Dr Iqbal A Mohiuddin
Do you need a Home Alcohol Detox?
Updated: May 24, 2022
Drinking alcohol can be harmful to our health, especially in excess. Alcohol in moderation, i.e. just 1-2 units daily with alcohol free days, is less harmful. However, regularly drinking more than this can be harmful to our physical and mental wellbeing, e.g. increased risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and depression.
You may be able to drink every day, feel fine physically and mentally, and still manage to function at home and at work. The unhelpful and misleading term “functioning alcoholic” is commonly used. It‘s only when you stop drinking that you may realise that you have developed a serious problem, i.e. physical dependence.
Many of us get caught out over time and find that we need a daily drink to prevent the awful physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol dependence. These can include shaking, sweating, panic, nausea, and vomiting. In worst case scenarios, fits, delirium, hallucinations, and death may occur.
If you recognise any of the above, then you may benefit from a supervised home alcohol detox. Severe alcohol dependence, i.e. more than 30 units daily, needs inpatient or residential treatment. Mild to moderate alcohol addiction may be treated safely at home under daily supervision with a nominated carer.
We have helped many patients to safely stop drinking at home. We have had more patients requesting and successfully completing home alcohol detox during the COVID-19 lockdown. The number of people drinking at harmful levels in the UK increased from 4 million before the lockdown in 2020 to 8 million in 2021. There was also a significant increase in drinking wine and spirits at home, which are more likely to cause harm.
Appropriate aftercare and support, e.g. AA 12-Steps group, SMART Recovery, addiction therapy, is essential to prevent relapse. Medications such as Acamprosate, Naltrexone, or Baclofen may help with difficult alcohol cravings to help maintain abstinence and prevent relapse.
Please contact IamPsychiatry to discuss how we could help you to recover from alcoholism.
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