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Alcohol Detox - Without Money for Treatment

Comments (5)
answered 12:27 AM EST, Wed February 06, 2013
anonymous anonymous
I live in Atlanta. I have no money to pay the rent this month. I am unemployed. I am an alcoholic. I was working as a pizza chef and I got fired for drinking at work. I used to be a guy that had a master’s degree and now I am a guy that can’t hold down a job in a pizza place. I am ready to stop but I have no money (as I mentioned). If I just wait until I get really shaky and then go to a hospital will they detox me? I wake up with bad shakes every morning so it won’t take too long. I think if I can not drink until midnight I will be in very bad shape. I want to move into a sober living house but I need to get detoxed first. There is no way I can afford rehab.

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds
MSED, NCC, LPC

Thank you for your question. I think it's great that you're willing to get help. You are right to want to go to the hospital for detox. Alcohol detox is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted with proper medical supervision. Without proper medical treatment, you could have a seizure. Please go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. At the hospital, they will be able to give you medications to make you more comfortable.

You do not need to wait until you have withdrawal symptoms. Let the hospital staff know that you are physically addicted to alcohol and want to stop drinking. If they have beds available, they may admit you even before you have withdrawal symptoms. There is a possibility that they may not admit you until they are able to observe withdrawal symptoms. However, you should be able to stay at the hospital until withdrawal begins. If they would refuse to admit you, I would stay at the hospital until they do. I don't think they can refuse to admit you once you begin to have withdrawal symptoms because of the risks of alcohol withdrawal.

Once you are at the hospital, talk to the staff about going to rehab and a sober living house. They should have a social worker on staff who can arrange for you to go to rehab after detox. You do not need money for this. If you have insurance, it may cover alcohol treatment. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for emergency medical assistance. If you do not qualify for medical assistance, there are other programs that may pay for rehab. The social worker will be able to help you find a program you can go to without having to pay. However, there may be a waiting list for these programs. After detox, if you are unable to get into a rehab or sober living house, I recommend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The meetings are free and you can find people who understand what you are going through and will support you. You may even find that many people in the meetings know what programs are available to help you get into rehab or a sober living house.

You mentioned that you "used to be a guy that had a master’s degree." You still have a master's degree. Alcoholism is a disease. It can take a lot of things from you but it cannot take that accomplishment away. With proper treatment and support, you can still have a wonderful life.

Good luck. 

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