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How to Detoxify from Alcohol

Updated on February 23, 2015
Freeing oneself from dependency on alcohol can help life to open up and become brighter
Freeing oneself from dependency on alcohol can help life to open up and become brighter | Source

Introduction

Alcohol dependency and addiction is an illness that affects millions of people around the world. When an alcoholic makes the decision to try to detox themselves, they need the support of medical professionals, their family, friends and an extended support network. This article explores the main steps that someone detoxing from alcohol will go through and what they can expect.

Detoxifying from alcohol can be one of the most difficult things that a person ever has to do. You will find information on the steps that a recovering alcoholic can take to remove their dependency on alcohol and detox themselves. This includes working with a doctor, the type of care that the patient needs and the various ways that they can be supported by their family and friends.

The process of detoxing can be extremely difficult and can take a long time. It requires large amounts of care, love, support, willpower and patience, both from the person detoxing and from the people around them. People serious about detoxing should go through the following steps:

  1. Speak to a doctor before starting a plan to detoxify
  2. Consider if it would be best to detox at a specialist facility
  3. Speak with family and loved ones
  4. Decide on a start date
  5. Stop drinking alcohol
  6. Get proper nutrition and eat healthy food
  7. Expect side-effects
  8. Exercise regularly
  9. Stay in constant touch with a doctor
  10. Keep at it
  11. Ask for support and help

Speak to a doctor before starting a plan to detoxify

A doctor will be able to talk the patient through the symptoms that they could experience. Thee symptoms are likely to be difficult to deal with and could have a significant impact on the patient. The patient should also review all of their medications with the doctor to find out if there are any drug interactions, contraindications or likely problems.

A doctor will be able to make several recommendations on how to best approach the process of detoxing. They may also make a referral to see a psychologist to explore if there are other motivations for drinking alcohol that need to be examined.

Consider if it would be best to detox at a specialist facility

Because detoxing can be very hard and have difficult side-effects, it might be best to detox at a specialist facility. A doctor can certainly make recommendations about this and a facility would be best equipped to deal with any unforeseen circumstances and difficulties.

Sometimes, detoxing can even be a life-threatening experience and a specialist facility would be able to provide the right type of care.

Getting treatment at a proper facility could make it easier not to fall off the wagon
Getting treatment at a proper facility could make it easier not to fall off the wagon | Source

Speak with family and loved ones

The patient will need to explain to their family, partner, children, parents and trusted friends what they are going to go through. They should explain what they are going to do, their reasons for doing it, when they are going to do it and the type of support that they need. The family will need to be aware that they may need to provide substantial help and care at short notice.

Decide on a start date

The patient should decide when they are going to start their full detoxification and gradually reduce the amount that they drink as they approach this time.

You will need to decide a time to stop drinking and to start freeing yourself from the chains of alcohol
You will need to decide a time to stop drinking and to start freeing yourself from the chains of alcohol | Source

Stop drinking alcohol

At the planned time, the patient should stop drinking. The decision to stop can be a very powerful motivation and it is important that a patient's family and friends recognize, support and encourage what they are doing.

Alcoholism vs. alcohol abuse

Get proper nutrition and eat healthy food

As the body starts to recover, it will start to crave healthy food to replenish vitamins, minerals and other things that it lacks. The patient should make sure that they eat good, healthy food: fruit, vegetables, pulses, protein, cereals and fiber. They should also increase their fluid intake of water and other non-alcoholic drinks. They may also need vitamin and mineral supplements.

Expect side-effects

Common side-effects from detoxifying could include tremors, convulsions and sudden changes in mood. The patient should be aware that these symptoms are to be expected and their friends and family should be understanding of what the patient is going through.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is a great way to speed up the detoxing and recovery process. Getting outside into nature and the fresh air will definitely help to alleviate the symptoms. Physical exertion can also result in better sleep and a faster recovery.

Left unchecked, alcoholism can destroy lives
Left unchecked, alcoholism can destroy lives | Source

Stay in constant touch with a doctor

If the patient is not detoxing at a professional facility, they should stay in constant touch with their doctor. The doctor can then track progress, ensure that the recovery is progressing as planned and help the patient to get the right treatment and care.

Keep at it

It can be difficult to stay at it and continue with the detoxification. The patient should remind themselves on a daily basis of what they are doing and why they are doing it and look at the progress that they are making. Understanding that their actions are directly benefiting both themselves and their family can be a powerful inspiration to continue with the treatment.

Finding the right reasons to stop drinking can make all the difference
Finding the right reasons to stop drinking can make all the difference | Source

Ask for support and help

In addition to family and friends providing support, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and others can provide understanding, a place to share and support for the patient in continuing on their difficult journey. The ability to speak with others that are going through similar experiences can provide strength for a patient to continue on their own path.

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In closing

Detoxing from alcohol is one of the most difficult things that someone can choose to do, but for those that manage it, a better life awaits them. With the right expert guidance, support from family and friends and willpower, the illness of alcoholism can become less of an issue in someone's life.

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