Is Home Detox a Smart Move
Detoxing from alcohol isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. That’s why modern clinics tend to offer medical alcohol detox as opposed to the old-school method of stopping cold turkey. Medical detox is defined as detox supported by medical assistance. It can be done in a clinic, a hospital, or even at home. But is home detox a smart move?
Patients tend to work with their GPs to assess whether home detox is an appropriate option. When it is, the choice is ultimately left up to patients. Needless to say, there are plenty of reasons for choosing medical alcohol detox at home. Likewise, there are valid reasons for detoxing in a clinical setting.
How Medical Detox Works
Medically supported alcohol detox combines traditional detox principles with modern medical support. The primary goal is to get patients through detox and withdrawal safely, while also making the process as comfortable as possible.
To that end, prescription medications are often utilised to help control withdrawal symptoms. This leads to a more gradual withdrawal that can be easier to tolerate. Throughout the entire process, a patient is monitored by trained healthcare professionals capable of intervening if necessary.
Medical detox is normally supported by aftercare. What does this mean? Patients are evaluated several times following detox and offered support services that can include rehab, counselling, educational resources, and more.
How Detox At Home Is Different
Medically supported alcohol detox at home offers all the same benefits of detoxing in a clinical setting, but with the added benefit of being in a more comfortable environment. That is actually the biggest difference. Instead of lying in bed at a clinic or hospital, the patient can lie in their own bed, sit on the couch and watch TV, or otherwise do those things that are normal at home.
Another difference between clinical and home detox is the person or people accompanying the patient. In a clinical setting, nurses and other medical professionals are always on hand. In a home setting, this is not the case. Patients usually ask friends or family members to stay with them while they detox. Medical supervision is still provided through:
- Home Visits – At least one home visit will be necessary at the start of the detox process. Subsequent visits by a medical professional may be advised based on a patient’s circumstances.
- Phone Support – In some situations, a medical professional will contact the patient by phone to evaluate whether home detox is an option. During detox, subsequent phone calls might be placed just to determine how the patient is doing.
- Follow-Up Support – Whether by phone or in person, one or more medical professionals follows up with the patient to ensure their well-being. Follow-up visits might result in additional prescriptions being written.
Even though detoxing at home takes clinics and hospitals out of the equation, it doesn’t mean not having access to medical help. Doctors and nurses are still involved. They still ensure that the process is safe.
Benefits of Detoxing at Home
Home detox is not a good option for every patient looking to get off alcohol. That’s why doctors and patients need to discuss every option first. But where it is appropriate, it offers some incredibly attractive benefits. These include:
- Immediate Treatment – There is no waiting list for home detox. Patients can get started right away.
- Familiarity and Comfort – Detoxing at home keeps patients in a familiar and comfortable environment. This is conducive to an easier process.
- Customised Treatment – Medical detox at home offers a certain level of customisation one cannot get at a clinic or hospital.
- Privacy – Detoxing at home is more private than doing it in a clinical setting.
- Lower Cost – Out-of-pocket costs tend to be lower at home. That makes sense. You are not having to pay the expenses normally associated with clinic or hospital stays.
Perhaps the most attractive benefit of medical alcohol detox at home is the ability to self-refer. You don’t need to visit your GP to get an official referral. You can contact a provider on your own.
Medically supported alcohol detox can be a life-changing experience. And while it can be conducted in a clinic or hospital setting, patients can also detox at home. The home option offers a lot of benefits definitely worth considering.