How to Safely Detox from Alcohol
Detoxing from alcohol safely is important because it can help reduce the risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms and other serious health complications. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe and can even be life-threatening in some cases.
Detoxing safely is the best way to ensure that a person is able to safely and effectively remove alcohol from their body and reduce the risks associated with withdrawal.
It also helps ensure that a person is able to get the best possible care and support during the detox process.
Overview of the Dangers of Alcohol and Why it is Important to Safely Detox from It
- Alcohol is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in the world.
- Abusing alcohol can lead to a wide range of short-term and long-term health risks including liver damage, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancers as well as psychological issues such as depression, anxiety and suicide.
- Detoxing from alcohol safely is an important part of stopping drinking and starting a healthier lifestyle.
- Alcohol detoxification can help restore the body’s physical and mental balance.
- During medical detox, professionals can assess the individual’s health and provide medications if needed, as well as psychological counseling and other support.
- Safe alcohol detox is an important step in the path to recovery from addiction.
Steps for Safely Detoxing from Alcohol
- Set a timeline
- Talk to your doctor about medications that can help with withdrawal symptoms
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Exercise regularly to reduce stress and boost endorphins
- Eat nutritious meals with healthy snacks in between
- Find support systems, such as friends and family or professional help like therapy and/or 12-step programs
- Consider natural supplements that can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc.
Medical Alcohol Detox Programs – the Safest Option
To minimize the risk of serious complications, the safest way to detox is in a supervised medical setting where a team of professionals can give medications to ease the dangerous and uncomfortable side effects and reduce cravings.
During detox, you may be monitored and evaluated for co-occurring mental health issues. These issues can interfere with recovery if not diagnosed and treated.
Detoxing at a facility can help you on your path to successfully maintain sobriety. There are many treatment options available to help you reach sobriety. Please reach out to Luxe Recovery today to discuss your situation and learn about how we can help.
Risks of Detoxing from Alcohol at Home
Attempting to detox at home can be dangerous as you do not have the support required to monitor your body’s response to the alcohol withdrawing from the system.
Severe withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and need medical attention. Symptoms include:
- high blood pressure and increased heart rate
- delirium tremens
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) advises against detoxing at home.
You should never attempt to stop drinking cold turkey if you:
- have previously experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- have a history of withdrawal seizures or DT
- have serious medical conditions or underlying health conditions
- use other drugs – prescription or illegal substances
- have a co-occurring mental health disorder
Relapse rates for people who attempt detox at home and do not engage in therapy are much higher than for those who seek professional treatment.
Seeking detox treatment from a medical professional will allow you withdrawal in a safe environment and reduce the risk of complications.
Benefits of Alcohol Detox
Detoxing from alcohol provides a number of health benefits such as:
Decreased health risks
Drinking excessively can impact your health and interfere with your body’s regular processes. Particularly excessive alcohol consumption can damage your liver. Serious health issues like cirrhosis or fatty liver disease may develop when your liver is unable to perform at its peak.
Alcohol addiction increases the risk of several health conditions such as:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- High blood pressure
- Gastro issues
- Depression, anxiety
The liver, brain, cardiovascular system and gut have likely suffered harm from frequent drinking; however, as soon as you stop using alcohol, the organs will start to gradually repair themself. Your liver has the ability to regenerate. You will start to feel better overall and see changes in your physical health.
Improved heart health
One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop drinking alcohol. According to research, those who consume large amounts of alcohol are about twice as likely to have cardiovascular issues than people who don’t.
Alcohol misuse has also been linked with an increased risk for these heart problems:
- Heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Ischemic stroke
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Myocardial infarction
Giving up alcohol will protect your heart resulting in reduced blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Mental health benefits
- Mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression are frequently associated with alcohol addiction.
- About 9.2 million adult Americans have a co-occurring disorder (mental diagnosis and substance use disorder). Almost half of these adults do not receive any kind of care.
- It is well recognized that many people use alcohol and other substances as a form of self-medication for the symptoms of mental health issues.
- Giving up alcohol can help reduce the symptoms of mental illness. Your mental health will gradually improve as you continue to work for your short- and long-term sobriety goals.
- Alcoholism causes restless nights or even sleeplessness. Alcohol may initially make you feel sleepy, but because it disrupts the body’s sleep-wake cycles, it makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. Alcohol use can keep you awake throughout the night by interfering with the crucial REM stage of sleep.
- Drinking alcohol can also make it difficult to breathe. Alcohol actually relaxes the throat, which can cause snoring or sleep apnea.
- The longer you go without drinking, the better your sleep will get. This will not only improve your mood but also help you focus and be more productive during the day.
- When you drink you run the risk of developing alcohol use disorder, which like any other addiction, can have a negative impact on relationships.
- If you stop drinking, you will be able to focus on repairing these relationships which in turn act as a support for ongoing sobriety.
- You will be able to attend more social engagements rather than having to forgo them because of a drinking-related commitment.
- With the improved mood and improvements to mental health that come with giving up alcohol, you’ll also find it easier to interact with others and attend events.
- Alcohol consumption can deplete your body’s supply of essential nutrients while also supplying it with an abundance of sugar and empty calories. Particularly with binge drinking, it’s possible to easily exceed 500 additional calories in a single evening.
- Your metabolism won’t work properly if you don’t consume enough important foods including protein, carbs, fat, vitamins and minerals.
- By interfering with the digestion, storage, usage and excretion of nutrients, alcohol can also sabotage the nutritional process.
- Numerous people who have an alcohol use disorder become malnourished as a result of these detrimental nutritional impacts.
- When you’re drunk, it’s challenging to keep a healthy weight as you may eat excessively and eat fatty, high calorie foods.
- Alcohol inhibits white blood cell growth which is how your body fights infections and germs therefore drinking alcohol regularly can impair the immune system and your body’s capacity to fight disease.
- Because drinking may have such a negative impact on the immune system, it is crucial to cut back to lower the risk of catching colds, flus and other ailments.
Less safety risks
- Alcohol is to blame for a large number of preventable injuries and traumatic events like severe falls, drownings, car accidents and suicides. in at least half of all killings, drownings, significant trauma injuries, and drownings.
- Studies report that 4 out of 10 suicides, car accidents and deadly falls involve alcohol.
- Your risk of accidents is dramatically reduced by limiting alcohol consumption.
Improved mental clarity
- Regularly consuming alcohol can impair one’s ability to think properly or recall information.
- Misuse of alcohol can slow down your reaction times and affect your ability to move quickly.
- You can have a difficult time interpreting other people’s feelings.
- Heavy drinking shrinks the hippocampus in the brain, which is essential for memory and learning, leading to these adverse side effects.
- Giving up alcohol can help you undo whatever negative effects it has had on your memory, problem-solving abilities and attention span.
- Alcohol dehydrates the body and causes the body to eliminate fluids from your blood much more quickly through the kidneys and bladder.
- Drinking alcohol without enough water can cause dehydration very quickly.
- As your organs begin to draw water from the brain to make up for their own water loss, dehydration will frequently cause headaches.
- Your potassium and sodium levels also drop, which could have a detrimental effect on how well your muscles and nerves work. Headaches, nausea, and exhaustion can also be brought on by low potassium and sodium levels.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Treatment options include:
- Detox is the first step on your path to recovery
- Group therapy helps provide education on addiction related topics and provides support of peers which has many proven benefits to maintaining sobriety
- Individual counseling offers opportunities for personal exploration
- Holistic therapies like meditation, mindfulness, art and music therapy have proven to reduce stress and increase coping strategies
- Medication-assisted treatment is often needed to help through detox as well as address any co-occurring mental health issues
- Behavioral therapies help to identify the root causes of addiction and teach healthy coping skills and aim to change behaviors linked to problem drinking and replace them with positive thought patterns
Inpatient Alcohol Detox Treatment to Manage Alcohol Withdrawal
Please reach out to Luxe Recovery if you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction. Our friendly and knowledgeable admissions team can discuss the various treatment options with you.
Luxe Recovery’s world-class program for substance abuse and mental health therapy can help you on your journey to sobriety.