overactive and results in several symptoms such as:
In more serious cases, severe symptoms can include seizures, paranoia, illusions, increased body temperature, and hallucinations. If you experience any of these latter symptoms during a home detox, it is essential you seek emergency medical advice.
Home detox has its benefits, and one of them includes being at liberty to address your own well-being needs. To offset someone of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms you may experience, we have comprised a list of home remedies.
These methods include:
A good way to alleviate stress and anxiety caused by alcohol detox is to breathe deeply and slowly. By doing this, you would allow more oxygen to go inside the body, thus stabilizing blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, it can relax your brain and improve mood.
Showering can be helpful in relaxing your mind and preventing some mental issues during alcohol detox. Make sure to choose the right temperature to prevent too cold or too hot showers.
Meditation is increasingly becoming popular thanks to the benefits it offers. During alcohol detox, you can practice these techniques to relax your mind and improve focus on the goals. This will eventually help you achieve the final goals and prevent drinking habits from recurring.
Most people can complete an alcohol detox in less than seven days. However, more serious cases might require more time for withdrawal symptoms to disappear.
The length of time it takes to completely detox from alcohol will be reliant on many different variables. Detox at home takes more time because you want to avoid any serious problems by taking the necessary precautions.
Alcohol remains in your bloodstream for many hours after drinking it, so once it starts to clear from your body you will experience those withdrawal symptoms within about six hours of the last beverage you consumed.
Minor withdrawal symptoms include:
More severe withdrawal symptoms can begin to develop after the initial six hours. These symptoms include:
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms intensify for about twenty-four hours before they start to subside. Some patients have reported hallucinations at this state, but this is normally severe in the 24 hour period after the last drink.
The minor withdrawal sensations listed above tend to progress into days one and two after quitting alcohol.
These symptoms include
For those experiencing minor alcohol withdrawal, these symptoms will climax up to 24 hours and will then begin to diminish by days four or five.
For those experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal, this stage can indicate a lot. This phase is where doctors will keep an eye out for signs of delirium tremens, or withdrawal delirium.
Other symptoms include:
During this time, withdrawal symptoms from alcohol reach their peak and at worst, can last up to four weeks after the patient has consumed their last drink.
These symptoms include:
Seizures are a more serious side effect but only about 25 per cent of patients will experience them. The more serious symptoms include seizures and hallucinations but only about five per cent of patients have reported experiencing this.
Late symptoms start between two and four days after last consuming alcohol. Tremors may happen at this point. All late symptoms subside between four and six days after last consuming alcohol.
Having a well-balanced diet is important during alcohol detox since the body needs a lot of essential nutrients to function properly and recover from withdrawal symptoms.
Below are some typical foods to include and avoid during this period:
One of the effects of alcohol detox on the body is dehydration. As a result, your body might lose a lot of essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, or calcium and lead to imbalance.
This is actually the main trigger of common symptoms in alcohol detox, such as seizures, muscle spasms, and numbness. Therefore, make sure to consume more drinks that contain electrolytes.
It is not uncommon for heavy drinkers to suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Therefore, make sure to take in a lot of supplements to compensate for the lost amounts.
Some important elements include magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B. Make sure to ask for advice from your doctor and follow the instructions.
Protein plays an essential role in many body functions, which are needed for a quick recovery.
It is advisable to consume plant-based sources such as legumes or beans and healthy animal-based sources like organic chicken, turkey, lamb, sardines, anchovies, or salmon.
To ensure sufficient energy for the body, you should consume complex carbs in rice, barley, quinoa, farro, buckwheat, millet, oats, sweet potato, or winter squash. Unrefined whole grains are the best options.
Make sure to avoid sweeteners, sugar, processed meats, seafood, fish, as well as gluten and wheat foods like bread, pasta, crackers, bagels, or breakfast cereal.
Even when you have completely succeeded in quitting and detoxing from alcohol, there might still be a possibility of relapse, meaning that your addictive thoughts and behaviours recur.
This risk would happen at any time and depend on many factors, such as your lifestyles, family and medical support, and even genetics. In a recent study  about the relapse rate of more than 500 people who had recovered from alcohol addiction, the results showed that:
While the numbers are not high, take note of the possible risks and implement preventive measures to minimise the risk of relapse in the future.
Some possible signs that indicate a potential relapse include: ‘romancing the bottle’; talking about alcoholic beverages frequently; hanging out with other drinkers; missing therapy sessions or medications; and a decline in mental health.
While detox is an integral first step in the recovery process, it is vital to remember that recovery is a whole process that involves maintenance. This includes regular counselling sessions to help keep relapse at bay, and further therapies to discover the root of your addiction/ dependence.
Even when you have completed your alcohol detox at home, there are still some important things to prevent a relapse or reoccurrence in the future.
Your entire rehabilitation plan should focus on support from the following:
Many heavy drinkers often experience some mental issues after quitting. This does not only affect their health but also disrupt their daily lives.
Therefore, it is necessary to seek support from counselling services. You can search for these facilities online or ask your healthcare provider for recommendations.
A home detox should definitely not be done alone. There would be many dangers and risks that might need medical support. Thus, you need supports from friends and family to come back to normal lives.
Do not hesitate to approach and tell them whenever you need help. Make sure to share your problems and anything that would increase the risk of relapse.
In addition to the family and medical support, former drinkers would participate in local support groups. They can have a chance of meeting and sharing their stories with people from similar backgrounds or problems.
This can help prevent relapses and help them overcome some common mental issues after detoxing. In addition, other group members can share several useful strategies and tips to improve the quality of life without alcohol.
The 12-step recovery programme is a spiritual foundation for those who recover from alcoholism. It does not only show people how to quit drinking alcohol, but also give them a new way of life after detoxing.
In general, 12 specific steps in order include honesty, faith, surrender, soul searching, integrity, acceptance, humility, willingness, forgiveness, maintenance, making contact, and service.
There are some important considerations for those who would like to detox at home. Detox is a stressful and often complicated process which can sometimes be dangerous.
Everyone should think about their own situation before they decide whether this process is something that they should undertake. This is not for people who: