When someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, their body becomes physically dependent on these substances.
Their brain changes, and they crave these substances as soon as the high starts to wear off. Due to the developed tolerance, when an individual with a drug or alcohol dependence suddenly stops using the substance or attempts to quit cold turkey, they will begin to experience severe and often life-threatening symptoms called withdrawals. Unfortunately, many individuals with addictions fail to realize the dangers of detoxing without medical support. If you or someone you know wants to quit substance abuse, here’s why you shouldn’t detox from drugs at home and why you should get professional support instead.
Dangers of Drug Detox at Home
Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can take place in various settings, and while the many at-home remedies for drug detox online can make it tempting to try the process at home, a medically-supervised detox can help to greatly minimize the risk of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and address any complications that may come up. Especially when it comes to certain substances – such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids – detox can be even riskier than usual.
Additionally, physical dependence and withdrawal can also be taxing on the mind. Aside from withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, it’s important to consider that the individual is addicted to the substance in question for a reason. Substance use disorders are deeply rooted in both the mental and physical, and going to a professional facility like our California detox center for support can increase the chances of a successful recovery.
While many people are tempted to try drug or alcohol detox at home, this approach is not the best idea. Below are some of the various risks of undergoing detox from drugs at home and why you should consider getting professional support.
Increased Risk of Complications
An inevitable part of the detox process is the withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mild discomfort to sometimes even serious health problems that could become life-threatening.
Some common withdrawal symptoms from detox include:
- Shaking or tremors
- Sleep problems
- Muscle aches and pain
- Heart palpitations
While the drug detox symptoms listed above may seem manageable, there is also a possibility for complications and more serious health problems during this process. Secondary issues from detox, like dehydration, can become problematic if not treated properly or promptly.
Withdrawal symptoms can also be more dangerous than expected, depending on the person’s health, the severity of their addiction, and the substance in question. As we mentioned before, for instance, substances like opioids, benzos, and alcohol tend to produce severe withdrawals, more so than drugs like cocaine or Adderall. If problems arise during an at-home detox, you may not be able to get the immediate medical attention you need.
We slightly mentioned this before, but severe dehydration is a more serious and common risk of an at-home detox from drugs than people realize. Many substances lead to withdrawal, like vomiting and diarrhea. When paired with stomach pains and the lack of desire to eat or drink anything, these symptoms can result in life-threatening dehydration. In fact, this is the most dangerous symptom of opioid detox.
When drug detox is done in a medical setting, symptoms like dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting are treated and monitored to ensure the individual’s safety and comfort. On the other hand, a drug detox at home – especially one done with no one around – only increases the risk of permanent physical damage and even death.
High-Risk of Relapse
A lot of people are concerned with the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with detox, but many people forget about the psychological symptoms. Along with mood swings, depression, and irritability, the person will likely experience intense drug cravings during detox.
These occur as a result of physical dependence and tolerance. Because the individual has been using drugs or alcohol for a certain period, their body has become accustomed to constantly ingesting the substance. When these drugs are suddenly inaccessible, the body not only exhibits physical symptoms, but the mind and body begin to crave the high that these substances would offer.
Without being in a controlled environment such as our drug and alcohol detox center, addicts attempting to quit substance use cold turkey are more likely to relapse because they don’t have the support needed to overcome drug cravings. As a result, many people are doomed to relapse before the process is over. Considering these likely scenarios, it’s safe to say that a self-detox from drugs at home can be not only uncomfortable but also dangerous and ineffective.
How to Safely Detox From Alcohol and Drugs
Detoxing at home from alcohol or drugs without appropriate withdrawal management is dangerous when it comes to certain substances. In many cases, abruptly quitting drugs or alcohol increases the risk of severe and life-threatening withdrawals along with relapse. For instance, if left unmanaged or if medical aid is not readily available, alcohol withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens can lead to death.
To avoid a dangerous detox experience and actually recover from withdrawals and begin your recovery, our Banyan Palm Springs drug rehab recommends professional detox. To begin a safe detox from drugs and alcohol, you can come to our facility and meet with our clinical consultants to determine the appropriate level of addiction treatment for you.
During your clinical assessment, our professionals may ask you about:
- The type or types of substances you use regularly
- If you’re currently intoxicated
- The frequency, dose, and duration of your drug or alcohol use
- Any preexisting and concurrent mental health symptoms
- Your physical health or medical history
- Whether you’ve undergone any previous withdrawal and detox attempts
- Whether you have a support system at home
After this assessment and during the admissions process, your treatment team will outline a step-by-step withdrawal management plan. Following detox, you may then move on to one of our drug addiction programs that cater to the specific addiction you’re recovering from. For instance, our facility offers prescription drug addiction treatment along with programs for illicit substances in which clients can meet with therapists to better understand the causes of their addictions and how best to cope with recovery outside of rehab.
Begin Your Recovery With Banyan
Don’t give in to all the at-home detox remedies you see online. At Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs, we offer medical drug and alcohol detox in a controlled environment with the supervision of medical staff who are trained to handle emergencies as well as make the process as easy as possible.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, the first step is detox. Start the journey to recovery today by calling Banyan Treatment Centers at 888-280-4763.