Learn The Risks of Drug Detox at Home from the addiction treatment experts at Serenity at Summit Detox Treatment Center
When you are suffering from drug or alcohol dependence or addiction, the natural inclination to remedy it is to simply stop using the substance. And that way of thinking is right to a certain extent – abstinence is the best course of action when dealing with addiction. However, just stopping drugs or alcohol is easier said than done. Addiction is not an issue of self-control or willpower, so it usually cannot be treated with a simple decision to stop. As a matter of fact, attempting to stop using drugs or alcohol cold turkey on your own is not only ineffective in most cases, it can also be dangerous. As you will see it makes much more sense to go to medically supervised drug detox at Serenity Treatment in New Jersey. The following are some of the risks of detoxing from drugs or alcohol at home.
Risks of At-Home Drug or Alcohol Detox
- Relapse – Detoxing from drugs or alcohol isn’t an easy or comfortable experience. There are both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms to contend with that vary with the substance and the specifics of its use. While in the throes of withdrawal, sometimes in pain but certainly feeling cravings and the urge to use, it is far too easy for someone to relapse. The knowledge that there is something that will make all the discomfort, agitation, and craving go away make it very difficult to not pick up that drug or alcohol again.
- Overdose – When someone is addicted to a drug and they suddenly stop using it, the body automatically begins to recalibrate itself – the tolerance that a person once had to the drug immediately begins to change. That means that even if the period of attempted detox is short, what was once a normal dose can become enough to overdose due to the changes that have already occurred. Without emergency medical care, this can prove to be deadly.
- Medical Issues – Withdrawal symptoms vary by substance, but for some drugs they can be severe. For example, withdrawal from alcohol can be serious, including delirium tremens, which affects the nervous system, seizures, coma, and death. Monitoring symptoms at home just isn’t safe enough if those complications occur. Additionally, a person may have underlying medical concerns that become problematic during detox because they were unrecognized during active addiction.
- Mental Health Issues – Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction have underlying mental health conditions that they are, knowingly or unknowingly, trying to medicate themselves for. During detox, these conditions can become overwhelming. If you are detoxing at home, it may be hard to tell the difference between the anxiety, agitation, irritability, and depression that are normal aspects of withdrawal and genuine mental illness. Failure to treat a co-occurring mental disorder while in recovery most often leads to relapse.
What is the Best Way to Detox From Drugs or Alcohol?
The truth is, while it may be more appealing to detox from drugs or alcohol in the comfort of home, detox is most safely done in an inpatient detox facility. There are several reasons for this. The detox will be supervised by medical professionals who monitor patients to manage withdrawal symptoms and to be there if emergency medical attention is needed. In a detox facility, there is also the option of using prescribed medications (like benzodiazepines) in small doses to help alleviate some of the discomfort of withdrawal. These medications are only used for a short period of time to help patients over the hump, and then they are weaned off slowly. Patients in drug detox treatment will also have around-the-clock support from staff, doctors, and nurses.
The Benefits of Medically Supervised Detox
Going to a medically supervised detox treatment center provides patients with a wide range of support – both medical and psychiatric – that can help protect them from the risks listed above. While there is no guarantee that any type of detox facility will prevent medical or mental health complications from happening, within the detox facility there are personnel and procedures in place to manage them safely. A facility has both medical and psychiatric professionals standing by to monitor patients from the time that they start treatment, offering medication and support as needed throughout the detox process.
Additionally, people who detox in a facility are more likely to actually complete detox without relapsing than those who try to detox at home, also avoiding the dangers of overdose while there.
The support and encouragement that patients receive in detox treatment from addiction treatment staff, doctors, nurses, and the peer support from other patients, far exceeds what they would be able to get at home. Even if a person has a loving and supportive family, their needs during detox will likely exceed what they have the ability to provide. To put it simply, there is just no substitute for the around-the-clock, comprehensive care that the professional staff and peer support can provide in an inpatient detox treatment facility.
Choosing to detox from drugs or alcohol is a personal decision, as is how a person chooses to go about it. However, the best and safest option is choosing a detox facility where all needs – medical and psychiatric – will be met and managed. Reach out now to find out more about what Serenity at Summit has to offer with their medically supervised drug detox program.