21 Jun 2024

Deciding to detox from alcohol is a critical step in the journey to recovery, and choosing the right setting for detoxification can significantly impact the outcome. This blog will explore the differences between detoxing at home and undergoing detox in a residential rehab facility. Each option has its own advantages and considerations, which we'll delve into to help you make an informed decision.

Senior Treatment Advisor at Rehabs UK, Scott states: "When considering treatment for alcoholism, it's crucial to explore how you will maintain sobriety. Engaging in medical detox, whether in a rehab facility or at home, is one option, but medication alone is not sufficient."

Residential Rehab

Residential rehab provides a structured, medically supervised environment for individuals undergoing detox. Here are the key features and benefits of choosing a residential rehab:

Suitable for High-Risk Individuals

Residential rehabs can accept people who drink over 30 units of alcohol a day, which is equivalent to consuming three bottles of wine, a 70cl bottle of gin, or around 15 pints of lager. This level of consumption is high-risk, and individuals with additional health issues can be safely managed in a residential setting. The detox process is medically managed with on-site medical professionals, reducing the risk for those with severe alcohol dependencies.

24/7 Expert Care

During detox, individuals receive continuous care from experts and those with lived experience of addiction. This round-the-clock supervision ensures that any complications can be promptly addressed, and support is always available.

Structured Daily Programme

A structured daily programme helps individuals stay focused on their recovery. This includes therapy sessions, support groups, and activities designed to foster new habits and behaviours. Each individual often has a key worker to guide them through the process, providing personalised support.

Minimized Risk of Relapse

Being in a residential facility helps minimize the temptation to drink, creating a safe environment for recovery. This also provides peace of mind for family members, knowing their loved one is in a secure and supportive setting.

Comprehensive Recovery Environment

Residential rehabs offer a therapeutic environment that includes support groups, therapy, and either the 12-step programme or non-12-step programmes. This comprehensive approach helps address the mental aspects of addiction, not just the physical dependency.

Support for Co-occurring Conditions

Residential rehabs are well-equipped to handle individuals with cross-addiction, dual diagnosis, and co-occurring conditions, ensuring they receive tailored support. Co-occurring disorders could include those suffering with mental health conditions as well as addiction. For example. depression or anxiety. For more information, check out these resources on dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders, and ADHD and substance abuse.

Higher Investment

The comprehensive care and specialist involvement in residential rehab comes at a higher cost. On average, a 28-day residential rehab programme can cost anywhere from £4,000 to £12,000 or more. However, luxury rehabs can charge upwards of £20,000 for a 28-day programme For details on the financial aspects, visit how much private alcohol rehab costs in the UK.

Long-Term Support

Detox alone is not enough to address addiction. Residential rehab provides a supportive environment to help form new habits and mental defences against alcohol. Aftercare is often provided to help individuals adjust to life post-rehab.

Senior Treatment Advisor Scott, States: "It's vital to consider additional support for your recovery, such as addiction therapy, recovery groups like AA, which are available both online and in person, or educational courses on the science of addiction to enhance your understanding and aid your recovery."

Home Detox for Alcohol

Home detox is another option for those seeking to remove alcohol from their system safely if they are physically dependent. Here’s what you need to know about detoxing at home:

Medication and Suitability

The medication used for home detox is the same as in a rehab setting, but the individual must not consume more than 30 units of alcohol a day. Home detox is most suitable for those in good health, without a history of seizures, sleep apnoea, or suicidal ideation. A pre-assessment determines suitability, which you can learn more about the free assessment here.

Full Assessment and Detox Regime

Once deemed suitable, individuals receive a full assessment by a Rehabs UK recommended doctor who prescribes the appropriate medication and detox regime.

Check-in Calls and Support

During the detox process, there are four check-in calls initially with a trained treatment advisor to monitor progress and administer doses. A blood pressure machine is required, and support with recovery coaching is provided. An optional detox buddy can offer additional support if needed.

Personalised Outpatient Programme

An outpatient programme can be tailored to the individual, including therapy with an addiction specialist either in-person or online, and access to online support groups.

Cost-Effective and Convenient

Home detox allows individuals to stay in their own home, making it a more cost-effective option. It also supports treatment via the 12-step or non-12-step approach.

Long-Term Treatment and Support

Anti-craving medication can be part of a longer-term treatment plan, and aftercare is available to support ongoing recovery. it is important to know that any medication isn't a quick fix but should be used in combination with other coping mechanisms. For more information, visit does anti-craving medication work for alcoholism? and Rehabs UK aftercare.

Family Support

Home detox includes access to online family support groups, helping loved ones understand and support the individual’s recovery journey. Learn more about family support here.


Senior Treatment advisor Scott. States: "Finding a sustainable long-term strategy is essential, as addiction doesn't simply disappear; even in sobriety, vulnerability remains without a proactive attitude and a strong support network to develop coping mechanisms for daily challenges."

Both residential rehab and home detox have their own unique benefits and considerations. Residential rehab offers a higher level of medical supervision, structured programmes, and a supportive environment away from potential triggers. Home detox, on the other hand, provides a cost-effective solution for those who meet the criteria and have a stable home environment.

For those weighing their options, it’s crucial to consider the level of care needed, personal health conditions, and the support available at home. Detox is just the first step in the journey to recovery, and ongoing support and therapy are essential for long-term success. For more information on making this critical decision, you can explore more about inpatient vs outpatient rehab and the importance of relapse prevention.

Contact our Treatment Advisors Today!