Home Detox has advantages as well as disadvantages. When the use and abuse of drugs or alcohol are evident, the natural tendency is to assume that the only way to solve the problem is to stop all substance use. This approach is the correct one; abstinence is the best way to deal with addiction. However, it is far easier said than done.
Addiction is not a willpower problem; therefore, it cannot be more effectively treated if you make a mental or an emotional decision to stop. Besides, trying to detox at home in this manner is ineffective when drug dependence is the issue, but it can also be dangerous.
Risks of at-home detox can be determined by assessing the potential benefits and risks of a home detox program. Although there are some risks of at-home detox that you should take, the dangers of home detoxing may also occur due to improper dieting, an imperfect general health condition, or certain medications. Besides, risks of at-home detox may also occur as a result of using certain medications.
Home Detox is also is associated with the abuse of illegal substances. Illegal substances may contain controlled substances that are harmful to your health. If you abuse an unlawful substance, there are many serious health risks. Some of the symptoms of home detox include; tremors, seizures, hypertension, hallucinations, mania, and delusions. People that abuse drugs or home detox may experience cravings and addictive behaviour patterns. Many symptoms of home detox may occur when a person has a drug dependency. Among the risks associated with a home detox program are the following:
- Relapse. One of the most significant risks associated with unsupervised home detox is that you will relapse. Relapse is common during home detox because the withdrawal symptoms and the cravings can become overwhelming and impossible to resist. Someone at-home detox may retreat and consume more of the substance than they usually would, increasing the risk of having a fatal overdose. Home Detox is not an easy or comfortable process. Dependent on the type and intensity of withdrawal symptoms, detoxification can be a challenging process. Many will not be able to complete rehab without relapsing due to the knowledge that it only necessitates a dose of the drug of choice to eliminate the physical discomfort, agitation, and cravings.
- Overdose. Even though the home detox period is short, the body’s chemistry can be reset during this time. What was once a typical dose that resulted in a high before the at-home detox effort can suddenly become an overwhelming dose due to how the body reacts to the at-home detox attempt. Without professional care, this can be deadly.
- Problems of mental wellbeing. It is common for people to experience frustration, tiredness, panic, depression, exhaustion, and other mental health symptoms associated with home detox; however, for those who have an existing mental health condition, mental health issues co-occur with addiction escalate dramatically and become debilitating during home detox.
- Medical complications. Likewise, underlying medical conditions can become problematic during home detox. In a few cases, patients are not aware of any medical conditions they should pay attention to because they have begun while active addiction was still ongoing and has not yet been diagnosed. In other cases, previously manageable chronic medical conditions cause complications during home detox.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of opioid prescriptions sold in the United States quadrupled between 1999 and 2014; however, there was a slight improvement in the amount of pain that Americans reported. However, there has been a significant increase in the number of recorded opioid addictions, overdoses, and overdose deaths at-home detox. Every day, 78 Americans die due to an opioid overdose, which involves overdoses on medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and heroin.
Because of this epidemic, it is critical to seek treatment to resolve opioid addiction, mainly to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and ensure a person makes it through the challenging detox phase and into the therapeutic portion of rehab. If a person tries to detox at home, the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction often result in relapse, resulting in overdose.
Attempting to detox on one’s own can be fatal for specific individuals. When a person has struggled with an addiction for a long time, the body has most likely formed a dependency on the addictive drug. If the person abruptly begins taking this medication, withdrawal symptoms may occur, and some of the body’s systems can malfunction as a result. Alcoholism, in particular, can cause this issue by impairing kidney and liver functions and making the person feel ill. Overdose is a common problem with opioid medications. Withdrawing from these medications without assistance will result in a rapid relapse, which often results in overdose.
Drug detox, fortunately, is a safe and reliable tool for overcoming physical dependency on a substance. Specific drugs, when tapered over time, may help people wean themselves off opiates or alcohol. If these drugs are not available for an addictive drug, such as cocaine or marijuana, other medications, such as antidepressants and nausea medications, may help to alleviate the most severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Although medical detox is not required for all abuse substances, it is often required for withdrawal from alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Health practitioners should assess the need for medical detox on a case-by-case basis.
The Advantages of Medical Detox
A professional medical detox offers patients a wide range of supportive assistance in medical and psychiatric care. Taking a detox in any context does not ensure that complications like medical problems or psychological concerns will not appear. Still, when they do arise, patients can receive the treatment they require to manage those issues. Medical and psychiatric professionals are standing by to provide medication and stabilization to patients right after their admission to the program and as the treatment progresses.
Additionally, the risk of relapse is much lower at a professional detox than when patients undergo an at-home detox. Patients should avoid relapse as long as they choose to remain in the program, thereby avoiding overdose and other medical emergencies that could result.
The therapeutic support of the substance abuse treatment specialists at the detox program and the peer support that other patients also experience at the same time make choosing a professional detox the most effective option for recovery. There is no substitute for a comprehensive, round-the-clock approach provided by specialists or the ongoing support of peers who share the same outlook.
Detoxification is the act of allowing the drug or alcohol to leave the body. Many individuals have been tempted to attempt this step on their own or at home, but there are severe dangers in trying this without professional support. Detox causes withdrawal symptoms and depending on the drug, and these symptoms may be powerful enough to cause a relapse. A relapse can result in an overdose, which can be fatal. As a result, detoxing should never be attempted alone or without supervision. Other serious risks can be deadly for someone detoxing from benzodiazepines or alcohol, making it even more essential to seek clinical advice and medical attention for detox.
Non-Fatal home detox includes overdose of certain medications and overdose of certain medicines. Some medicines used to treat psychiatric disorders like ADHD may cause mood swings, irritability, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Drugs such as caffeine, opiates, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol are considered At-Home Non-Fatal Dose. Individuals who take medications for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mood disorders are considered In-Home Non-Fatal Dose.
Taking certain medications may increase the Risks of At-Home Detox. Examples of drugs include anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, pain killers, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressant medications. Taking any of these at home while you detox at home may not be suitable for your health as some of these medications may have unpleasant side effects. It is therefore recommended that you get proper medical supervision before you start taking any of these medications. Antidepressants can be used for some purposes, including anxiety treatment, restlessness, depression, stress management, and other health conditions.
Taking home detox carries significant risks. If you or someone you know attempts to detox without clinical assistance, it can fail, resulting in relapse or worse. The best choice is to seek the aid of recovery specialists to help you navigate this complex and hazardous phase. Health and mental health providers at a recovery facility offer a supportive place where relapse is not possible. Medication and medical treatment can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps significantly, for those experiencing withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines, this medical treatment may be life-saving.
It is also important to note that detoxing at a recovery facility allows you to begin your drug treatment there. Detoxification is just the first step. It is not a solution for addiction, and there is a lot of hard work to be done afterward. Following detox, providers may assist you in developing an individualized treatment plan that could include drugs, counseling, group support, and other forms of ongoing care to assist you in achieving long-term rehabilitation.
Contact us at the number listed above to learn more about the benefits of professional home detoxification from addictive substances. We can also refer you to a dual diagnosis treatment program that addresses your mental health problems and addiction. Call now.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.