Alcohol Detox at Home: Dangers and Safety Issues of Detoxing at Home

Among the different forms of addiction that one can suffer from, alcohol addiction is often considered one of the most damaging and challenging hurdles anyone can face.

While some may argue that other substances like heroin, cocaine, and Adderall pose their own significant risks, alcoholic drinks are especially dangerous because of two factors: 

  1. Alcohol is widely available and can be purchased almost anywhere, and;
  2. Alcohol is an addictive substance that provides the kind of instant gratification that’s hard to keep away from.

Aside from the two factors mentioned above, alcoholism is such a problematic condition because it affects the person struggling with it as well as their loved ones. Unfortunately, this same issue results in even more complex relationship problems such as divorce, homelessness, and estrangement, leading to even more problems in the long run, with a great chance of worsened alcoholism.

If you’ve been addicted to alcohol for a while now, then you’ve probably been setting your sights on finally kicking your bad habit and turning your life around. As you’ve probably learned and experienced before, however, turning your back on a life of alcoholism is a tall task. After all, going dry only becomes exponentially more difficult with each day that passes.

Fortunately, it is still very much possible to do so, especially if you take the proper steps with an alcohol detox.

Can You Detox From Alcohol At Home?

If you’ve been dealing with alcohol addiction for a while, there’s no doubt that there will come the point wherein enough is enough because of how liquor can take over your life. Once you’ve blacked out, woken up hungover, and are rendered incapable of remembering what happened the night before frequently enough, it’s crucial to get help as soon as possible. 

If you’ve gotten tired of being addicted to alcohol but can’t seem to come off it as easily as you’d like to, the first step you’ll need to take towards recovery is hopping on a detox.

Traditionally, detoxifying the body from alcohol to reduce dependency is done in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Often, detoxes are considered one of the only ways to address alcoholism because it helps solidify the first steps that must be taken towards a more effective treatment path. 

In recent years, many recovering alcoholics have been considering the possibility of detoxing their bodies from alcohol at home because it can make a challenging situation much easier to address. Considering that there’s no place more comfortable and safer than being at home, it is why many are considering the possibility of starting their treatment while staying in. But while detoxing at home is technically possible, it isn’t necessarily the safest practice to take up.

Is It Safe To Do So?

Here’s what you need to know about detoxing at home: it can have significant risks if it isn’t carried out with the right approach.

You see, the one factor that makes at-home alcohol detoxification quite dangerous lies in the fact that most people do not understand the alcohol withdrawal timeline. This timeline is a crucial point of reference that is essential for a healthy recovery. Unfortunately, failing to understand the detox timeline leads to adverse results because of the hurdles and challenges accompanying alcohol withdrawal.

alcohol detox
Alcohol Detox at Home

The general alcohol withdrawal timeline is as follows:

  • The first six to twelve hours – Onset of headaches, nausea, anxiety, poor appetite, and stomach pains.
  • The following twelve to 48 hours – Symptom escalation may lead to hallucinations and potential seizures.
  • 48 to 72 hours – High blood pressure, elevated heart rate, fever, sweating, and Delirium Tremens with auditory hallucinations.

These acute withdrawal symptoms can become life-threatening if you don’t deal with them appropriately. Considering that withdrawal from alcohol isn’t easy, and not everyone can do it on their own, it’s best to assume that doing it at home by yourself isn’t the safest procedure. 

Compared to methods that are administered by medical professionals at rehab facilities throughout the country an alcohol detox done at home is potentially dangerous. 

Statistics That Show How Dangerous It Is To Detox From Alcohol Without The Proper Supervision

While there are many different factors to consider regarding the danger of detoxing from alcohol without the proper supervision, there’s one element that stands out: the risk of relapsing. 

Whenever the risk of relapsing occurs during at-home detoxification, alcohol dependency can come back even stronger and worsen the level of addiction that one experiences. This same element is why many experts recommend that recovering alcoholics seek help from professionals because of how much more complicated matters can be without supervision.

Apart from relapse, another critical risk that makes at-home detoxing so complicated is the kindling phenomenon. This phenomenon posits that repeated relapses tend to result in more severe withdrawal symptoms with each subsequent detox. When a person tries many times to self-detox without intervention and ends up relapsing each time, it sets up a potential chain reaction of worsening symptoms, leading to a more severe withdrawal event later on.

According to a study on addiction, the majority of people who received professional detox or substance abuse treatment were more likely to remain abstinent over time. In contrast, the same study mentions that those who attempted to stop using or drinking on their own were more likely to relapse. 

As the numbers from the findings mentioned above presented, the difference between people who got help and those who tried to recover on their own was significant. To further illustrate just how dangerous it is to self-detox at home without the proper supervision, Moos, R.H., et al. discovered the following findings based on three and 16-year intervals: 

After three years:

  • 62.4 percent of those who received help were in remission.
  • 43.4 percent of those who didn’t receive help were in remission.

After 16 years:

  • 60.5 percent of no-help individuals who were sober at the three-year mark had relapsed.
  • 42.9 percent of treated individuals who were sober at the three-year mark had relapsed.

Based on the results of the study, the risk of relapse can be significantly reduced through a professional treatment program because these programs don’t focus on detox alone but also stay oriented towards a more holistic route. Considering that therapy, continued support, and coping strategies are provided after the detox process is over, getting professional help works because it gives the individual tools and methods to help patients continue their recovery!


Dealing with the hurdle of alcohol addiction can be incredibly difficult because of all the different challenges it brings about and how it can affect one’s life in more ways than one. Although it may be tempting to seek treatment by starting it on your own at home, it’s essential to go for professional help instead because of all the risks associated with the former. By taking the time to submit yourself to a treatment center for detoxing, continued support, therapy, and coping strategies, you’ll be able to get everything sorted out effectively with guarantees of long-term progress!