Detoxification is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol. However, detoxing alone at home is never the answer.
In fact, detoxifying alone can be very dangerous. Here’s everything you need to know about detoxification and why a medically assisted detox is the far safer solution.
The detoxification process
A drug or alcohol detox is essentially the process of allowing the body to clear itself of any substances that may be in your body.
Most abused drugs stay in the body for several days while some can last several weeks. A detox is designed to let them leave your system while also managing any withdrawal symptoms that you may experience. Furthermore, it is a process that is designed to reduce the risks of a relapse.
A medically assisted detox can be arranged with admissions to a professional drug rehab center. However, many people still attempt to go ‘cold turkey’ by detoxing alone. Frankly, it is rarely the best decision.
The dangers of detoxing alone
On the face of it, detoxing alone sounds like a great idea. It won’t cost money, and gives you the chance to start right away. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why this is an ill-conceived move.
Perhaps most importantly, an unsupervised home detox could lead to seizures or severe dehydration as a result of the withdrawal. Furthermore, detoxifying at home will often result in more severe side effects than a medically supervised one. Those symptoms include;
- Mood swings,
- Physical pains.
Aside from anything else, the lack of emotional support can increase the risk of relapsing as a response to the withdrawal symptoms. For anyone who is determined to try a home detox, telemedicine is the best choice. In most cases, a medically supervised detox at a rehab center is the right solution.
It should also be noted that detoxing alone can be very harmful for fetuses. So, any pregnant woman looking to stop substance abuse must take this into account.
What does a medically supervised detox provide that detoxing alone does not?
A detox isn’t solely about cleaning your body of substances. It is the first step towards a life of sobriety. By choosing a supervised detox, you will gain access to a range of inpatient and intensive outpatient services that are tailored to your circumstances. This additionally means selecting the right support for detoxing different substances.
Different substances impact the body in different ways but a tailored strategy gives you the best shot at sustained success. It can also extend to strategies aimed at patients who have gained a dual diagnosis. A supervised detox can include several stages;
- Evaluation – to see how much of a substance is in the patient’s body and determine the steps needed.
- Medication – assisted detoxes allow you to gain the support of medication to manage withdrawal symptoms, with decisions based on your personal history.
- Stabilization – this is a process focused on medical and psychological therapy to establish a greater level of balance.
Crucially, the detox can be followed by the necessary treatment plan to prevent future relapses. It is shown that the professional route yields far greater success than the ‘go it alone’ approach while simultaneously removing the risk of causing further damage.