How To Detoxify Yourself From Alcohol (with Pictures)

There are approximately 12 million alcoholics in the United States, many of whom need help quitting drinking. In Indonesia itself, based on the results of research conducted by GeNAM in 2014, the number of teenagers who consume alcoholic beverages reaches 23{0cab0315eb88983cc6345dfecff4f621a8cecabbfee422d927279c9ad2a3b209} of the total number of teenagers today or around 14.4 million people. An important step in getting rid of alcohol is detoxification, or detox, a period of about a week when the body tries to get rid of all the alcohol circulating in the system. This difficult process sometimes requires medical attention, but as long as your doctor considers it safe, you can try to detox at home by following these steps.

Making the Decision to Detox

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Review your lifestyle and drinking habits. While many people can drink alcohol every once in a while without causing problems, for some it can lead to dangerous addictions. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may be an alcoholic and should consider quitting drinking.

Drink in the morning.

Drink alone.

Feeling guilty after drinking.

Trying to hide drinking habits from others.

You have a hard time stopping once you have had one glass.

You experience withdrawal symptoms after not drinking for several hours, including sweating, shaking, anxiety, and nausea.

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Evaluate your goals. Once you’ve decided that you should cut back on alcohol or quit completely, you should set concrete goals.

If your goal is to quit completely, write “I’m going to stop drinking alcohol on this date.” Set a specific date on which you want to stop drinking. That way, you will have real goals to achieve.

Maybe you don’t want to quit completely, but for health reasons you decide to drink only on Fridays and Saturdays. This is called ” harm reduction “.). Write down goals like, “From this date on, I’ll only drink on Fridays and Saturdays.” Again, it is important to set a concrete date when this process will begin. Develop your ability to be aware of how many drinks you’ve had and how you feel during that time. Instead of choosing how much to drink, increase your ability to recognize when you’re drinking too fast or drinking more when you’re around strangers. The better you recognize your drinking habits, the better you will be able to control them.

If you are only planning to reduce your alcohol intake, you may or may not need a full detox. Depending on how severe your current alcohol addiction is, detoxing may still be necessary. Be aware that significantly reducing your intake of addictive substances can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

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Announce your goals. Let those around you know your plans. That way, you can begin to build the support system you need when you begin your detox.

Let those around you know that you will need them. That support can be as simple as asking them not to offer you a drink, or asking them not to drink around you. Whatever your needs, make sure you explain it clearly to them.

It’s important to make your goals clear to your old drinking buddies. Group pressure caused many to give up. If these people don’t support your cause and force you to drink, it’s best to stay away from them.

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Get alcohol out of your home. When you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you may not be able to control your addiction. Avoid this temptation by not keeping alcohol in the house.

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Get outside support. Call and seek information from the Mental Health Care Foundation’s Civil Rehabilitation Center or the Indonesian Harvester Foundation for example, to get support to stop drinking and find others who have similar problems. You can start attending the meetings they have, and continue to participate in their activities throughout the process.

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Preparing to Detox

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Visit a doctor. Detoxification can be very dangerous if done incorrectly, so you should consult a doctor before proceeding. He or she will be able to tell you whether self-detoxification is appropriate in your case. If you are a heavy alcoholic, you may need medical help to detox. Doctors can also prescribe medications or suggest vitamins and supplements that will help in your detoxification process.

Your doctor may also write you a letter requesting sick leave to make sure you don’t lose your job.

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Call a friend or family member and ask him to stay with you during the detox period. Detoxification really shouldn’t be done alone. There are a number of dangers associated with detox and you may need medical help. While some people plan to detox on their own and call 112 if they need help, it’s still not a safe plan. Withdrawal symptoms can develop very quickly and you could pass out before you can pick up the phone. This means you will need someone in case of an emergency. He should stay with you 24 hours a day for the first three days at least, and should check on you regularly for the rest of the week.

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Learn about the risks and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol. Detoxification will not be a pleasant experience. For long-term heavy alcoholics, detoxification can even be fatal if done incorrectly. You and your companion should be prepared for the following symptoms to occur within hours of your last drink and last up to 3 days or more. These symptoms can even last up to a week.

Severe headache.

Sweating at night.

Heart beating fast.

Nausea and vomiting.


Body shaking.

Mental symptoms such as confusion, irritability, depression, and anxiety.

More severe symptoms such as hallucinations and seizures.

Delirium tremens (DT) – This acute episode of delirium usually occurs between 24-72 hours after your last drink and is characterized by extreme restlessness and disorientation, and body tremors. These symptoms most often affect people who have been heavy drinkers for more than a decade or more.

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Know when to seek medical help. The person you live with should know when it is time to seek medical help. If you experience any of the following symptoms, your caregiver should call 112 or take you to the ER.

Fever with a temperature of 38°C or higher.

Seizures or convulsions.

Visual or auditory hallucinations.

Severe, persistent vomiting or dry breath ( dry heave ).

Extreme restlessness or violent outbursts.


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Make sure you have a plentiful supply of food and water. You may feel lazy to leave the house, and your companion should not leave you alone for the first few days. It’s important to have an adequate supply of fresh food for several days at home as well as several gallons of water during this period. Freeze small dishes to make it easier for you to serve food when you feel uncomfortable. You need healthy foods to replace the nutrients lost in the detox process. Some options to consider when shopping are:

Fresh fruits and vegetables.

High protein foods such as chicken, fish, or peanut butter.

Oats, to help control blood sugar.

Soup. People often lose their appetites during the withdrawal process from alcohol, so soft foods such as soups are perfect for making at home.

Vitamin supplements. It is common for heavy drinkers to experience vitamin deficiencies, so to stay healthy you must replace these nutrients. Some options worth considering are B vitamins, C, and magnesium supplements. Take only supplements approved by your doctor.

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Apply for at least one week’s leave from work. Your condition will not allow you to work while detoxifying. It can take up to 7 days for the worst symptoms to subside, so if you start on a Saturday, you should be prepared to stay home until the next work week. If the doctor thinks it’s necessary, ask him to write a sick leave letter.

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Detox Process

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Write a letter to yourself. In the early hours of a detox, you can write a letter from your drinking self to your sober self reflecting on why you want to stop drinking, and hopes for the future. When withdrawal symptoms are taking a toll on your physique making the detoxification process difficult, you can read this letter for motivation. What do you expect yourself to be like? What are you ashamed of? Don’t brush off negative emotions. Write down who you stopped drinking for, who you hurt, how you hurt yourself and those you love. Write down the values ​​you want to guide your life and why.

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Practice the “ grounding ” technique (a technique that helps a person stay connected to the present). Grounding ”, which is similar to self-awareness, is a set of research-backed techniques that can help you through the phase of extreme addiction by focusing on the present. When you are addicted, use common sense to keep yourself grounded in the present by paying attention to what is right in front of you. Keep fighting for as long as it takes until the addiction passes. You can rotate some of the techniques if one of them doesn’t work. Practice the following techniques:

Describe little things about your environment without making judgments. For example, you may notice that the carpet is thick and soft, the walls are blue, there are cracks in the walls, and the air smells fresh.

Distract yourself by naming items by category, such as types of fruit or names of countries in alphabetical order.

Try to stay physically grounded in the present by doing simple exercises or running your hands over a textured surface.

Think pleasant thoughts: name your favorite food or favorite TV character.

Think or say aloud statements that help you endure, such as “I can do it.”

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Drink lots of water. Withdrawal from alcohol often causes vomiting and diarrhea, which can make you more prone to dehydration. Make sure you drink enough water to replace lost fluids. You can also drink sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes, but you or your companion should limit them to one or two bottles a day at most. The high sugar content in this drink can make symptoms worse if consumed in large quantities.

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Eat as much as you can. Even though you may not have an appetite, you still need nutrients to get through this detoxification process. Do not force yourself to eat large portions, this can make you nauseous. Continue a regular nutritional intake and eat small portions of frozen food if you are too weak to go outside. Instead of snacking, focus on foods that will replace the nutrients lost as you go through the alcohol withdrawal process from your body.

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Get some fresh air. Being cooped up in the house for days may make you feel even more sick. Sitting outside for just a few minutes and getting some fresh air and getting some sunshine can help you feel better.

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Exercise. Your body may not be fit to run a marathon or lift weights, but you should move as much as possible. Sitting all the time doing nothing is bad for your mental and physical health. Physical activity releases endorphins that can help fight depression and anxiety that come with detoxing. Take short walks and stand up for occasional stretches to keep your body moving.

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Observe your condition. Continue to discuss with your partner and tell him how you feel. Not only will this activity help you pass the time, but it will also help him know if he should consider medical help for you.

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Consider professional help if you need to detox again. The physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol can often cause people to give up during the detox process. Don’t think of yourself as weak. You just have to try it again. If this is the case, you may need special supervision. Consider going to a rehab or detox center to help you through the process.

After Detox

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Be aware that residual effects may occur. Although your withdrawal symptoms will go away within a week, you may feel certain effects over a few weeks. These effects include irritability, headaches, and insomnia.

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Seek psychological counselling. Recovering addicts often experience depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems. Therefore, it is very important to deal with this problem with the help of a therapist or counselor. If you are successful in detoxing physically, but failing to address your mental health, your chances of relapse are very high.

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Join a support group. Even if you have successfully detoxed, you will need to build a support network to help you through the ongoing battle with alcohol. In addition to friends and family, support groups can be a great resource. Many people in this group have been through what you have been through, and can offer advice and support. Call them if you are addicted or need any help.

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Find new hobbies and interests. Your past activities may involve alcohol, so to live a healthy life you must find new activities to replace old ones.

Think about an activity you used to enjoy, but haven’t done in a while. Reviving this old hobby can be a good way to keep your mind positive.

Also, consider hobbies that give you a sense of purpose, such as volunteer work.

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Don’t replace your alcohol addiction with another addictive substance addiction. Recovering addicts often replace alcohol with other substances such as caffeine and tobacco. This kind of addiction is just as dangerous. Instead of replacing your addiction, you should focus on living your life without addiction.

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Deal with addiction. You can be sure you will experience alcohol addiction. There are several things you can do to treat things well and prevent recurrences.

Avoid triggers. If certain people, places, or situations give you the urge to drink, you should avoid them. If old friends are always urging you to drink, it’s best to get them out of your life.

Practice saying “no”. You won’t always be able to avoid every situation that involves alcohol, so you should be prepared to refuse the drink offered.

Divert your attention when you are addicted. You can do this by taking a walk, listening to music, driving, or doing other activities that can help you forget about your alcohol addiction.

Divert your attention when you are addicted. You can do this by taking a walk, listening to music, driving, or doing other activities that can help you forget about your alcohol addiction.

Remind yourself why you stopped drinking. When you experience the urge to drink, think about how hard it was for you to stop drinking and why you did it.

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Take into account the possibility of a setback. Unfortunately, relapse is a common occurrence among recovering addicts. But if you slip once, don’t consider yourself a failure. Use all the skills you’ve acquired on this journey to successfully overcome the setbacks.

Stop drinking immediately and stay away from whatever you are drinking.

Call your sponsor or support friend and tell him what happened.

Remember that these small setbacks need not ruin all of your progress.

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