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Is Alcohol Detox at Home Possible? Everything You Need to Know

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About 14.4 million adults in the US struggled with alcohol abuse in 2018. These cases ranged from mild to severe.

No matter how dependent you’ve become on alcohol, recovery is possible, beginning with a detox.

Detoxing from alcohol involves cutting down on and eventually stopping your alcohol intake. During this process, the toxins built up in your body from long-term binge drinking are flushed out.

The question is, can you go through an alcohol detox at home? Read on to learn more.

Can You Stop Drinking Cold Turkey?

Many people assume that when you detox, you suddenly quit drinking altogether. For some people who are heavy drinkers but not alcohol-dependent, this may be an okay solution. 

For those with a more severe problem, however, quitting cold turkey at home is not recommended. Depriving your body altogether of something it has grown dependent on can lead to serious mental and physical anguish and even illness. Patients with a more severe case of alcohol abuse should only quit cold turkey under the guidance of medical professionals in a rehabilitation setting. 

If you want to detox from alcohol at home the answer is to taper off your drinking until you no longer drink at all.

How to Taper off Alcohol Consumption

Overcoming alcohol dependence is made difficult by two factors: withdrawal symptoms and cravings. By cutting back steadily over time, you may find more success getting past both obstacles than if you were to quit cold turkey.

To create a tapering schedule, assess how much you drink on a regular basis now. Remember that a 12-ounce beer with 5% ABV, 5 ounces of wine with 12% ABV, and 1.5 ounces of liquor with 40% ABV are each considered a single drink. 

Your tapering schedule should allow you to cut back by at least one alcoholic beverage per day until you no longer drink at all. The goal is to accomplish this feat in no more than two weeks. Let’s look at an example.

Say you consume 9 drinks per day. On day one of your at-home detox, you can have 8 drinks, which is a little more than one drink per 2 waking hours. On day two you can have 7 drinks, and by day nine you should try not to drink any alcohol at all.

When to Seek Medical Attention During an Alcohol Detox at Home

Withdrawal symptoms are often an impetus to quitting at home. In worst-case scenarios, they are life-threatening. 

How long does alcohol withdrawal last? How do you know if your withdrawal symptoms are dangerous to your health? No matter the severity of your alcohol dependence or your withdrawal symptoms, we always recommend discussing your at-home detox with your doctor. 

Don’t Detox Alone

It may seem appealing to alcohol detox at home but in many cases, it is not recommended. For some individuals, withdrawal can be just as dangerous as alcoholism itself. In severe cases, medical supervision or guidance is a necessary component of detoxing.

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