Can You Detox From Alcohol at Home?

Ioana Cozma
Morgan Blair
Written by Ioana Cozma on 19 July 2023
Medically reviewed by Morgan Blair on 27 July 2023

Detoxing from alcohol at home is only a good solution for people with mild addictions and good support systems. It would be best to consider seeking the opinion of a medical professional before attempting to detox at home. However, this article will guide you through some of the red flags to consider, practical strategies to detox from alcohol at home, and excellent alternatives.

Can You Detox From Alcohol at Home?

How do I know if I need to detox from alcohol?

Some people struggle with alcohol addiction. Others are simply on the road to that addiction, exhibiting dangerous behaviors toward alcohol.

Recognizing the red flags of an alcohol use disorder helps you assess whether you need to detox.

Heavy drinking

Heavy drinking is roughly defined as over 14 drinks per week for men and 7 weekly drinks for women. However, these are general guidelines given. People may experience concerns surrounding alcohol even with a lower intake.  If an individual is meeting the criteria for heavy drinking, detoxing from alcohol at home may not be possible.

A more subtle indicator of a dependency on drinking is your need to drink.

Drinking needs

Detoxing from alcohol at home or in a specialized environment can be required if you are developing an emotional and/or physical dependency on drinking, especially in specific scenarios. In other words, you cannot experience certain situations, such as parties or festivals, without having to consume alcohol.

Some people believe they need to drink after work. Others will feel this urge when going out with their friends during the weekend.

Side note: There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a few drinks. Instead, it is important to ask yourself if you’d be able to, if you desired, abstain from drinking in these situations.

Binge drinking

Sometimes, individuals only drink during the weekends or on special occasions. However, they cannot limit themselves to a drink or two and will binge drink alcohol in high volumes.

Once they start drinking, they are chasing the euphoria caused by alcohol. The even bigger problem is when this “high” is not enough. Consequently, they may continue to drink until they experience nausea, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness.

If this occurs regularly or almost every time you drink, you should ask your doctor’s advice on at-home alcohol detox.

Related blog: Naltrexone May Curb Binge-Drinking

Withdrawal symptoms

Interrupting your drinking behaviors may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Tremors
  • Delirium
  • Tachycardia
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing these symptoms and need to drink to solve them, consider alcohol detox.

Interference with daily life

If alcohol disrupts or affects your daily life, you should consider alcohol detox at home or a clinic.  Signs include:

  • Being late for work because you are nursing a hangover
  • Not going to places where you cannot drink
  • Always carrying a drink
  • Not enjoying time in zero-alcohol situations

Remember: Ask your medical professional for advice if you see any of these red flags. They will gauge your particular case and establish the need to detox from alcohol at home or in a specialized environment.

Does detoxing from alcohol at home work?

Detoxing from alcohol at home can work, though it is not the best solution for people with high dependencies and severe withdrawal symptoms  that entail navigating:

  • Acute physical symptoms
  • Intense psychological issues
  • Social factors, such as peer pressure

Your healthcare professional may indicate supervision and medication to ensure the process goes well.

Related blog: Largest Study Yet to Trial Ketamine As A Treatment For Alcoholism

At-home alcohol detox works well for people with mild alcohol dependencies with no prior health problems and help from their loved ones.

Your doctor may recommend this course if you:

  • Are not a regular heavy drinking
  • Have not experienced severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Lack medical conditions, like anxiety, depression, liver disease, or heart issues
  • Have a solid at-home support system

How to detox from alcohol at home

Detoxing from alcohol at home can be successful if you follow the steps below:

1. Ask for medical supervision: Your healthcare provider will craft a personalized detox plan according to your medical history and symptoms. They will also support you along the way, likely with daily visits.

2. Have a plan: Studies show that most people relapse when they do not structure their days properly. The times when you are unsure what to do with yourself are the ones when you are likelier to drink.  It would be helpful to structure each hour of your day with specific activities that take you away from thinking of alcohol.

3. Throw away your bottles: Do not keep alcohol in the house during detox. Being around it increases the temptation. Also, avoid social scenarios where you typically drink.

4. Take your medicine/ supplements: Your doctor may prescribe certain medications like benzodiazepines (diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and lorazepam) to make your withdrawal easier. You may need to take medicines against nausea or anxiety or vitamin supplements to prevent headaches and dizziness.

5. Take care of your body: Resting and good nutrition help your body recover faster, and it helps you stay ahead of your withdrawal symptoms. Hydration is key as well. Consider getting out in nature, meditation, and deep breathing to ground yourself during this period. Keeping a diary may also help.

Pro tip: Ensure you have a solid support system of friends and family. Ideally, these people should be available whenever you need them. You should also prepare several plans for the worst-case scenarios; each person should know their role.

How long will detoxing from alcohol at home take?

At-home alcohol detox typically lasts up to a week.

The duration depends on your specific case, including factors such as:

As such, a younger person with good overall health and moderate alcohol use may recover faster.

Alternatives to detoxing from alcohol at home

At-home alcohol detoxing is not your only solution, especially if you are experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms and your doctor decides you cannot manage your situation alone.

You can also try:

  • 12-step programs: Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent example, but you can find other reliable programs for alcohol addiction recovery. These programs work because they offer very structured support systems and community.
  • Inpatient care: This alternative is best if you need intensive support and resources. You will stay at a treatment facility and benefit from medical supervision and therapy.
  • Outpatient care: In this case, you will stay at home but attend treatment sessions at a clinic. Your doctor may also recommend medication to manage your symptoms.
  • Sober living homes: Also known as halfway homes, sober living houses typically offer therapeutic resources and 12-step programs. These homes focus on community and structure. Following their rules and attending the meetings gives you extensive support to handle moderate alcohol addiction.

Before choosing your options, remember that patients who undergo and commit to treatment are less likely to relapse within 3 years.


  1. Davis C. Home detox – supporting patients to overcome alcohol addiction. Aust Prescr 2018;41:180–2.
  2. DeSimone, E., Tilleman, J., & Powell, T. (2014, November 17). Treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. U.S. Pharmacist.
  3. Kitzinger, R. H., Jr, Gardner, J. A., Moran, M., Celkos, C., Fasano, N., Linares, E., Muthee, J., & Royzner, G. (2023). Habits and Routines of Adults in Early Recovery From Substance Use Disorder: Clinical and Research Implications From a Mixed Methodology Exploratory Study. Substance abuse: research and treatment, 17, 11782218231153843. 
  4. Myrick, H., M.D., & Anton, R.F., M.D. (1998). Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal. Alcohol Health & Research World 22(1): 38-43.
  5. Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (2006). Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 101(2), 212–222.
  6. Muncie, H. L., Jr, Yasinian, Y., & Oge', L. (2013). Outpatient management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. American family physician, 88(9), 589–595.
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Treatment for alcohol problems: Finding and getting help. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Activity History - Last updated: 27 July 2023, Published date:


Morgan Blair


Morgan is a mental health counselor who works alongside individuals of all backgrounds struggling with eating disorders. Morgan is freelance mental health and creative writer who regularly contributes to publications including, Psychology Today.

Activity History - Medically Reviewed on 19 July 2023 and last checked on 27 July 2023

Medically reviewed by
Morgan Blair


Morgan Blair


Ready to talk about treatment? Call us today. (855) 648-7288
Helpline Information
Phone numbers listed within our directory for individual providers will connect directly to that provider.
Any calls to numbers marked with (I) symbols will be routed through a trusted partner, more details can be found by visiting
For any specific questions please email us at