Making the decision to detox after prolonged alcohol or drug use is an important first step on the road to recovery and something to be commended. Detoxing is best done in a professional facility where you can be monitored and treated for your own health and safety. However, there are many people who assume that they can detox on their own at home. Some people may feel nervous about going to an unfamiliar facility and instead feel safer detoxing in the comfort of their homes. Detoxing at home can not only be ineffective - as it often results in relapse – but it can also be dangerous.
What Is Detoxing?
The word detox can be used as a noun and a verb. Detox is defined as being a process or period of time in which a person abstains from, or rids their body of, toxic or unhealthy substances. At our center for alcohol and drug treatment, we see detoxing as the first step in substance abuse recovery because it allows dependent people to focus on removing the substances from their bodies.
Detox is often used for people who have developed substance dependencies to alcohol, sedative drugs like barbiturates, and opioids like heroin, morphine, and prescription pain medications. There is no set timeframe for an average detox, but the process can take anywhere from a few hours to weeks in order to completely clear the body of the substance.
Why Is Detoxing at Home Dangerous?
In essence, a person can detox at home. There are several natural ways to rid the body of the harmful toxins leftover from substance abuse. Your level of dependence will typically determine how long this process can take. Detoxing does come with withdrawal, however, which can come with the risk of suffering extreme health consequences. The more addicted a person is to alcohol or drugs, the more severe the effects of withdrawal can be, and they may even be life-threatening. Some of these can include hallucinations, seizures, and even death.
Other symptoms of withdrawal can include:
- Body tremors or shaking
- Agitation or irritation
- Fever and sweating
- Confusion or disorientation
- Rapid mood changes
- Diarrhea and stomach problems
Additionally, there are some substances that shouldn’t be stopped right away, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, as withdrawal symptoms can be serious and include seizures. When you detox on your own at home, chances are you don’t know how much you should limit your substance use. In these particular cases, medical detox is the safest way to withdraw, as medical professionals have the experience needed to create a detox plan that is safe.
Many people who plan to detox at home are alone, which is never recommended. Because of the many things that can go wrong during the withdrawal process, it’s safest to be supervised by someone, preferably a medical professional, who can monitor your symptoms and give you the medical treatment you may require.
At-Home Detoxes Can Also Be Ineffective
Besides the fact that detoxing at home and alone can be dangerous, it can also be ineffective. Individuals who experience the discomfort or pain of withdrawal for the first time often return to using the substance to make the symptoms disappear, preventing them from detoxing completely. There is also the risk of overdosing after you spend time experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal, which can lead to death.
Why Detox in Our Center?
While detoxing at home is unsafe and often ineffective, a medical detox allows the body to rid itself of toxins in a safe environment where medical professionals are available to give you a more comfortable experience.
Detoxing at home not working? If you're ready to get help, give us a call at Freedom Detox so you can get on the road to recovery. We’re here to help you lead a healthier, happier life with our personalized treatment programs. Our methods are proven to work because we tailor the treatment to your needs.
Fill out our form online or call Freedom Detox at (877) 207-8882 if you’re ready to take the first step toward recovery. We’re happy to answer your detox questions and help you understand the benefits of detoxing in our facility.