Alcohol Withdrawal: Symptoms, Treatment and Alcohol Detox Duration

how to detox from alcohol

You may want to talk with a loved one or therapist about why it happened and what you can do differently next time. Drink plenty of fluids, but you don’t have to drink just water. Keep it interesting and varied with sparkling water, virgin cocktails (also known as mocktails), fruit juices, low-fat milk, or kombucha. Keep in mind that fruit juice and kombucha may be high in sugar.

These symptoms are most severe between 24 and 72 hours after the last drink and may limit your ability to eat. Alcohol detox at home can be very dangerous and can even cause death if the withdrawal symptoms worsen quickly. Also, failed detox attempts can increase the severity of withdrawal symptoms during the next detox period. As the alcohol leaves the system, a person should start to notice symptoms decreasing. Most people tend to notice a reduction in symptoms within 5–7 days. Benzodiazepines (Casually referred to as “benzos”) are a form of sedative medication.

What to know if you’re a casual drinker

Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling. Meanwhile, the brain is producing more and more neurotransmitters, making a person further imbalanced. However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification. If you have questions about alcohol withdrawal treatment or home detox, call The Recovery Village to speak with a representative about how professional treatment can help you. Alcohol withdrawal causes a variety of different symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

how to detox from alcohol

It slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. Alcohol withdrawal can cause many symptoms, some of which can be fatal. It might also be worth checking out a 12-step program in your area, like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, to see if it feels like something that might be useful for you. If you’re having difficulty sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support.

The Risks of At-Home Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Depressants are drugs that are capable of slowing down your brain and body. Stimulants are synthetic drugs designed to stimulate your body’s central nervous system and speed up brain activity. The most commonly used stimulants are cocaine and amphetamines.

It binds to toxins in the GI tract (especially alcohol),” she says. Belz claims that activated charcoal is beneficial before and after consuming alcohol. However, studies show that it can also significantly reduce blood alcohol concentrations when taken at the same time as alcohol. Belz says that the typical protocol calls for 1,000 to 2,000 mg of activated charcoal.

People who have a severe reaction to quitting alcohol should seek emergency treatment. Gradually tapering your alcohol use helps ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce alcohol cravings. Tapering increases the length of the detox process, but it might be better for you in the long run. To prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal from worsening, people need to stay in a controlled and calm environment. They can help people manage withdrawal symptoms and keep them on track to stop drinking. It can help you reach goals and can minimize some of the unpleasant and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

A self-detox can be dangerous because you don’t have access to medical care for the most severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Some people avoid medically supervised rehab because they prefer natural remedies for alcohol withdrawal. Slowly tapering off alcohol is the safest way to naturally overcome alcohol withdrawal, and many at-home remedies can help you cope with mild withdrawal symptoms. However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal. Knowing you could experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms may feel daunting, or even deter you from trying. Remember that the worst of the symptoms typically wear off after 72 hours.


In these cases, a person should work with a doctor or healthcare provider to develop a schedule that they can follow safely to decrease dependency. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can take between 3 and 14 days, depending on the severity of your addiction. In the first four days of detox, you will likely experience short-lived anxiety and insomnia. Between 10 and 14 days, after you stop using benzodiazepines, you will experience the worst of your withdrawal symptoms.

  • Using alcohol and marijuana in combination increases your risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects due to increased absorption of THC.
  • These can indicate a life threatening condition called delirium tremens.
  • If you’re thinking about quitting a substance, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider.
  • Even the rise in popularity and legalization of recreational marijuana in the US hasn’t negatively impacted alcohol consumption and sales.

Outpatient alcohol detox may be a good fit for people at low risk for severe withdrawal. If your blood pressure, pulse, or body temperature rises, or if you have more serious symptoms like seizures and hallucinations, seek medical care immediately (dial 911). Tapering off alcohol helps some people start their recovery journeys. It can also be a good idea for people who don’t want to, or can’t, attend any type of full detoxification program. Early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually start about six hours after the last drink. Early symptoms include headache, sweating, tremors, vomiting and difficulty concentrating.

In some people, symptoms may continue for a few weeks after their last drink, but they will lessen over time. These symptoms may start a few hours or a few days after your last drink of alcohol. Sometimes, symptoms may be severe enough to require medical treatment at a hospital or rehabilitation facility. But some people choose to manage alcohol withdrawal themselves. Here are suggestions for how to get through alcohol withdrawal at home. When detox occurs in a medical center, healthcare professionals often use medication to treat the symptoms of withdrawal.

Is it Safe to Detox from Alcohol at Home?

Remember you are facing a difficult challenge during alcohol withdrawal, but you are not alone. There are many resources available to help, including peer support groups, counseling, therapy, and inpatient rehabilitation. Not always, but typically, the level of dependency on alcohol will correlate to the severity of symptoms.

And even occasional binge drinking episodes can have profound effects on your liver’s health over time. If you’re keeping up with this average (or less), the damage from alcohol is most likely minimal. There has been some research conducted on how abstaining from alcohol detoxifies your liver over time.

If you taper off alcohol slowly or with medical supervision, the brain has time to adapt without causing severe side effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol detox is a medically-supervised procedure where doctors safely manage and treat the physical symptoms of withdrawal. If you’ve been drinking heavily for a long time and think you might experience withdrawal symptoms, it’s best to talk with a medical professional before you begin a taper. They can help you decide if tapering is the safest option for you.

Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on hand that includes contact info for your doctor, the police, a nearby hospital, and someone you trust. And consider joining a support group eco sober house ma such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Try to avoid negative influences (whether that is a person, group, activity, place, or something else) leading up to and throughout your detox.

Some people may also need supplements such as folate, multivitamin, thiamine, and dextrose. However, deep reflection may help uncover where internal triggers arise. These triggers may come from a fleeting thought, an emotion, or a physical sensation, such as a headache or nervousness. Managing internal triggers may require keeping a journal or alcohol diary.