Why You Shouldn't Attempt Alcohol Detox on your Own: A Cautionary Tale

" People Woman " by StockSnap via Pixabay ( CC0 Creative Commons )

"People Woman" by StockSnap via Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons)

For a large proportion of people with alcohol or drug addiction issues who are looking to quit, professional detox treatment is not an option. Sometimes it is the cost of professional detox that deters them, but in many cases it is lack of education of what is involved in detox that leads to many thinking DIY alcohol detox is the best way forward. However, there are many reasons why DIY alcohol detox does not work and in some cases, can be extremely detrimental to someone’s health.


The symptoms of withdrawal can be very severe, sometimes life threatening and much depends on how long someone’s been addicted and what they’re addicted to. For the majority of people, the symptoms of withdrawal start to appear at around 12 hours after your last drink. Everyone is different and so it’s natural to assume that every individual will experience symptoms with varying degrees of severity.

Symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable shakes
  • Hot and cold flashes and sweating
  • Nausea, headaches, vomiting
  • Inability to sleep
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Delusions and depression
  • Heavy fatigue
  • Increased heart rate, possible palpitations

The Dangers of DIY Detox

There is a widely held misconception that detoxing from alcohol is less dangerous than detoxing from drugs. However, this is not the case and there are significant risks attached with abstaining from alcohol, particularly if a person has been addicted for a prolonged period of time. Most people will have heard about the tragic death in July this year of ‘True Blood’ actor Nelsan Ellis at the age of just 39, which was as a direct result of the effects of withdrawal from alcohol. Ellis suffered heart failure after undertaking DIY detox and there was no-one present to prevent his death. Being alone when going through detox is never advisable.

If you’re going to do it alone, you have no possible way of anticipating the degree of your withdrawal. If you begin to experience distressing symptoms and have no way of managing them yourself, the temptation to drink just to make the symptoms go away can often be overwhelming.

Detox the Safe Way at Capo Canyon Recovery in Laguna Niguel, CA

Detox from alcohol can seem like a very overwhelming prospect for many and yet many people still choose to go it alone. The advantages of professional detox therapy are that the process is completely monitored by health professionals meaning that there is someone qualified at hand to manage difficult or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. If you have made the decision to quit, don’t take any chances with detox and book yourself into a supervised alcohol detox program at Capo Canyon Recovery. We’ll ensure you’re as comfortable as possible through detox and be close at hand to help you through it. Contact us in confidence to find out more.

Read More on the Blog: Signs You Might be Ready for Drug or Alcohol Detox