At-home detox has become popular over the years. While it is usually possible to make significant strides in overcoming alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine addiction with appropriate support, the dangers of detoxing at home without professional supervision can result in major health complications — or even death.
When an addiction sufferer recognizes that they have a problem, the door to treatment and lasting wellness is opened. However, the urge to detox at home can sometimes be an outgrowth of addictive behavior. It can also indicate that the sufferer’s guilt related to the addiction has not been adequately addressed and may impair decision-making.
A desire to detox is important, but detox should not be done alone. Let’s explore why.
Why It Is Dangerous to Detox at Home
Trying to detox at home deprives an addiction sufferer of a variety of resources:
- Appropriate “Step-Down” Measures for Certain Drugs: Drug addiction comes with a variety of significant health risks. Unfortunately, some drugs have such potent effects on the brain or central nervous system that it is not advisable to stop using them “cold turkey.” To maximize wellness, it may be necessary to gradually taper down use of certain substances in a safe, controlled environment — or start a course of medication to help.
- Monitoring of Overall Wellness and Potential Side Effects: Side effects of drug detox depend on the substance in question, the amount and duration of exposure, and a variety of other factors. While detoxifying is an important step in the process of getting well, it can be intense and unpleasant. Experts should monitor an addiction sufferer so that they can be kept safe from significant side effects at every step of the process.
- Emotional Support and Appropriate Means of Coping: Even individuals who had no intention of abusing a drug can find themselves suffering from chemical dependency or addiction. No matter how the addiction originated, sufferers are dealing with a significant health problem and deserve understanding. Each addiction sufferer must be provided with new tools to navigate the detox process and prevent relapse in the future.
At-Home Detox May Complicate Withdrawal
At some stage in every addiction, a sufferer is likely to face intense feelings of hopelessness and despair. The discomfort of addiction can seem so enormous that it feels impossible to go on without the substance. Even when withdrawal comes without acute symptoms, it is normal to feel mood disturbances such as depression or sadness.
At-home detox can isolate an individual and make them feel that sheer willpower is required to “get over” addiction. Unfortunately, this is not a healthy view! At some point in attempted self-detox, sufferers are very likely to conclude that they “need” drugs, creating a spiral of negativity as they feel they are not “strong enough” to overcome addiction. What’s more, introducing drugs back into the system after partial withdrawal can be dangerous.
Addiction Treatment, Recovery, and Help from the Leading Experts on Dual-Diagnosis Rehabilitation
Detox from any addictive substance should be a supervised procedure that includes appropriate counseling, therapy, and medical interventions. To benefit from holistic treatment that takes your needs into account, contact Morningside Recovery today.
Morningside Recovery is a leading California addiction rehab center. We have helped thousands of people from the U.S. and around the world take steps to secure lasting freedom from drug abuse and dependency — including illicit and prescription drugs.
Learn More About the Dangers of Detoxifying at Home:
- Information About Opiate Withdrawal from PubMed Health
- Synthetic Drugs Fact Sheet — Syracuse University Department of Public Health