Alcohol addiction, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence can be extremely difficult to overcome, especially without treatment.
The first stage of addiction treatment is detoxification. This is the act of cleansing your body of the substance you are addicted to - which means you stop drinking alcohol in order to free your body of the physical dependence. However, detoxification may not always be safe. Read on to find out how you can detox your body of alcohol safely, and to learn more about the alcohol detox process - including the risks when detoxing from alcohol.
What To Expect From an Alcohol Detox
First of all, when you detox, alcohol will more than likely be on your mind. You should expect to experience alcohol cravings and work hard to overcome this. When you detox from alcohol, you must drink no alcohol in order to cleanse your body of the substance and free yourself of physical dependence. Your body must have time to adjust from going from drinking too much alcohol to no alcohol at all. You should also expect to experience withdrawal symptoms. The detox process and withdrawal symptoms
may vary from person to person in nature, length and severity. Some people will only experience symptoms for a few days, whereas others may experience symptoms that persist for months. Typically, the severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the addiction. Often, withdrawal symptoms peak on the third day - but this can vary. Factors such as your height, weight, and addiction history can impact the symptoms you experience as well as the length of time it takes to detox from alcohol. An alcohol detox treats the physical dependence on a substance. After completing an alcohol detox, you should consider receiving further treatment to address the social, psychological and behavioural aspects of addiction
. This may include counselling, group therapy, CBT, and ongoing support/ secondary treatment.
What Are The Risks When Detoxing From Alcohol?
When you detox from alcohol, you will likely experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These can vary in severity from person to person. The risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms usually increases if you have severe physical dependence. Most severe symptoms are manageable, but in some cases, hospitalisation is required. For example, if you experience Delirium Tremens. This is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and can even be fatal.
It may include seizures, hallucinations, confusion, and many more unpleasant symptoms. Another risk when detoxing from alcohol is mental health issues. You may feel depressed, irritable, or experience mood swings. This is why it’s important to seek support, and why addiction therapy can be so helpful. When detoxing from alcohol, you may also be tempted to relapse and drink an alcoholic drink. If you’re concerned about your alcohol intake, be sure to remove any alcohol from your environment or consider a medically-supervised detox.
Tips to Detox From Alcohol Safely
Detoxification can be difficult, and even dangerous if not completed correctly. For example, stopping drinking alcohol ‘cold turkey’ is considered an unsafe way to detox. Detoxing ‘cold turkey’ is when you suddenly stop drinking without medical advice or intervention. There are, however, safe ways to detox from alcohol. For example, seeking advice and support, eating healthy foods, or completing a medical detox.
Attend Support Groups
It’s important that you seek support when detoxing from alcohol, especially if you are detoxing from alcohol at home. Detoxification can be tough, and it’s important to have people around you that can help you along your recovery journey. This is why some people attend support groups, whether it be for alcohol addiction
or drug addiction
. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous
are open to anybody who wishes to get their drinking under control or overcome addiction - and can help addicts in recovery. Support groups can also make you feel less lonely during recovery
, and encourage you to stay on track.
Eat Healthy Food
Many people find that eating healthy foods/ alcohol-detox foods and implementing an alcohol-detox diet can help to ease the process. Excessive alcohol consumption and chronic alcohol abuse can cause damage to the stomach lining and are also linked to malnutrition
. This means that many people receiving substance use disorder treatment exhibit signs of nutritional deficiency. Food is often considered by many holistic treatment providers, not only to overcome nutritional deficiency but to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy food fuels your body and mind, which can better equip you through your recovery journey. Eating foods high in vitamins, zinc, fatty acids and antioxidants can increase the neurotransmitter signalling within your brain.
Seek Professional Support
Finally, the safest thing you can do when detoxing from alcohol is to seek professional support, whether it be private addiction treatment or NHS options
. At Help4Addiction, we can discuss your addiction history, requirements, preferences, and financial circumstances to find the right plan for you. Some people find a medically-assisted detox/medically supervised detox helpful - particularly those with a severe alcohol use disorder. This is when you detox under medical supervision. Medical professionals can provide support and administer detox medication
when needed. Detox medication can streamline the withdrawal process and even help to reduce alcohol cravings. Acamprosate, Naltrexone, Disulfiram
and benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed during a medical detox and can help reduce cravings. Others may prefer an at-home alcohol detox. An alcohol home detox
, however, isn’t suitable for everybody. At Help4Addiction, we can provide you with a quality home detox if you meet the eligibility criteria. Please note that home detox is not suitable for those with severe dependence. Contact us today for advice on addiction treatment, and to find the best alcohol detox
programme for you. You don’t have to deal with addiction alone - our friendly team is here for you.