front cover of “How to Detox Yourself From Alcohol” by Soroya Bacchus stock photos



  1. That many patients try to quit alcohol on their own without the proper information and tools, resulting in permanent brain damage or even death?
  2. That successful relapse prevention must be biopsychosocial — i.e. addressing biological, psychological AND sociological aspects of the patient’s post-detox life?
  3. That alcohol is actually the most lethal drug to detox from, even heroin?

This is a book to guide you through detoxing from alcohol privately at home, or anywhere outside of a hospital setting, supervised by a physician and with loved ones or trusted friends present at all times during the detox period. The author, Soroya Bacchus, M.D., is a triple board-certified psychiatrist specializing in addiction and psychosomatic medicine. How to Detox Yourself From Alcohol is a unique approach to quitting drinking. Dr. Bacchus points out that detoxifying is more complex than people realize, and can even lead to death if not done properly. As she puts it, “I don’t care about sobriety. I care about healthy.”


Dr. Bacchus starts with a discussion about what constitutes alcohol addiction and how it begins.  I was surprised to find out that the measure of alcohol addiction can differ from drinker to drinker and between men and women. It seems that the amount of booze someone drinks is not the only criterion for determining if there is an alcohol problem.  I also learned that one is not necessarily born with a proclivity for alcohol addiction [although there is often a genetic component]; rather, in many cases alcohol abuse alters the brain in such a way that the drinker actually develops an addiction.

Dr. Bacchus guides the reader to determine whether he has a problem with alcohol consumption and whether he is a candidate for outpatient detox or is best treated in a medical setting.  She makes it very clear that self-detoxification is not for everyone.

Dr. Bacchus provides the tools for recovery that anyone can use to detox, get healthy and maintain their sobriety. Aside from the brain, the book outlines what alcohol does to the other organs in the body, and which effects of drinking can or cannot be reversed. I always knew that alcohol wreaks havoc on the liver, but I was shocked to discover how much alcohol affects the brain, kidneys, skin and even the heart.

Finally, the book has a comprehensive discussion on staying sober. Indeed it is common knowledge that detoxification is just a beginning to the journey, and that staying sober is a bigger battle that many alcohol addicts lose. Many go through multiple cycles of active drinking and rehab and relapse back into active drinking.  Dr. Bacchus is very frank in her discussion of post-detox activity and what is necessary to avoid relapse.


Soroya Bacchus, M.D., has been practicing psychiatry since 1995. She is triple board-certified and specializes in addiction and psychosomatic medicine. Dr. Bacchus earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine, where she majored in biological sciences. She then received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington D.C. and started her psychiatry residency at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles.