It’s no secret that detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be challenging. But for many people, the thought of doing so in the comfort of their own home is even more daunting.
There are several reasons why people may opt for an at-home detox, including cost and convenience. But there are also many risks to weigh that are associated with this approach.
For readers, at the beginning of the substance abuse recovery journey, medical detox & medication management are the safest options for managing withdrawal symptoms.
At-Home Detox Can Be Hazardous
Withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol can be both physically and mentally challenging. And without the proper medical care, they can even be life-threatening.
Some of the most common and dangerous withdrawal symptoms include:
Seizures are one of the most serious and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. They can occur when someone stops using alcohol or certain drugs, such as benzodiazepines. Withdrawal-related seizures can be very dangerous. Without medical supervision, they can lead to severe injuries, including brain damage.
Dehydration is another severe concern during detox. Alcohol and drug use can cause dehydration, which can, in turn, lead to other health complications. If not adequately treated, dehydration can lead to kidney failure, seizures, and even death.
Withdrawal from certain drugs, such as cocaine, can cause irregular heartbeats and an increased risk of a heart attack. Other withdrawal symptoms can occur such as high blood pressure and chest pain, can also be dangerous for people with heart conditions.
In some cases, detoxing from drugs or alcohol can cause psychotic episodes. These episodes can include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Psychotic episodes can be hazardous, especially if the person detoxing is not under medical supervision.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are typical withdrawal symptoms that can lead to dehydration. They can also be very dangerous for people with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease. If not appropriately treated, nausea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening.
Finally, stomach ulcers are a common complication of alcohol withdrawal. They can also occur during withdrawal from other drugs, such as opiates. Stomach ulcers can be excruciating and, if left untreated, can lead to severe bleeding.
These symptoms can lead to severe complications without proper care, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and heart problems. In some cases, they can even prove to be fatal.
At-Home Detox Is Not Always Successful
Even if you can make it through the withdrawal process without significant complications, there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed in your detox.
Many people who try detox at home end up relapsing because they’re not getting the support and care they need to stay sober long-term.
Without professional help, managing the temptations and triggers that come with early sobriety can be complicated, which is why relapses are so common.
At-Home Detox Can Be Expensive
While at-home detox might seem like a more affordable option than inpatient treatment, the reality is that it can be pretty costly.
Not only do you have to pay for any detox products or services you use, but you also need to weigh the cost of any potential medical complications. And if you end up relapsing, you’ll likely have to start the whole process over again, which can add up quickly.
In addition, taking time off for an at-home detox can be challenging (and expensive) if you have a job or other responsibilities since you’ll likely have to take unpaid leave or miss out on income.
At-Home Detox Can Be Lonely
Detoxing from drugs and/or alcohol is a very isolating experience, and without the support of family and friends, it can be even more so.
At-home detox can be particularly lonely because you’re not surrounded by other people going through the same thing. This loneliness can make the experience more challenging and increase the likelihood of relapse. In addition, it cannot be easy to find people to talk to about your experience if you’re not in treatment.
At-Home Detox Can Be Stressful
The detox process is inherently stressful and can be even more difficult without proper support. In addition, at-home detox can be particularly challenging because you’re managing everything independently.
In addition to the physical and mental roadblocks of detox, you also have to worry about things like work, family, and other responsibilities. These added responsibilities can make the experience even more stressful and increase your risk of relapse.
Why Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous
Alcohol withdrawal can be physically and mentally challenging. Without proper medical care, it can even be life-threatening.
Some of the most common and dangerous alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Delirium tremens
These symptoms can lead to severe complications without proper care, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and heart problems. In some cases, they can even be fatal.
Why Drug Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous
Drug withdrawal is different for everyone, but it can also be challenging. And without the proper medical care, it can even be fatal.
Some of the most common and dangerous drug withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach pains
Drug withdrawals can also lead to dangerous behaviors such as attempting to detox on your own, not eating or drinking enough, or excessive sweating. Not only can these behaviors make detox more complex, but they can also lead to dangerous side effects and health complications.
Advantages Of Professional Medical Detoxing
While at-home detox has risks, there are also many advantages to professional medical detoxing. Medical detox in the presence of professionals is the safest and most effective way to detox from drugs or alcohol. Medical professionals manage withdrawal symptoms, and you’re constantly monitored for potential complications.
In addition, medical detox provides you with the opportunity to receive therapy and other support services to help you recover. These services can make a big difference in your long-term sobriety. Finally, medical detox is typically covered by insurance, making it more affordable than at-home detox.
At-home detox can be dangerous and is not recommended. Instead, if you’re struggling with addiction, seek professional help. Medical detox is the safest and most effective way to detox, and it can provide you with the support you need to recover.