Addiction Rehab Centre UK
Tel: 0800 246 5293

The First Stages of Alcohol Detox

All treatment for alcohol dependence starts with detoxification from alcohol. Alcohol Detox usually means prescribing medication to alleviate alcohol withdrawals. Alcohol Detox can be carried out at home or in a residential alcohol rehab. For Home Alcohol Detox an initial assessment of Alcohol Dependence involves ascertaining your suitability. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening in some circumstances, and the alcohol dependence assessment procedure aims to exclude those for whom the risk of performing an alcohol detox at home is too high.

Telephone 0845 888 4444 to arrange home detoxification now.


The Advantages for choosing a Home Alcohol Detox can be:

  1. Convenience No waiting lists, arranged within 24-48 hours, available 365 days of the year, and completed within 7 days. Clients are usually able to undertake a certain amount of usual daily activities such as family and work commitments. No alcohol treatment centre restrictions such as smoking, mobiles, TVs etc.
  2. Privacy Ultra-discreet and confidential, carried out in your own familiar surroundings.
  3. Lower cost No alcohol treatment centre overheads.
  4. Support Carried out by specialist substance misuse nurses, with 24 hour nursing management cover and Consultant Psychiatrist on call. Counselling aftercare recommended and readily available.

What is Home Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol Detoxification involves the prescription of medication to prevent the occurrence of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and to relieve related anxiety. Usually a relatively large starting dose of medication, to help reduce alcohol withdrawals, is prescribed at the beginning of the alcohol detox, and the dose is gradually reduced over a number of days, down to zero. The Home Alcohol Detox is usually completed within 7 days. In the case of medication for alcohol detoxification, the usual first choice of medication is chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or diazepam (Valium). The patient and carer will be visited on a daily basis by for the first seven days by a specialist nurse. During the first visit, the assessment is completed, and a full explanation of how and when to take the medication is provided to both patient and carer.

Detox for alcohol misuse involves the prescription of medication to replace the effect of alcohol on the brain or body. The medication prescribed is sedative medication, although this does not mean the patient is sent to sleep. Usually, the patient is fully awake during detox, although may be a little drowsy. Other medication is also prescribed during detox to control alcohol withdrawal symptoms as they occur, to help with sleep and to replace vitamin deficiencies which have built up over the years of drinking. Explanation is also provided as to what to expect during the detoxification, any warning signs of complications to look out for and what actions to take if complications seem to be occurring.

Sustained recovery with Aftercare

Detox is not a cure for alcoholism. Detox merely allows a person with an alcohol problem to cease alcohol use safely and comfortably. After completion of detox treatment, the person must start to learn the skills to avoid relapse to alcohol use. Learning these skills involves psychological treatment, which can be delivered either as an inpatient (rehab) or as an outpatient (counselling). Essentially, detox is about stopping alcohol use and alcohol rehab or alcohol counselling is all about ´staying stopped´. All™ home alcohol detox programmes include 3 months of weekly counselling sessions with an alcohol counsellor, to continue with recovery following the medicated alcohol detox. The alcohol counsellor provided is within reasonable travelling distance from the patient’s home (we work with over 200 alcohol counsellors throughout the UK – so we can usually find an alcohol counsellor near to your home). As a routine, attendance of local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is advisable, and details of the nearest alcohol help meetings are provided. In some circumstances, additional help to prevent alcohol relapse can be provided by the prescription of specialist medications; these options will be explained by the alcohol detox nurse, and for those who wish to receive such medication, a specialist alcohol doctor or nursing appointment is arranged.

Points to consider when contemplating Home Detox?

All treatment for alcohol dependence starts with detoxification from alcohol. We would always recommend that the detox takes place in a residential setting for several reasons:
•    Staffing – the clinics have staff present around the clock should any difficulties occur (a home detox consists of a nurse visiting once a day).
•    Psychological support – whilst in a residential clinic there are therapists available to provide support for the psychological side of the addiction.
•    Success rate – statistics have shown that individuals are far more likely to have a successful outcome if they have been in a residential programme (however arranging a suitable aftercare programme following a home detox can greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome).
•    Cost – many residential programmes are actually more cost-effective than a home detox.

However, for some individuals, a home detox is the only option that can be considered and so they may wish to explore this further. No detoxification from alcohol is a risk-free procedure and alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening in some circumstances. Therefore, it is important that one of our nurses is able to carry out a thorough assessment in order to ascertain individual suitability. Those who are susceptible to withdrawal seizures, or who have underlying health complications may not be considered suitable for a home detox as the risk would be too high; they would be much safer completing the detox in a residential setting.


Additional Information

Additional information on residential detoxification can be found at: HERE
Additional rehabilitation information can be found at: HERE
Additional information about residential treatment centres available at: HERE



Seeking help for an addiction?

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We provide addiction treatment and counselling services for people with drug or alcohol problems, their friends and their relatives. All initial advice is free of charge and given by qualified professionals in addictions treatment.

You can receive independent, expert advice on addictions rehab and treatment by telephoning PCUG Addiction Treatment on 0800 246 5293


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