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Is it a good idea to go through alcohol detox at home alone?
Alcohol Detox – The First Step to a Better Life
It’s entirely possible to go through alcohol detox at home alone, but it’s not recommended. Detoxing from an alcohol addiction can be thought of as similar to a birth. It’s a painful and messy process that is easier to go through when there is someone there with you who is both trained and caring.
As is true with a birth, alcohol detox is only the first step to a new life. There are no guarantees as to the outcome, but without this necessary first step, a better life isn’t possible.
Alcohol Use Disorder – A Heavy Price
This comes as no surprise, but the UK has more than its share of heavy drinkers and it enacts a hefty price. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol addiction robs each person addicted to alcohol in the UK of four years of life.
Too many UK drinkers consume more than 60 grams of pure alcohol within 30 days
- 36% of men
- 21% of women
Lifetime abstainers are a much smaller group in the UK
- 12% of men
- 18% of women
Former drinkers, considered to be those who haven’t had a drink in the past year, are only 1% of the general population. This is primarily because only a small number of alcoholics seek professional help. This is truly unfortunate because even those with the most severe alcohol addictions can benefit from professional alcohol treatment.
Unlike alcohol dependence, detox doesn’t happen overnight
It only takes a small fraction of the time to detox as it took to develop an alcohol dependence, but it’s still not an overnight process. This is one of the primary reasons that attempting alcohol detox at home is often not successful. As every drinker knows, alcohol has a negative effect on willpower and determination, making it extremely difficult to complete the process without help.
It takes the body 7 to 10 days to cleanse itself of all traces of alcohol. The entire rehab process takes much longer. It’s essential to address the reasons for the drinking and to learn or relearn those skills that enable living successfully without alcohol. Abstention from alcohol will be a lifelong process, taken one day at a time.
Many possible factors can affect detox and alcohol treatment, including:
- The length and severity of the alcohol addiction
- Any other physical or psychological problems
- The person’s specific physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social requirements
What Happens During Alcohol Detoxification
No two people will have identical experiences during alcohol detox. Some people will experience symptoms no more serious than nausea or a headache. Others will experience more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms including severe delirium tremens (DTs), hallucinations and/or seizures.
Because heavy alcohol consumption puts such a strain on the body, the health problems that many drinkers suffer as a direct or indirect result of their addiction can complicate detox. Ensuring that professionals are aware of all potential problems is essential so that the proper care is available if needed.
In general, detox involves several phases.
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
During this phase the body reacts to the discontinuance of alcohol. In the worst cases, someone can experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms like DTs, tremors and seizures during the first 72 hours. Acute alcohol withdrawal can include an increased heart rate and blood pressure, heavy sweating, fluctuations in body temperature, nausea and vomiting.
When the physical symptoms have subsided, it’s common to feel anxious, mildly depressed and not sleep well. Normally the elevated feelings of anxiety gradually disappear within three to six weeks of the last drink. Women often take a little longer than men to pass through this phase.
It’s critical not to allow elevated anxiety to become so overwhelming that beer, scotch or wine seems like the best option. Addiction experts believe that these feelings greatly increase the risk of relapse and continued alcohol abuse. Going through this period within a safe no-alcohol environment greatly increases the chances of success.
Protracted abstinence gets easier with time. Everyone who has stopped drinking made lifestyle changes to make abstinence easier. It’s normal to feel uneasy or anxious at times. Everyone does.
Refusing to drink will not solve all of one’s problems, but it will make it easier to deal with. Some people say that they drink to numb the pain, but the pain doesn’t disappear and the problems simply worsen. People who drink heavily make bad choices. Alcohol treatment teaches effective methods for living life without alcohol. Improved health and happiness is a reality worth all of the hard work.
Alcohol Abuse and the Body
The human body was not designed to handle a long-term alcohol addiction. The impact of the alcohol is devastating and widespread. It becomes a case of falling dominos, as one damaged system or organ causes damage in another part of the body.
The poor diet that is often an accompaniment to alcohol consumption only magnifies the problems as the body becomes starved for essential nutrients. Rehab facilities often supplement the diet with vitamin B1 and other supplements and encourage adequate hydration with teas, broths and water.
Some of the problems that heavy drinkers can experience include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Many liver problems such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, a fatty liver and alcoholic hepatitis
- A weakened immune system and an increased risk of tuberculosis and pneumonia
- An increased risk of cancer, particularly liver, breast, throat and oral cancer
Fight for Your Life at the ARC – Drug & Alcohol Rehab & Detox
The ARC knows what it takes to find a new life or reclaim your old life. Many of the ARC’s graduates have found meaning and purpose in their lives when they are no longer consumed by an alcohol or drug addiction. A number of their key personnel are themselves recovered addicts and understand the challenge of conquering an addiction. They are also experiencing the daily joys of an alcohol-free life and want everyone to find this for themselves.
At the ARC, you will be treated with respect and encouragement, not with criticism. It’s a positive atmosphere. Several recovery techniques are employed, depending upon your unique needs. These techniques include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 12 Step, Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Transactional Analysis. It’s a custom approach, not one-size-fits-all.
While at the ARC, your road to independence begins with your own room in a real house, complete with a phone and laptop. While there, you will experience some of the challenges that will be faced in the outside world and will learn how to deal with them. When you leave, your new life will begin.
“I so want help to release him from this horrid, horrid existence he lives…”
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a normal, happy life with REAL OPTIONS.
Timing matters. It’s important to get help
while a person is open to change
Timing matters. It’s important to get help while a person is open to change.
So ask any questions or reserve a place at ARC now. TODAY!
So ask any questions or reserve
a place at ARC now. TODAY!
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a full, normal life. A life with meaning, purpose, hope & happiness as real options.
To ask any question or get started today, call:
ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here & do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.”
– John, free from alcohol & drugs for 3 years at time of review
Addiction Recovery Centre – ARC – Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center in Portsmouth
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