alcohol abuse facts

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Are you looking to detox from alcohol from your home, but aren’t sure how to do it?

Withdrawing from alcohol is a crucial step in the recovery process. However, there are major risks that come with the withdrawal process, which is why it’s so important that you go about it in the right way.

What do you need to do to detox safely from home?

Check out this guide to discover how to safely detox from alcohol at home.

symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal timeline  |  Detox |  Back to top

In order to detox from alcohol safely from your home, you first need to understand the withdrawal process. Withdrawing from alcohol is no easy feat, so it’s important to understand what you’re up against. Here’s what you need to know:

Withdrawal Symptoms

When withdrawing from alcohol, you’ll experience both physical and psychological symptoms. Depending on the severity of your addiction, these symptoms may range from anywhere from mild to severe.

Phase 1

Here are some symptoms you’ll likely experience in the first phases of your withdrawal:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Tremors

Phase 2

As you continue with your withdrawal, you’ll likely experience more intense symptoms such as:

  • Confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Excessive sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • High body temperature
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Additionally, there are some less common but more dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that you may experience. Typically, these symptoms only occur in heavy, long-term abusers. These symptoms combined are collectively known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Intense confusion
  • Delirium tremens
  • Grand mal seizures

The main symptom of alcohol withdrawal syndrome is delirium tremens. This symptom occurs due to hyperactivity in the nervous system, which is what happens when someone suddenly stops using a depressant substance like alcohol.

After an extended period of abusing alcohol, a person’s nervous system becomes flooded with the sedative effects of GABA. This will cause it to stop producing the neurotransmitter on its own.

Therefore, when you stop drinking, the GABA dries up and your nervous system goes into overdrive. This triggers the severe symptoms we mentioned above such as chest pain and hallucinations. With this, there’s a danger of becoming comatose and even dying.

This is why if you have a severe substance abuse problem, it’s recommended that you detox in a medically supervised environment.

alcohol withdrawal timeline

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal symptoms  |  Detox |  Back to top

So, how long can you expect to experience all of these symptoms before you start recovering? The withdrawal timeline varies for everyone and is determined by factors such as:

  • How long you’ve been abusing alcohol
  • The quantity of alcohol you’ve abused
  • How frequently you drink
  • If you were mixing alcohol with other drugs
  • The state of your overall physical health
  • History of addiction
  • Whether or not you have a mental illness or co-occurring disorder
  • Whether or not you experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome

With that in mind, here’s the general timeline for withdrawal:

  • First Eight Hours: Within eight hours of your last drink, early withdrawal symptoms typically start appearing
  • One to Three Days: Within 24 hours, the majority of your symptoms will have appeared, and they’ll reach their peak over the course of the next several days
  • Seven Days: After around a week, your symptoms should taper off or disappear. However, some psychological symptoms, like depression and anxiety, can linger for several weeks or more

However, as we already said, this is just a general timeline and personal experiences can vary greatly. If you’re going to experience a seizure due to alcohol detox, that’ll typically happen within the first 48 hours of your last drink.

Can Alcohol Detox Kill You?

The short answer is yes, you can die from alcohol detox. This is especially the case if you attempt to detox from home without any sort of medical supervision.

Withdrawing from depressants is much more dangerous than withdrawing from any other type of illicit substance. Even mild withdrawal symptoms can be potentially life-threatening under certain circumstances.

symptoms of alcohol detox

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal symptoms  |  Withdrawal timeline  |  Back to top

Tips for Detoxing Safely From Home

So, if you choose to withdraw from alcohol at home, how do you make sure you do so safely? Here are some of the top tips to follow:

Remove Alcohol From Your Home

While this may sound obvious, a lot of people forget this very important step when detoxing from their homes. While right now, you may feel like you’re ready to give up alcohol once and for all, that can all change when you start to experience your first withdrawal symptoms.

Getting past your cravings is no easy feat, but it’s a lot easier when there isn’t any alcohol around to tempt you.

Clear Your Schedule

Detoxing from alcohol is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It requires all of your efforts, and therefore, we recommend clearing your schedule so you can focus solely on your detox.

Get Support

Just because you’re detoxing from home doesn’t mean you need to go at it alone. Alert friends and family members of your decision to detox. Ideally, you should also have a friend or family member to stay with you for support.

Not only is this important for emotional support, but it’s also important to have someone around should a medical emergency occur.

Focus on Hydration

When it comes to detoxing successfully, hydration is key. Drinking plenty of fluids will help eliminate toxins and get your body in better shape to handle the withdrawal symptoms.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

While it may be hard to stomach more than crackers and club soda during the first few days of detox, once you get your appetite back, it’s very important that you work on eating a healthy diet.

Your diet should include plenty of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, make sure you’re taking vitamins and minerals that will help with the detox process. We recommend taking vitamins B, C, E, and calcium.

Are You Ready to Detox from Alcohol?

Now that you’ve read this article, you should be better prepared to detox from alcohol. While detoxing from home can save you money, the truth is, the best way to detox is in a medically-supervised environment.

There are detox programs available where you’ll be surrounded by trained medical staff 24/7 who know how to treat withdrawal symptoms and keep you safe. If you’re looking to detox in a medically supervised environment, you can use this tool to find a detox center near you.


Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Alcohol Detox | How to Safely Detox From Alcohol at Home

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