Quitting alcohol at home if you have an alcohol use disorder can be a rough process. The body and brain become used to alcohol after long periods of drinking. Once alcohol is removed, your body and mind may struggle to function. If you live near a San Antonio detox center and you want professional help to manage alcohol withdrawal, getting that help is a smart choice. If you decide to handle alcohol withdrawal at home, here’s what the process might look like. Call Right Step Hill Country at 1.844.675.1628 to learn more.
What Happens when You Detox from Alcohol?
Alcohol slows down the central nervous system. When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol frequently, the brain compensates by producing more stimulating neurotransmitters and “feel-good” chemicals. Once someone develops a physical dependence on alcohol, their body grows used to this imbalance.
During the detox process, alcohol is slowly removed from the system. The brain and body struggle to function normally because they’ve gotten used to the constant presence of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms happen as the brain tries to get back to normal.
When you’re quitting alcohol at home, you may experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. These symptoms can last up to a week or sometimes longer. If you’re working with a medical provider during this time, you’ll check in with them regularly about your symptoms either in their office or via telemedicine visits.
Who Should Treat Alcohol Withdrawal at Home?
Because alcohol withdrawal can cause dangerous symptoms, quitting alcohol at home isn’t the best choice for everyone. For someone with a long history of alcohol use disorder or a severe addiction, an inpatient detox program may be necessary.
However, for others, going through alcohol withdrawal at home allows the process to be more comfortable and convenient. You may be able to quit alcohol at home if:
- You have a mild to moderate alcohol use disorder
- You have a stable living situation and can remove alcohol from the home
- You have a strong support system
- You don’t have other medical conditions that might make withdrawal worse
- You don’t use alcohol in combination with other addictive substances like drugs
- You have work or other responsibilities you need to continue while detoxing
It’s important to consult a medical professional before quitting alcohol at home since they can recommend the best course of treatment based on your situation.
The Process of Quitting Alcohol at Home
If your healthcare provider decides that alcohol withdrawal at home is a good option for you, they may prescribe medication to ease withdrawal. They may also let you know which symptoms require in-person medical attention. Medication is not always necessary, but it can be helpful with intrusive symptoms if it is taken as prescribed.
Your doctor might recommend that you taper off alcohol rather than quitting cold turkey. Tapering is the process of slowly reducing alcohol consumption. The tapering process usually takes longer, but it can be safer because you’ll avoid the worst withdrawal symptoms.
If you can, clear your schedule and set aside time to rest during the detox process. Remove any alcohol from your living space, so you aren’t tempted to drink.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The length and severity of withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, depending on your age, gender, weight, overall health, and the extent of your alcohol use disorder. However, for most people, symptoms will begin about six hours after your last drink, peak around 24 to 72 hours afterward, and resolve within a week. Some symptoms, like insomnia or anxiety, may stick around longer than a week.
Symptoms you might experience during the early stages of quitting alcohol at home include headaches, mild tremors, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, fever, and anxiety. You may also have trouble concentrating or sleeping. By about 24 hours after your last drink, your body should have cleared all the alcohol from your system. If you have more severe symptoms, like hallucinations, delusions, or a rising heart rate, it’s time to seek medical attention.
Tips for Getting Through Alcohol Withdrawal at Home
Try to take the best care of yourself as possible, including trying the following:
- Plan relaxing activities to keep yourself busy.
- If you’re able to exercise, build some physical activity into your routine. Exercise is good for the immune system and can release some of the stress of alcohol withdrawal.
- Drink plenty of water. Water replaces vital electrolytes, which your body can lose during the withdrawal process.
- Eat a healthy diet, including lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Good food helps your body repair from alcohol abuse.
- Breathe deeply to make sure your body’s getting enough oxygen.
- Reach out to your support network to keep you motivated.
- Look for a support group meeting near you, whether you attend virtually or in person.
As your symptoms reduce and you begin to feel better, you can seek further treatment for the recovery process.
Alcohol Rehab in Texas at The Right Step Hill Country
When you’re ready to pursue an alcohol treatment program, The Right Step Hill Country will be waiting for you. Our alcohol addiction treatment begins with an intake interview where we assess your needs. Our detox treatment is designed to get you through the withdrawal process safely. If complications arise, our medical team is there to provide immediate treatment. A safer detox means you’re more likely to stay sober for the long haul.
Detox is only the first step on your treatment journey. We offer a variety of programs tailored to individual needs, and each treatment track includes therapy, counseling, and social support. Find out more by calling 1.844.675.1628 or filling out our online form to see which alcohol rehab program is right for you.