Should I Detox from Alcohol on My Own?

Published: 04/11/2016 | Author:

Most people know the word detox; it has to do with cleanses and removing toxins, right? In a general sense, the answer to that question is “yes.” In the case of alcohol detox, the answer is more specific. Drug detoxification takes a patient from acute intoxication, through withdrawal, and into a drug and alcohol-free state. It is not considered treatment on its own, but it is often considered the step before actual treatment. In fact, one component of a thorough detox from alcohol or drugs is the strong recommendation that patients follow-up with structured addiction treatment.

Cold Turkey

You may be perfectly comfortable with the idea that treatment should be supervised and formal in nature. But, you may wonder whether or not you really need supervision when you stop using drugs. You probably think that a lot of people just do it “cold turkey.” Why wouldn’t you? That is what TV and movies make us believe. It’s just a short period of extreme discomfort and then you are cured of addiction. But, that is completely wrong when it comes to certain substances.

Detox can be more than a discomfort. It can be agony, and without proper oversight, you may simply go back to drinking to stop the withdrawal symptoms. You may also face significant health risks during detox that require a knowledgeable professional’s insight to correct. There are many reasons to participate in an established detox program and to avoid attempting detox on your own.

If you are looking for a detox program and you feel lost, can help.

Our experts are standing by to connect you with resources and detox center options. Just contact us to get started today.

Who Answers?

Home Detox from Alcohol

Detox from Alcohol

Detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous.

There are a number of products and guides that let you know that you can lead yourself through a cleanse. But, alcohol detox is a world away from a juice fast or drinking lemon water. There are more risks involved and the stakes are definitely higher: your sobriety hinges on the outcome.

Anyone who is looking to detox from alcohol specifically is endangering themselves if the attempt a “cold turkey” or home detox. This addiction poses hazardous results that are best managed by professionals in an inpatient or outpatient program, where medical and psychological health are regularly monitored and supported.

Who Needs Detox Treatment?

Alcohol detox is the most dangerous to undergo. It should be said that light to moderate drinkers who have the occasional binge and need to cut back are not facing serious peril. What they have to undergo is a behavioral adjustment. But, people who are heavy drinkers look to detox as a first step in a long process of recovery.

Michigan State University warns that heavy drinking is also known as high-risk drinking. For men, this is defined as more than 4 standard drinks in a single day or more than 14 standard drinks in a week. For women, this is more than 3 standard drinks in a single day and more than 7 standard drinks in a week.

Among people with this drinking pattern, one in five people who have one heavy drinking day per month are alcoholics or alcohol dependent. One in three people who have a heavy drinking day per week are alcoholics or alcohol dependent. And, one in two people who have two or more heavy drinking days per week are alcoholics or alcohol dependent.


The danger of alcohol detox lies in the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. They usually begin within eight hours of the last drink but can be delayed for days. The symptoms will get their worst between one and three days after they begin, and they can extend onward for weeks. This isn’t a fast detox.

The most common withdrawal effects are:

  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Temper flares
  • Quick and unpredictable changes in mood
  • Anxiety
  • Bad dreams
  • Disordered thinking

You may also face:

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Aching head, neck, and shoulders
  • Trembling of the hands or other body parts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Absence of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pasty skin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Cold, damp skin

In the most severe cases, you can develop delirium tremens (which affects between 5 and 20 percent of alcoholics in detox). Death will occur in 5 percent of patients with DTs. This condition is marked by:

  • Intense confusion
  • Distress
  • Seizures
  • A high body temperature
  • Hallucinations

To manage these symptoms, you will need professional help. To get that help, contact at 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) and get started on your recovery today.

Get Help Today Phone icon 800-654-0987 Info icon Who Answers?