If Do-It-Yourself Alcohol Detox Won’t Work and Isn’t Safe – What Can I Do?

If you want to quit and do it without further damaging your health, you’ll need some professional medical help. Yes, you’ll still need family support, and yes, you’ll still need to change your lifestyle and various hobbies, perhaps some friends too. Yes, even after you are over the withdrawal symptoms and done with rehab, you’ll still need to join a local AA group and stick with it (cite 1).

Why do you need professional medical help? First, because everyone’s situation is a little different. Your consumption levels may be more or less than someone else. You may have been drinking longer, perhaps all your life. Your alcohol consumption may involve all aspects of your life, your work, relationships, and social affairs. Your age also matters, so too does your current health status. Thus, you need a doctor who can customize your alcohol detox program.

Second, an addiction specialist with a medical background can best prescribe you substitute drugs that take the place of alcohol. This allows your body to get what it needs to function in place of the dependency on alcohol. This in no way means it will be a walk in the park, but it will prevent seizures and organ failure, and reduce withdrawal extremes.

Why Are Residential Alcohol Treatment Centers Best?

Residential alcohol treatment centers have a better success rate than alcohol treatment centers which only see a patient for a few hours at a time. This is because when you visit a clinic, you then go back home, to the same place and environment that is enabling your drinking, perhaps causing you the stress causing you to want to have a drink.

Also, at a residential alcohol treatment center, it’s a more relaxed atmosphere, where addiction specialists can observe your progress, offer assistance and be there for you during the most intense periods of alcohol withdrawal and all the raw emotions that go along with the process (cite: 2).

Are you beginning to understand why do-it-yourself detox rarely works? Maybe you can see why a little investment now will give you your life back and pay dividends for the rest of its duration. The price of residential rehabs are quite expensive, and yes, addiction clinics much cheaper, but if you have a relapse you could hurt your health and you’ve wasted all the money you spent at the cheaper clinic.


1.) “Alcoholics Anonymous Outcomes and Benefits,” by J. Scott Tonigan. Published in Recent Developments in Alcoholism pp 357-371, on June 30, 2008.

2.) “Determinants of suggestions for alcohol treatment,” by Robin Room, Susan Bondy, and Jacqueline Ferris. First published: May 1996.