Alcohol Home Detox

Alcohol Home Detox

Alcohol dependence is a serious, but treatable, medical concern. Alcohol dependence is typically traced to a client’s genetic predisposition, social environment, or emotional state. No matter the cause, an expert clinical nurse will supervise a safe medical home detox. The nurse will assess vital signs, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature. A withdrawal scale, the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Scale of Alcohol (CIWA Scale) is utilized for withdrawal assessment. Re-assessment of your home detox treatment will be performed as often as is necessary to ensure a stable and successful recovery.

Is Alcohol Home Detox Safe?

Yes, Alcohol home detox is safe when it is medically supervised by a qualified detox nurse, one who is available to assess the client on an ongoing basis. The reputable publication American Family Physician published an article titled “Outpatient Detoxification of the Addicted or Alcoholic Patient” supporting outpatient detoxification.

EHD also published its own article on the subject titled: Is Alcohol Home Detox Safe? Read it here.

Withdrawal Symptoms during Detox

Alcohol dependent individuals are at risk for negative symptoms when they cut back or stop drinking alcohol. These symptoms include:

  • elevated pulse
  • elevated blood pressure
  • diaphoresis or sweats
  • anxiety
  • heart palpitations
  • agitation
  • tremors, fine to moderate hand tremors
  • Additionally, dependent individuals may experience seizures when they cut back or stop drinking alcohol.

Medication for Withdrawal and Detoxification

Executive Home Detox employs Registered Nurses expert in the administration and evaluation of detox medications. There are many medications that may be prescribed to assist with alcohol withdrawal. A clinician expert in the use of these medications should be consulted for more information.

Medication can be prescribed that will decrease the negative symptoms of alcohol detox and decrease the chance of a life threatening event, such as seizures or delirium tremens. Historically, Benzodiazepines or Phenobarbital have been utilized to manage withdrawal. Additional medications have recently begun being used to assist with withdrawal. Only a physician or nurse practitioner can prescribe the appropriate medication. EHD partners with competent prescribers.

Examples of benzodiazepines used for alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Chlorazepate (Tranxene)

A Barbiturate, Phenobarbital, is an effective medication for Alcohol Detoxification. And should only be used with medical supervision.

These medications must be used judiciously to effectively manage the detoxification process. It is important to have clinicians who are expert and comfortable in prescribing and monitoring these medications.

Detoxification Protocols

Many treatment programs utilize accepted Alcohol Detox Protocols for the management of alcohol withdrawal. Protocols may identify what medications to give at what time and for what symptoms. Protocols also take into consideration the need to decrease the detox medication over a certain period of time. EHD has a number of protocols for the prescribing physician or detox nurse to consider when prescribing medication for detox.

Medication Management to Sustain Recovery

Medications may assist the individual in sustaining their recovery. These medications include:

We strongly encourage clients to consider the use of these non-addictive medications, individually or together, to enhance the chances of sustaining recovery and preventing relapse. We work with the client and the prescribing clinician to evaluate the potential use of these medications.

The use of other types of medications, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and other psychotropics may assist in sleep, relapse prevention, and sustaining recovery.

EHD strongly encourages the client and the client’s family to consult with the client’s physician or primary care provider to discuss options related to the medical detoxification of alcohol at home or anywhere else. Options for the client will range from hospitalization to some type of supervised outpatient detox.