stop drinking at home (2023)

Medical Examiner:Ashraf Ali, MD | author:Chris Elkins, Massachusetts | Last updated: April 20, 2020 | 15 fuentes

For people experiencing mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms, there are some safe ways to detox at home. People who experience tremors, tremors, or confusion after stopping alcohol use should consider detoxification under the supervision of a doctor. If you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking alcohol, you should discuss the safest way to detox with your doctor.

How to give up alcohol safely

Alcohol withdrawal can be done safely at home without medical supervision. But if you detox, you have to be very careful. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to serious health problems that require treatment.

not to be seriousalcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should slowly reduce your alcohol intake. A careful taper may take longer than a doctor-directed detox, but it will help you avoid serious health problems.

Tapering off can help you overcome alcohol dependence, a side effect of long-term alcohol use that can lead to cravings and withdrawal. Drug withdrawal does not treat addiction, which is a disorder characterized by compulsive behaviors, such as chronic alcohol use.

If you are addicted to alcohol, it is unlikely that you will recover without some form of addiction treatment. Maybe you can detox at homerecovering from alcoholismGet help from support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. However, doctor-directed detoxification and professional rehab are more likely to help you stay sober long-term.

Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems discusses the risks of drug rehab at home and the benefits of giving up alcohol and other drugs in a safe environment.

If you can't stop drinking on your own, consider going to an alcohol recovery center. Alcoholism treatment provides detoxification in a safe environment. Teaches healthy ways to cope with stress and techniques to overcome underlying issues.Causes of alcohol addiction. It can also help you prepare for a life without alcohol.

You can detox at home and still attend outpatient treatments or support group meetings. But be careful, severe alcohol withdrawal can be deadly. Alcohol relaxes the brain. The brain compensates for depressionThe effects of alcoholincrease your activity. When people with alcohol dependence drink, they feel normal.

When they suddenly stopped drinking, the brain was still hyperactive, but alcohol no longer suppressed this effect. This can lead to seizures and delirium tremens, a severe form of withdrawal characterized by tremors and hallucinations. Both complications can be fatal. If you reduce your alcohol intake slowly or under medical supervision, your brain will have time to adjust without serious side effects.

Find out if you are addicted to alcohol by answering this test of 11 questions

How to gradually reduce alcohol consumption at home

The goal of gradually quitting alcohol is to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms so that you can safely sober up. The time it takes to cut back on alcohol depends on when you drink, how much you drink, and various personal factors.

You must first determine your standard daily intake of alcohol.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismDefine a standard drink as:

  • 12 ouncesbeer with5%alcohol content
  • 5 ounceswine and12%alcohol content
  • 1.5 ounceswine and40%alcohol content

The alcohol content of certain beers, wines and spirits varies. You can use the guide to see how much of a standard drink you are used to drinking. Experts from the HAMS Harm Reduction Network, which includes doctors, social workers, therapists and others, recommend gradually reducing the amount of beer you consume, because you're more likely to get drunk on alcohol or wine.

You should plan to reduce your alcohol intake gradually over three to seven days, depending on how much you are used to drinking. Slowly reduce your daily alcohol intake until you are sober. If you start to have severe withdrawal symptoms, drink enough water to make the symptoms go away.

If you are unable to reduce your alcohol intake, you may develop a condition calledalcoholismThis requires professional addiction treatment. Alcohol rehab helps reduce alcohol consumption and treat other side effects and causes of alcoholism.

Understanding the alcohol recovery process

Example of an alcohol phase-out program

Discuss the risks of home detoxification with your doctor before beginning a weight reduction program. Gradual withdrawal from alcohol can complicate other co-occurring health conditions or mental health disorders.

If you are in the habit of drinking more than 20 beers a day, the HAMS experts recommend following a reduction schedule that includes getting 8 hours of sleep each night:

first day
One bottle of beer per hour, 16 bottles of beer in total.

the next day
He drinks one beer every 90 minutes, for a total of 10 beers.

third day
He drinks eight beers all day.

fourth day
drink six beers all day

fifth day
drink four beers all day

sixth day
drink two beers all day

Seventh day
zero beer

If you're used to drinking less than 20 beers a day, HAMS recommends cutting back to two beers a day until you sober up.

Below is an example schedule for a person who is used to drinking 12 beers a day:

first day
Drink 10 beers throughout the day.

the next day
He drinks eight beers all day.

third day
drink six beers all day

fourth day
drink four beers all day

fifth day
drink two beers all day

sixth day
zero beer

Your reduction plan should be flexible. Expect some discomfort, such as anxiety, sweating, or restlessness. If you develop more serious symptoms such as paranoia, increased heart rate or tremors, sometimes calledalcoholic shake, you should reduce it and consider seeking professional help. If you experience severe symptoms such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, or disorientation, call 911 immediately.

Looking for help with drug addiction?Learn more about our rehab options online.Learn about teletherapy

How long does it take to stop drinking at home?

The length of time it takes to stop drinking depends on a number of factors, including whether you are detoxifying at home or under medical supervision. Home detoxes usually take longer because care must be taken to avoid serious complications.

when you arealcohol detoxAt rehab centers, nurses and doctors monitor vital signs, provide adequate nutrition, and treat complications if they arise.

Alcohol can stay in your body for several hours.It depends on how much you drink. Once it begins to leave the body, the first withdrawal symptoms begin.

The first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually appear about six hours after the last drink. They intensify for about a day before disappearing. Early symptoms include headache, sweating, tremors, vomiting, and difficulty concentrating.

Seizures can occur within the first 24 hours, but only about 25 percent of patients experience seizures, according to the NIAAA.

Late symptoms begin two to four days after the last drink and usually include changes in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Serious symptoms caused by delirium tremens include hallucinations and seizures. TD occurs in approximately 5% of patients.

Possible home detox schedule without tapering:

  • The first symptoms begin six hours after the last drink.
  • Initial symptoms intensify 6 to 24 hours after the last drink. Seizures may occur.
  • The initial symptoms disappear a day or two after the last drink.
  • Late symptoms begin two to four days after the last drink. Delirium tremens may develop.
  • Late symptoms disappear four to six days after the last drink.

Most people recover from alcohol withdrawal within a week, but highly dependent people may experience withdrawal symptoms for several weeks. Alcohol can cause serious changes in the brain, and long-term symptoms such as sleep problems, mood swings and fatigue can take months to overcome, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Coping with alcohol withdrawal at home

Some people avoid medically supervised rehab because they prefer to use natural remedies to quit alcohol. Gradually abstaining from alcohol is the surest way to overcome withdrawal symptoms naturally, and many home remedies can help you cope with mild withdrawal symptoms. However, medications are needed to treat the main withdrawal symptoms.

Home remedies for alcohol withdrawal include:

Nothing can replace the value of water. The body needs it to function. When you are dehydrated, you may feel irritable, tired, and confused. Some people confuse dehydration symptoms with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
drinks containing electrolytes
Water is important, but people should also consume drinks that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are important nutrients that include calcium, potassium, and sodium. Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal can create electrolyte imbalances that can lead to side effects such as muscle cramps, numbness, and seizures.
healthy eating habits
A healthy diet consists of eating foods with the proper balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat. These nutrients help the brain and other organs function. If a person is malnourished, the body does not have the energy to recover from alcohol dependence.
Understanding the role of nutrition in recovery
taking a shower
Showering does not help sober up or help alcohol leave the body faster. But it can ease some alcohol withdrawal symptoms and help you relax. Bathing too hot or too cold can lead to dangerous changes in body temperature, but a warm shower can distract you from some minor withdrawal symptoms.
control your breath
Breathing deeply can relieve the stress of giving up alcohol. Deep breathing helps the body get enough oxygen to normalize heart rate and stabilize blood pressure, according to Harvard Medical School. Shallow breathing, on the other hand, limits oxygen intake and can lead to anxiety.
In addition to helping you control your breathing, meditation can also help you clear your mind and focus on the benefits of an alcohol detox. Some small studies have found that meditative techniques like yoga can help with alcoholism when used with other treatments. However, more research is needed to show that yoga is an effective adjunct to therapy.

In general, do what you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible. If you sweat, place a cool washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck. If you feel cold, wrap yourself in a blanket. Prepare a playlist of your favorite songs or movies to pass the time.

Avoid taking medicines that your doctor has not prescribed. If withdrawal is so uncomfortable that you need to seek medication to relieve it, contact your doctor or rehab center to discuss medically supervised withdrawal.

Dependence and addiction to alcohol are serious illnesses. Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be overcome with rest and home remedies, and some people can gradually reduce their alcohol intake without supervision. However, individuals withAlcohol addictionProfessional rehabilitation is required.

Medical aims to improve the quality of life for people living with substance abuse or mental health disorders through fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their associated outcomes. . The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your doctor or other qualified health professional.


stop drinking at home (1)

Chris Elkins, Massachusetts,

Senior Content Writer, drug rehab network

Chris Elkins has been a journalist for three years and has written for numerous newspapers and online publications. Since 2015, he has written on health-related topics, interviewed addiction experts, and written recovery stories. Chris has a master's degree in Strategic Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Health Communication.

[email protected]


To edit

stop drinking at home (2)



medical reviewer

stop drinking at home (3)

Ashraf Ali, MD

Psychiatrist, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Other addiction issues

  • alcohol dependence
  • drug addiction
  • prescription drug abuse
  • Drug and alcohol abuse in adolescents
  • concurrent illnesses
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • addiction recovery

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