When you decide that you want to quit your alcohol addiction, your first thought may be that you’ll detox from alcohol at home. After all, it’s normal to want to stop drinking without wanting to enroll in an alcohol rehab. But does that mean that alcohol detox at home is safe, or even an effective alcohol detoxification method?
Let’s take a look at how alcohol detox at home works, as well as some alternative detox strategies that could help.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
The process of alcohol detoxification often comes with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Put simply, if you drink enough over a long enough period of time, your body forgets how to function without that level of alcohol in its system. As it learns to readjust to functioning without alcohol abuse, it can create a host of issues for you. Withdrawing from alcohol can cause mild or severe symptoms, with those on the lighter side being:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
While these symptoms are not generally life-threatening, you shouldn’t underestimate how they can impact your ability to stop drinking alcohol. When you go cold turkey at home, you can easily feel tempted to drink again to make these symptoms stop. That’s especially true because you could be feeling sick for a number of days, with your symptoms peaking after 72 hours. For this reason, alcohol detox at home may not be a good idea, even if you avoid the more serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
What do those severe symptoms look like? In some cases, alcohol withdrawals may lead to:
- Delirium tremens: This uncommon withdrawal symptom may appear 48 to 72 hours after you stop drinking. It often presents as auditory and/or visual hallucinations, as well as delusions that seem impossible to tell from reality.
- Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): PAWS is a long-term side effect of alcohol withdrawal, and it can manifest as symptoms like depression, lethargy, insomnia, and chronic pain. Because these symptoms can appear for months or, in some cases, years, it’s important to follow up an alcohol detox treatment with the appropriate level of care.
While most people do not experience these withdrawal symptoms, they can be life-threatening when they appear. And if you’re trying alcohol detox at home, you may find yourself in need of medical care, but you could be unable to seek the help you need due to your withdrawal symptoms. For this reason and the ones listed above, alcohol detox at home is often not a good idea for people trying to quit alcohol.
So what can you do if you decide to stop drinking alcohol? Well, let’s consider what a medical detox program in Louisiana can do for you.
Medical Alcohol Detox in Louisiana
If you’re considering treatment for alcohol addiction, the first step will likely be an alcohol detox. While everyone detoxes differently and it depends on the amount of alcohol your body is used to, this level of care typically lasts three to five days. At this stage of treatment, you will receive 24/7 monitoring of your vitals and comfort level to ensure that you’re safe during withdrawals.
Why the 24/7 monitoring? Well, there are two reasons. First, to ensure that if you need medical attention, you can get it immediately to ensure as easy a detox as possible. The second reason is for your own peace of mind. We cannot always eliminate every symptom of withdrawal, but we can help you through the process and assure you that you are safe and cared for during this vulnerable period of recovery.
There is another major benefit of medical detox in Louisiana. At home, you can somewhat easily access alcohol during withdrawals. At a Louisiana detox center, it’s a sober environment, which reduces your risk of relapse during this time to almost zero. This way, you can get your sobriety started on the right foot and help yourself beat substance abuse.
However, whether you undergo alcohol detox at home or you go to an addiction treatment center, recovery does not stop here. Detox handles the physical nature of addiction, but the mental part of it can take much more work.
Getting Help at Louisiana Addiction Treatment Facilities
After you complete your alcohol detox, you may still need help to stay sober in the long term. This is especially true if you have a mental health condition, as this can worsen your alcoholism, and vise versa. These are called co-occurring disorders—when a mental health issue fuels and is fueled by a related substance abuse issue. For these complex issues, we recommend dual diagnosis treatment.
In a dual diagnosis program, you can expect comprehensive treatment that addresses your mental health issues and addiction issues at their roots. At this level of care, the most popular treatment modalities include:
- Group Therapy: In our support groups, individuals with co-occurring disorders come together to discuss their shared experiences. Guided by a mental health and addiction expert, these conversations explore the patterns of mental illness and addiction, coping skills, and constructive behaviors.
- Medication Evaluation: Sometimes, certain medications can help or hinder your recovery. Our team will work with you to decide which medications, if any, could help, or to adjust current prescriptions to give you the best shot at recovery.
- Relapse Prevention Planning: Relapse is a part of recovery. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to the idea of relapsing. As part of our dual diagnosis treatment, we will work with you to prepare you for daily life without relying on drugs or alcohol.
- Recreational Therapy: At our Louisiana addiction treatment center, recovery never stops. While you’re relaxing and enjoying yourself, you’ll still be engaged in fun exercises that develop important life skills like communication and physical wellness.
These are just some of the treatment options you can expect at an addiction treatment center. This treatment can be done in an inpatient our outpatient setting, but the important thing is that it helps you work on your sobriety and mental health.
Getting Help in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you’ve decided to stop drinking alcohol, congratulations. This is a big moment, and you should feel confident in your decision. And to give yourself the best chance of recovery, we recommend that you do not undergo alcohol detox at home, but enroll in a medical detox program where you can get professional help and care.
Do you have questions about how we can help you quit alcohol? Call our admissions specialists at 225-300-8470 or fill out our digital contact form. We’re here for you as you begin your recovery journey; all you have to do is let us know you need help.