Detoxing from Alcohol Safely

Detoxing from Alcohol Safely

When alcohol dependence and abuse control and affect every aspect of your life, deciding to quit alcohol is a big step. Congratulations on deciding to start your life of sobriety today.

Ensuring that your detoxification from alcohol is handled in a safe and comfortable environment is our main focus, as well as helping you understand the options available to you.

What is an Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox is an important step in the treatment of alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), it entails the complete cessation of alcohol consumption, your body will begin flushing out the toxins from alcohol as soon as the last drink has been consumed.

Depending on the severity of your alcohol use disorder the withdrawal symptoms you will experience should subside in one to two weeks. Having your body free from the toxins introduced during alcohol consumption will enable you to focus on the other important aspects of your recovery, like therapy, support groups, and finding different healthy interests.


Why is an Alcohol Detox Important?

Alcohol is a depressant that inhibits your brain from producing certain chemicals that it can get from alcohol. This causes a reliance or dependence on alcohol, which is why it takes time for your body to adjust to having no alcohol. Parts that are affected during long-term alcohol misuse are:

Brain & Nervous System – Alcohol can affect the brain in different ways to cause problems. Some of these problems include:

  • lowering the level of serotonin leading to depression
  • stopping new brain cells from developing
  • damaging nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain

Heart – Long term drinking can lead to different problems, including:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • risk of strokes
  • cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of the heart muscle)
  • arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)

Liver – Types of liver disease caused by alcohol include:

  • fatty liver (steatosis)
  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • liver failure

Pancreas – Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to:

  • pancreatitis
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms & Timeline

Whilst there is no exact timeline of when what or how long you may experience withdrawal symptoms, here is a general outline of what you can expect:

6-12hrs after your last drink:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Irritability

Day 1: Your original symptoms may become increasingly severe and can include the following

  • disorientation
  • hand tremors
  • seizures

Day 2: The most painful of the withdrawal symptoms you have been experiencing will continue as well as hallucinations and panic attacks as your body flushes out your system.

Days 3-7: Your symptoms may come and go during the first 7 days, but after day 3 is when you are most at risk of Delirium Tremens.

  • fast heart rate,
  • high blood pressure
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • tremors,
  • anxiety,
  • seizures,
  • shallow breathing

2nd Week: While some symptoms can persist for a few weeks and even up to a year, the worst ones will have started to taper off after the 1st week. the persistent symptoms are generally minor and can be assisted with medication.

Because each person’s journey is unique, you may experience all or only some of the symptoms detailed above. you may experience PAWS – Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome – where symptoms including anxiety, low energy, trouble sleeping, and delayed reflexes, and can last from several months to a year.

How can I Detox from Alcohol Safely?

A medically assisted or supervised detox is advised due to the withdrawal symptoms and what could be a severe reaction to quitting alcohol. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be hospitalised or in an in-patient facility for your treatment, there are options available to you for safe detox from alcohol.

Detoxing from Alcohol at Home

There are many reasons why you may be considering a Home-based detox programme

  • Cost – Residential programmes can be as high as £25 000 in major cities
  • Convenience & Home comfort – you can stay home to recover
  • Flexibility – you are not restricted by a strict schedule and can start when you want
  • Support system – you will have your family or loved ones around to help and support you

Unless you have a serious health condition or you’ve had severe withdrawals in the past, you probably won’t need more than a supportive environment to help you through.

We strongly recommend that you seek therapy in conjunction with an alcohol detox. Therapy will help you to understand the root causes of your dependence and will help you to maintain sobriety.

Detoxing from Alcohol within a <br data-lazy-src=

The Pros

  • 24/7 medical supervision, assistance, and support provided
  • New environment
  • Complete focus on your recovery (no work, family responsibilities)
  • Better focus on your recovery
  • Removal of environmental triggers
  • Experienced medical care for extreme physical dependency

The Cons

  • Cost
  • Being away from home, work, or school

Does the NHS Provide Alcohol Detox Treatment?

The NHS offers advice and intervention counselling if you have had an accident or injury related to alcohol use or are concerned about your drinking. You may be prescribed medication to assist you if you are detoxing at home.

You will regularly see a nurse or another healthcare professional, either, at home, your GP practice, or a specialist NHS service. You will also be given the relevant contact details for other support services should you need additional support (

In some cases, the NHS may provide a medical detox within a hospital unit, this is reserved for those with severe alcohol dependence who may be at risk of serious injury or organ failure.

Preventing an Alcohol Relapse

Following successful completion of your detox, a continued rehabilitation program may be recommended to allow further work toward recovery and relapse prevention.

Services that may be included as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for alcohol use disorders are:


Addiction therapy can be provided both privately (residential rehab or private counsellor), or via the NHS and/or charities included “Turning Point”.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: this type of therapy helps you recognize your reactions to environmental and emotional stresses by focusing on learning new ways to cope with the stresses and triggers in your life without alcohol.

The Matrix Model: A 16-week treatment approach that combines the above behavioural therapy, a 12 step facilitation programme, family education, counselling, and promoting activities that are not alcohol-related.

The NHS has options in every local area that can help you with support during treatment, NHS Choices maintains a searchable directory of local drug treatment services.

Group Support

You may find it useful to attend meetings at your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) here you will find support as you follow a 12-step programme where you will be able given a safe place to admit you’re powerless over alcohol and your life has become unmanageable, admitting you’ve acted wrongly and, where possible, making amends with people you’ve harmed.

Family Support

There is an increasing recognition that drug misuse affects the entire family and the communities in which these families live.

There has been a growth in carer organisations, most notably Adfam and Families Anonymous

The Adfam website ( is very useful and has a list of different organisations that you can contact for support for your family through treatment.

Families Anonymous ( is a self-help service based on the 12-steps plan and is aimed at helping families affected by drug use and behavioural problems.

Book Your Initial Assessment Today

Detox from alcohol safely with our home detox service. Call our specialists today!


    What is alcohol detox medication?

    Alcohol detox medication is designed to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol dependency or alcohol cravings. Medications used during detox are:

    • Benzodiazepines (Chlordiazepoxide) – these help calm your nervous system
    • Naltrexone – used to help reduce alcohol cravings and inhibits the ‘high’ feeling alcohol may cause (typically this is given 7-10 days after detox)

    Learn more

    Is detox medication necessary?

    Since the length of time and your relationship with alcohol can influence the withdrawal symptoms you may experience, an assessment from a doctor will be needed to determine the medication you may require.

    How much does a private alcohol detox cost?

    Our home-based detox costs £1500 as opposed to approx £4000/week for residential inpatient care at some facilities.

    Do vitamins help with withdrawal symptoms?

    Thiamine (Vit B1) is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates to ensure your glycaemic (sugar) levels are stable. it is useful in preventing memory impairment, amnesia, and in extreme cases Wernicke encephalopathy

    Jason Shiers
    Author / Jason Shiers / Dip.Psych MBACP
    Jason Shiers is a Certified Transformative Coach & Certified Psychotherapist who is a specialist in addiction, trauma and eating disorders. He has been working in the field of addiction for 25 years now.

    Start your Recovery Today?

    Call Now On Tel: 0330 175 7077